A little history Part 2

Since my parents, nor his, would be able to come to the wedding, I asked my Mom to make my wedding dress – you should have seen her jaw hit the floor!  I still have that dress and my veil in a white pillowcase.  Finally it was time to leave and I stopped in San Francisco on my way to Sydney so I could see my aunt and uncle – they had introduced us.  Plus my cousin’s wife was from Hawaii and she arranged with her parents to meet me in Honolulu for a 9 hour lay over before heading on to Sydney.

I will say, on that Sunday morning I arrived in Sydney, I looked like I had slept in my clothes.  He had brought the whole family with him – his Dad’s first cousin – and all I could think was I was with him again.  Unfortunately he left the next day to give finals and then would be back a few days later.  So there I was, everyone had left for school or work and I was left with Angel who didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Armenian or Arabic.  But we did really well making the other understood and those few days while he was gone, I finally found out about Armenians.  It didn’t really occur to me I was in a strange country, with strange people speaking a different language, eating unusual food – I only knew I was without him again.

Thursday night he came back from the small town and we prepared for the wedding Saturday afternoon.  It was a lovely sunny, Fall day and I remember being ready before anyone else – I looked out the front window thinking “This isn’t how I pictured my wedding day”.  We had about 20 people, that included us and the minister.  That evening we took a slow train 450 miles west of Sydney to go to the little town where he was teaching.

We had a very small flat, no heat or air conditioning and where everyone knew everyone else.  To be considered 1 of 2 American couples, we definitely stood out.  We were both really home sick for the States, it took us a year and a half to save the money to come back here.  I had never been that far away from home but because we only had each other to depend on, we developed a closeness we might never have had if we had stayed here.  Being in a third country made it easier because we both were dealing with a strange place rather than only one of us.

There was a lot of stress all the time we were in Australia, then stress coming back because of immigration – he had applied for and received a permanent residency visa, but I didn’t relax until we were several miles from L.A. airport.  We settled in San Francisco Bay area and about 2 months after we were back, I was putting my coat on after working 12 to 9 at a department store.  My shoulders hurt so much and that night I couldn’t get comfortable, it was as if someone was boring holes in my shoulders.  The next night the same thing happened and I knew something was wrong since I couldn’t raise my arms higher than my waist.

I went to my aunt’s doctor and was fortunate to be diagnosed right away.  He told me I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and I said “Fine” as I went along my merry way – I had no idea what it was.  In the past 38 years I have learned a lot more about it than I ever wanted to know.  I am blessed with a really great husband, I know he could have left after I was diagnosed – we said for better or for worse but didn’t expect worse after just a year and a half.  There have been husbands who have left; I can’t imagine how that would feel.

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One Response to “A little history Part 2”

  1. 45 Years And Counting | Gift of RA Says:

    […] Today we are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary.  When I think about that day, I remember standing looking out the front window at Sydney and thinking “This isn’t quite how I pictured my wedding day”.  I never dreamed I would be in Sydney, Australia, waiting to marry a man I had only seen for 3 or 4 different periods.  I always thought I would meet someone here in Seattle, get married, have children and live very much like my parents.  I was 22 going on 16 – naive, inexperienced and in many ways clueless.  I have certainly grown up and matured since that day – imagine if I had been the woman I am now when I was married – an interesting “what if”.  I could apply that to any point in my life, then I know I would not be who I am now unless I had experienced the last 45 years exactly the way they unfolded.  To read the posts I did about going to Australia, check out https://giftofra.com/2010/03/04/a-little-history-part/ and https://giftofra.com/2010/03/04/a-little-history-part-2/ . […]

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