July 15th is a very important day for our family, since it is our wedding anniversary. This year would have been our 30th anniversary! 28 years together and 2 years apart. Now he’s up up there in heaven and I’m here taking care of the 15 children who are still alive of the 18 we had together in 19 years.
We were marred in the Sanctuary of Torreciudad (Huesca), next to the Virgin of Torreciudad, where 5 years ago we celebrated our silver anniversary with a great party. The whole family was invited, many friends and their children. It was so much fun, we stayed up late into the night dancing.
My husband and I met in Valencia at a conference and that is where our love story began. I come from a family of 16 siblings and my husband was one of 14. We never said how many children we wanted to have. When we got married, I was 23 and my husband was 28, we were young, we loved each other and had many dreams together.
At first, living together was not easy, as in any marriage. We had to adapt to each other. I remember that my husband always told me, “men are not fortune tellers, it is impossible to understand what is going through your head… if you want something, tell me. Tell me how you want to be loved.” I repeated to myself, “love is shown by actions, not by good reasoning” and sometimes I even cried because I felt unloved because sometimes he wouldn’t show concern for some issue or another that was important to me. And when I told him, he responded, “I’m not a fortune teller, tell me what you need,” and he would ask for my forgiveness.
Speaking of forgiveness, every night he would turn down our double bed for me. If he went to bed later than I did, since I was pregnant I would go to bed early, he would always kiss me goodnight. Sometimes he helped me fall asleep. I loved it. And he apologized for this or for that: if he had been nervous with the children, or had raised his voice, or if he had complained about eating the same thing again for lunch or dinner…
In marriage we have to help each other. And he was very demanding of me. When I got married I had no idea how to cook. My mother-in-law was a perfect cook and the comparisons were difficult for me, because he would comment, “my mother makes a fried onion in the pan with delicious oil…” Since I wanted to love him more every day, I have to tell you that over the years I have become a good cook by working hard at it and going to various cooking classes.
My husband was my best friend, we laughed a lot together. I learned to enjoy a good book with him. We talked a lot. He was a good conversationalist and knew everything, as he enjoyed reading a lot. He would read about one book every two weeks and many times at our daily family dinner he would comment on what he had learned.
He knew I liked flowers and in recent years he commissioned a local florist to bring me a bouqet of colorful flowers every week.
When we were overwhelmed with kids and their crying, we liked to go for a walk around the block holding hands and talking about our dreams together. We forbade any talk about the kids and what was or wasn’t working.
There was no need for me to tell him if I was pregnant again, he could tell instantly. Well, it was easy, because I would start vomiting after every meal. My pregnancies have never been easy: I have vomited every day, even when entering the delivery room. But all I would have to do was see the face of our new child to realize it was all worth it, because that was forever. Even if it was difficult. We loved them the same or even more. Of the 18 children we had, 8 were born with heart problems. And I have to tell you that illness and setbacks have brought us even closer together.
We married each other for life. In health and disease. First between us and then our children began to come. Our children have helped us grow so much. It is true that we have made many mistakes, but we also learn from mistakes.
As I reflect back on this life together, I must say that we have been very happy. There were good days and there were bad days. It’s worth marveling at how wonderful our family life was together. We must learn to be happy every day. Regardless of the circumstances. We can do it!
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on July 15th, 2019.