best catch of my life

Jun 7, 2014

We always like to go out on a date on June 7 to commemorate our first date back in 1993. Instead I have spent the day in bed and Richard has spent the day at work. I am pretty bummed to be spending this evening alone. But I am not up to an out-of-the-house date. My foot is pretty tender from the fall in the hidden hole on Monday and I am trying to rest it as much as possible to help its healing be speedy (haha, is anything speedy with my healing?) and my whole head is miserable. My teeth ache and feel like they are falling out. My jaw feels like it is in a vice grip and my head feels like it has a football helmet on that is 48 sizes to small.

I certainly don’t want to get fancied up and since I can’t eat anything but pureed liquids, we are a bit limited on our restaurant choices. So I told my sweetie to go fishing. He needs a night on the river so he can clear his mind of the jaw situation for a few hours. The water lapping the shore and the casting back and forth fills his soul with calmness, patience, and strength…all of which we are going to need in the days to come, so I told him to go and not feel bad about it being June 7, just go and soak up a river of courage.

Back on that first June 7, I asked him to take me fishing knowing full well the weather was bad and it was getting late in the day. He asked if there was any way he could take me to a movie and dinner instead and take me fishing the next time we had the night off. Yes sir, that is just what I was hoping for! I often tell him that instead of catching fish that night, we caught each other…best catch of our lives.

My cousin Melissa was at Swim Camp with me and one day during one of my many crying fests over the whole jaw situation she said something like “Tracy, you may feel flawed and like you’re not mothering the way you wish, but you nailed the most important decision of your life in who to marry. You are giving your children a priceless gift – they get to experience a loving, beautiful, faithful, and faith-filled marriage. What a gift!” She is right. I am terribly flawed and I struggle so much with simple kindness, but my marriage is one thing I did right. God led me right to this amazing man and with a heart full of faith I allowed myself to trust that marriage really could last forever and be full of love, safety, and oneness. It took me a few years of marriage to be fully convinced that marriage could be good and a few more years for my wounded heart to be healed, but from the first moment I met him I followed the Spirit and let God lead me into sacred covenants with this good, good man.

I could have married a crazy high school boyfriend who was full of manipulation, abuse, and all sorts of psycho-mumbo-jumbo. I easily could have married my Baptist best friend, but it would have meant leaving my religion and joining his and though I loved him with my whole heart, I couldn’t bring myself to walk away from my testimony. Instead I walked away from a full-ride scholarship to the college he was attending so I wouldn’t be near him anymore. It was too painful to care for someone so deeply and not be united in faith together. I always hoped to marry another dear friend who left on a mission for our church that summer. And a HUGE part of me decided to never marry anyone. My walls were several feet thick and I was determined to keep them that way so my heart would never break again. I had already decided at that tender age of nineteen that no man would ever hurt me again. No man would ever tell me what to do and get away with it. No man would rape me, boss me, hit me, and live to see the light of day. I was angry and damaged and had little desire to change. But I had also made baptismal covenants with my Heavenly Father. I had decided as a young girl to get married in the Salt Lake Temple. I knew God loved me and had a plan for me and deep down inside I wanted to trust Him, but I didn’t know how to let down my walls.

Then God gave me Richard. The instant I saw him I knew I would marry him. I can’t describe the serenity and stability I felt in his presence…kind of like being wrapped up in a blanket of warmth and safety in the most loving embrace imaginable.

I trusted that feeling. But I still had to fight the demons of fear and anger and walls and grief. I had to decide that I believed a marriage didn’t have to end in divorce, that all men didn’t cheat on their wives, that all men wouldn’t hit their wives, that the song “Families Can Be Together Forever” wasn’t just a fairytale. It took years for those demons to finally be slayed. God walked with me every step of the way and Richard’s pervasive goodness taught me what love really looks like.

Melissa is right. The one thing that really matters and makes all the difference is my marriage to Richard. I cannot imagine going through this life, and especially these physical challenges without him by my side.

p.s. He just called – he is off the river and bringing some curry home to share with me. Happy first date sweetheart.

Related Posts


  1. Liz

    God makes clouds of love for us to float on. :)

  2. Mom

    Oh, my goodness, I’ve pretty much been bawling for two days straight! This really touched my heart, especially the part about a river of courage. Yes, Richard is exactly what The Lord had in mind for you from Day One! Day One! You have been that amazing since Day One!