How I met your…father?

11 Jun

Not YOUR father, random internet person. RJ and JP’s father of course.

I met my husband, Jason, on the Internet.

In February of 2003, I got my septum pierced and joined an online community for individuals passionate about body modifications. The community is called and at the time, there were approximately ten thousand members world wide. Each member has a personal page where they can post pictures and write in a daily journal. There’s an instant messaging service specific to IAM so members can visit each other and leave messages. It’s kind of set up like Facebook (for a reference that everyone is familiar with), but it came first.

I remember when I first visited my husband’s page, I looked at the pictures of his colourful tattoos; of course I thought he was cute. He had the lyrics to John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy posted. I sent him a silly message, something like, “I wish I had cakes on the griddle too! Nice page.” He wrote back and said thanks and that he too liked the Canadian children’s author Gordon Korman (I had a list of my favourite authors on my page). That was the start of our correspondence.

We wrote back and forth every day until it seemed like it was taking me over an hour to respond. Then one day Jason asked if he could call me so I said he should call me tonight when I got home from work. Not fifteen minutes later the phone rang and it was him! I was shocked because it was unexpected and I’m sure it made for a very awkward conversation. But not awkward enough to scare him off future phone calls. He called me again that night when I got home from work. Thus began our phone correspondence and handing over my tiny paycheck to my mother each month (to pay the phone bill).

Thus also began me telling people about the man I was interested in. I mostly lied about how we met because I was embarrassed about meeting on the Internet. I told people we met through friends or we met at a tattoo parlour. I’m not embarrassed about our “How We Met” story anymore…obviously.

One day Jason asked if we could meet in person. I did want to meet in person but I told him it would have to be at my place because there was no way my mom was going to let me fly to Southern Ontario and meet a 31 year old man off the Internet. It was planned that Jason would drive to Thunder Bay to meet me and my mom (and dad and brother) and he was to sleep in a tent in my parent’s back yard. The fact that a grown man was on board with this plan (driving all that way and sleeping in a tent) was very telling about his intentions.

On June 15th 2003, Jason drove 18 hours from his hometown to visit me in mine. I was so excited waiting for him to arrive. He called me about an hour and a half outside of town. At that point I was already sitting in the front porch watching for him out the window. It was around 11pm that he finally pulled into my driveway. He got out of his car and we both smiled at each other and it was like seeing an old friend. We had spent months writing messages and talking on the phone; we already knew almost everything about each other! We hugged in the driveway and then I brought him inside to meet my parents and brother.

2003: Ten years ago?  That decade just flew by!!

2003: Ten years ago? That decade just flew by!!

That first night it rained hard and Jason’s tent flooded. He spent the remainder of the visit sleeping on the living room couch. Another testament to the fact that he wasn’t just looking to hook up. Our two weeks together were one of the best times in my life. We did a lot of driving around the country-side; we went to a play; took a little road trip to the US, and visited with some of my friends. We were just happy to be with each other in person after only being connected to one another through voice and words. When Jason had to go back home, I worried that I would never see him again. Though at this point we both knew we wanted to pursue an exclusive relationship.

Jason visited again in September ’03 and in January ’04 before moving to Thunder Bay on March 3 ’04. I am forever grateful to him for making such a sacrifice. We decided he had to come here if we were going to be together (geographically) because I was in the middle of University at the time (and I definitely wanted to continue attending Lakehead U). Jason called me after he left, with all his possessions loaded into the tiny car. He was not looking forward to the 18 hour drive and it was really difficult to leave his family. He needed to keep calling me throughout the day as a motivation to keep moving down the lonely and often deserted highways.

I found Jason a room to rent for a relatively cheap amount and he was able to find work fairly quickly. The two years we spent together in Thunder Bay before our marriage were fun-filled though often difficult. Work was always hard to come by, though Jason has been fortunate to remain employed; living accommodations were stressed after too much time spent in one place; I was struggling to finish my degree. But I never thought for an instant that our being together was futile. I always knew it was headed somewhere.

December 15th 2005, Jason gave me an adorable (and inexpensive) and shiny little ring. He didn’t ask me to marry him so I didn’t say “yes” but it doesn’t matter because we already knew we were going to get married. No need for words. I called my mom to tell her about my new ring and then we put on our winter clothes and went outside to play in the falling snow.

We’ve been married for seven years; I feel so lucky and blessed to be sharing a life with my best friend.

10 Responses to “How I met your…father?”

  1. Birdman June 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I second what Joe said. I don’t remember when I met Jason, but it was before grade 3 I think. He’s always been a great guy for all the years I’ve known him. We didn’t hang out much after they moved from Harwood, but we still saw each other from time to time, and I’ve always considered him one of my oldest friends. I guess that’s why it doesn’t surprise me that he would go through all that for you. He just knows what love is worth, I suppose.

    • L.W. June 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

      Not good enough. I want the exact details of how you met.

      Just kidding! I’m happy to hear from people who have nice childhood memories of Jason.

  2. Chrissie June 11, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    That is an amazing story!! I can’t say that I have a man who was willing to give up his life in another city to move 18 hours away to be with me (which is an extremely romantic story to be able to tell your kids!) but I can say that I have a man who I have known for at least 15 years who started out as my friend and ended up as my best friend, lover, husband and amazing father to our 2 beautiful girls ( which is a long, funny and happy story to tell them when they are older!). Thank you for always making me think with your posts!

    • L.W. June 11, 2013 at 10:32 am #

      You can also tell your girls about how special they are because the doctors said you probably wouldn’t be able to even have kids!! Happy little miracle girls!!
      Oh, you also have a great guy who had to put up with working far away from his family for long periods of time 😦 I know he missed you guys terribly!

      • Chrissie June 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

        Yes you are totally right on those points too!! ( does that make me bad for not thinking of them first?! Lol.) thank you for making my story even better now!!

      • L.W. June 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

        No way, doesn’t make you bad! Makes you a busy and sometimes forgetful mother! You’re in good company!

  3. Lisa June 11, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Aww! Thanks for sharing Leah, I’ve heard this story in pieces, but never all in one package – so sweet! You know what’s kinda awesome/funny? When Derek came to meet me for the first time – he also offered to camp in the backyard! Except, it was February. So I told him it was okay if he brought a sleeping bag and crashed on my floor. Definitely a decent litmus test for a good man! 🙂

    • L.W. June 11, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      I’m sure Derek could have survived (and even enjoyed) February camping! But it was nice of you to let him have the floor 😀 We have ourselves some lovely men/partners in crime.

  4. Joe Davies June 11, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Ya, that guy is a whole lotta good. We had some wacky adventures through the years.
    All the best to you and your family.

    • L.W. June 11, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Thank you!

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