20 years ago today, I drove from York, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado to meet up with Allan B Huskins Jr. for the first time. We had been talking, and then “dating” online and over the phone for several weeks, and February 13, 2004 was our first in-person meeting.
The drive to Colorado was just six hours, but it felt like sixty. I was nervous, but also so very excited. Nervo-cited, as one of my kids calls it. I was 99% sure that I was going to marry Allan, but I hadn’t actually met him in person yet! Sound crazy? Yeah, it probably was, a little. But several weeks of talking non-stop (like 40 hours a week talking), and I was certain he was the guy for me. He seemed to feel the same.
But we needed to MEET each other first!
I pulled into the parking lot at Cracker Barrel, with little almost 2 year old Samuel in the back seat watching “Blues Clues” on a borrowed VCR/TV combo. He was happy as could be (he almost always was), with no idea that this night might change our lives pretty drastically. I arrived just a couple minutes before Allan, and then I saw his Jetta pull in and park right next to my car. I took a deep breath, and jumped out of the van. It was the moment of truth. And the moment Allan got out of his car and enveloped me in a hug, I KNEW. I won’t ever forget that moment, the smells of his leather Indy jacket, the absolutely gorgeous smile and dimples, the warm, comforting, strong arms.
I was home. He proposed before the weekend was over, and I said yes.
And for the last 20 years, Allan and I have been “home” for each other, traveling this life together through the best of times and the worst of times. We have been through very difficult life-threatening pregnancy, babies and toddlers, special needs with our kids, severe grief and loss, moving across the country, and the teenage years with our three kids! So much of it has been HARD, and yet there has always been laughter in our home. We have struggled mightily in many ways, but we’ve continued to overcome, thanks to God’s grace. And God has been SO GOOD to us, through it all.
This last year has been one of the toughest, AND one of the best. I can’t even put into words how much Allan has been there for me. (If you know me, you know I’ll try to find the words anyway). He has been a solid rock of support, encouragement, help and love. The vows “in sickness and in health”? Yeah, he has lived those vows with me for all 20 years, but most especially this last year. I am certain I would not have been willing to go through the surgery without his help (and I mostly agreed to have the surgery FOR him). The days at home following the surgery were again some of the hardest AND the best. I was totally vulnerable and helpless, dependent on him for everything. As a Type-A personality, control freak, I hated it. But also so thankful for my husband.
Over the last year we have also discovered what time alone feels like. For six weeks after my surgery, we went almost nowhere, and sat together in our living room while I recuperated…talking, eating, resting, and talking a little (lot) more. And now, with two kids out of the house, and the one left at home that is SO busy, she’s hardly ever here, Allan and I have found ourselves with a lot more time to continue to sit and talk and eat and relax ALONE. It has been a sweet preview to what an empty nest will look like, (and I’m totally ready!)
20 years. I had no idea what ALL was to come when I made that nervous drive to Colorado, but I will always be thankful that I did and that I found my HOME in Allan B Huskins Jr.