Tuesday, October 26, 2010

on a balcony in summer air

the first time i laid eyes on him i was skateboarding to a party with my boyfriend.  i didn't think much about it when we were introduced later in the night.  in the days that followed i put two and two together that they worked together as i went to meet my boyfriend after he got off work.  we exchanged hello's and off we went.

it wasn't till he started coming round for lunch that things changed.

he claims i made excuses to bus the outside tables while he ate. i claim that it was my job, and i'm no slacker.
but the truth was, something clicked.  something physical at least.  who can resist a boy with white blond hair and eyes the color of the bluest sky?  he quickly became known as CCS 2, simply because i was dating CCS 1.

CCS (central coast surfboards) 1 and i were going nowhere very slowly.  he was not interested in being 'tied down' to anything serious and i was rebounding from a failed three year high school boyfriend.  so when CCS 2 invited me to go on a hike, i hesitated for merely a second.

strangely, i remember quite a bit about that trek up bishops.  i remember that he told me he loved surfing and mountain biking and that he had an interesting, and sometimes strained relationship with his mom.  he remembers i took my shirt off and hiked in my sports bra (strangely he can't remember anything we talked about).

i also remember that night i came home and he had left three messages for me.  all of them cute and disheveled.   i remember feeling like samantha baker as she waited for jake ryan to call.

of course i'll never forget the first time he took me to his house.  i was shocked.  never had i seen a house, let alone a college boy's house, so strikingly clean. counters wiped, bed made with hospital corners, and all of his shirts folded like the GAP does.

we got real serious, real fast.

i quickly found out that as much as brandon loved surfing and girls, he loved smoking weed.  it took me longer than it should have to realize that it would someday be our demise.  but in the meantime i held fast to 'if you can't win em, join em.'  let's just say i really sucked at being a stoner.

our first year was filled with sweet notes under my doorstep and on my windshield.  flowers for no reason at all, and long drives holding hands as we listened to music that moved us.  there was no doubt i had fallen head over heels for a tow headed boy from santa cruz.

i remember the first time i realized i was falling in love.  he took me home to meet his parents.  his only warning was, 'my dad is a cop, my mom hated my last girlfriend and my brother is developmentally disabled.' i was prepared for a long, challenging weekend.  but instead, as he navigated his way through the mountain roads to his childhood home, i started to see a side of b i hadn't yet.  the brandon i saw that weekend was the brandon i knew that i would marry.  sure it helped he was stone cold sober, but to see his respect and admiration for his parents made me realize that he would someday love his own family that much.

the next year was scattered with some really fun times.  but as the year came to a close, the down's began to far outweigh the ups, and both of us knew that something had to give.

i was living downtown with a bunch of girls from high school at the time.  my best friend was gone for the summer and i started working at uptown espresso. b would spend the night at my place, while i would wake up at the crack, and open the shop.  b would roll out of bed, smoke a bowl and skateboard down to uptown for a coffee. my once sweet and romantic boyfriend was becoming increasingly annoying.  i couldn't compete with the smoking.  meanwhile, i began to spend more time with my new friend lealah and her boyfriend (now husband) jon.  i saw something in their life that i desperately wanted.  it wasn't just the stability, it was the peace. no changes i tried to implement in my own life or b's for that matter would last.  i began to feel a pull towards something bigger and greater.  so one sunday, i drove over to b's house as he was getting ready to take a load to the dump.  we joke now that i dumped him at the dump. even though at the time it was one of the hardest decisions i ever had to make, it ultimately proved to be one of the best.

b and i took about six months apart to really work on ourselves.  b got rid of his bong, threw his pipe out the window and finally ditched my biggest competition.

it was a hard six months, but so necessary.  b found a faith that he knew fleetingly as a kid, but now in his early 20's was finally able to find his identity in.  i found what i had been looking for my entire life-- a faith in something way bigger than myself or my boyfriend. our journey's were separate, but real.  we went from drinking, smoking, and having sex to nothing.  there were months when we didn't even hug, cuz it was just that hard. we started hanging round more with the "christian's" as we sought to redefine our idea of fun.  slowly but surely, god poured his grace upon us until one day we found ourselves at a private table at the gardens of avila.

and then before i knew it, you got down on your knees, carefully removed the shoes i had colored with a sharpie on the way to dinner, and began to wash my feet.  you shared that this act was a symbol of your love for me.  that you would always serve, love, cherish and protect me.  that as you wash my feet clean we are reminded again of how we have been washed clean and forgiven. that we have been given, by grace, a new start and a new beginning.  and will. you. marry. me?

b, i love that you smell like lemonade in the summer time, and that you call me at least once a day to check in. i love that just last week you cried when our social worker talked to us about our future son, and i love that even after 8 years i still laugh with you every single day.

thank you for being my very best friend.  i love you b.  today and always.  happy anniversary.


Mama G said...


Tee said...

Happy anniversary to both of you. As a member of the 'table of the heathens' at your wedding and a friend from times past, its been great to see you both evolve and grow into the dear family you are today.

Anonymous said...

moving words! i love you both!


Erin said...

Okay, I'm bawling over here. You guys have an amazing story. I'm so happy that you found each other. Happy Anniversary Rodgers!

zaiahbird said...

Love this. THere is no doubt you two were made for each other. Happy anniversary! So glad to be your friend.

Anonymous said...

happy anniversary. you two have been blessed.

Anonymous said...

Tearing up over here. Thanks for sharing your story Holly. It's so beautiful. I remember when I lived with you for a few short months that summer... always yelling some truth when you walked in the door i.e. "Freedom" "He is Risen" "Jesus is God" etc. Watching you and B grow in your faith was a real encouragement to me during that time.


Kelly Meirik said...

God is sooo good & your story tells that truth so beautifully & tenderly. Loved reading that.

Anonymous said...

I loved hearing you tell me this story when we ran together in MDO, kept my mind off the run:) Such an amazing testimony of love. I love that you laugh everyday together, I think it may be the secret. Laughing with Aaron is one of my favorite things:)