Stuff You Learn After You Say “I do”

My husband saved a turtle that was stuck in the middle of a busy highway.

I thought I knew my husband pretty well before our wedding day. But no matter how much you think you know a person, there will always be those quirky things you never saw coming.

We were friends for quite some time before we ever got romantic. We got to know each other quite well through letters we exchanged as friends. The friendship eventually became so obviously more and we finally confessed our true feelings for one another. We went from “just friends” to practically engaged pretty quickly, but a year-long engagement gave us even more time to get to know one another.

My beloved had been in Seminary when I met him, and he was ordained by the time we were married. So I knew going into it that I was marrying a pastor. He had seen me at my worst, I knew of his vulnerabilities. We both recognized that we were the youngest child in our respective families and had a sense of the challenges that would present for us. We talked for hours about faith, hopes, dreams and more.

Then on our wedding day, after the reception, on the car ride back to my mother’s house, there I learned something about my new husband that I was completely unprepared for.

On a country road he suddenly slowed and became very tense. I was worried that something serious was wrong with the car.

“There’s a turtle,” he said.

“Oh.” Imagining the turtle to have been safely camouflaged in the grass, I was bewildered how he even saw it. And I couldn’t understand why this sighting had such an effect on him.

He sensed my confusion, “It’s in the road,” he said.

So that’s how he saw it! I still didn’t understand what that had to do with him.

“Turtles are slow,” he said.

I nodded.

“I’m afraid he’s not gonna make it across.”

“Ohhhh!” I was beginning to catch on. This was starting to be really sweet.

“So, I, well… would it be okay if I saved it?”

How could I be so oblivious?

“Do what you have to do!”

And he did. He pulled the car over to the side of the road. And in his wedding tuxedo he walked out in the road and picked up that turtle and put it safely in the grass.

As he headed back to our car, other cars began to drive up. They saw my groom on the road and me in my wedding dress waiting in the car. They stopped to check on us. But all was well now, he explained, because he had saved the turtle.

The other drivers honked their congratulations and rejoiced with us in our new marriage and in my husband’s valiant deed.

The thing I learned about my new husband is that he is the kind of guy who will save a turtle. And I loved him a little more that moment, confident I had chosen well to get my life knotted up with his.

This month, on May 20th, we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. Almost as if to mark the occasion, my husband saved another turtle just the other day. And I loved him a little more in that moment too. Each day since we were married I continue to learn new things about him and find new things to love about him. I continue to be so grateful to have our lives intertwined.

Happy anniversary, my love!

16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hermano Grande on May 19, 2013 at 12:23 am

    That is mighty sweet. I like this lots!
    The Rev. Tinker, saver of turtles!

  2. Posted by Aunt Sandy on May 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Sweet story, Jen! Happy 18th Anniversary to both of you!

  3. Posted by Ruthie on May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I have no problem picturing Pastor Dave saving the turtles. Nice touching story. And congrats on the anniversary.

  4. Posted by Angela on May 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Aww, love you guys. Happy Anniversary to both of you! I think rescuing turtles in the road must run in the family :).

  5. Posted by Cheryl Mulet on May 20, 2013 at 6:38 am

    That’s beautiful. Enjoying your blog!

  6. I enjoyed the story of the turtle. After some of our conversations during this past year, I can see him as a rescuer of more than turtles

  7. Posted by sara on May 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    How awesome! Happy Anniversary, you two. Michael pulled a dead deer out of the road when we were dating!

  8. Posted by Julie W. on May 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Happy belated anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been 18 years! You are doing a great job with your blog.

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