In two short years, Janet and I went from best friends and roommates to being each other's spouse and father/mother to triplets. I never thought two years could leave you so full of hope and so full of dread at the same time.
It was scary to get married even though I knew deep in my soul that if Janet couldn't be my wife, I wouldn't have a wife. I wouldn't want one. You can't see it on our wedding video, but when I saw her walk down the aisle, I was filled with peace. God lead me to her for a reason. I knew I could and I would be her husband. Life was smooth sailing after our wedding. What I felt seemed to be true.
Then Janet got pregnant. I never felt so much love for a woman than Janet telling me she was carrying my child. Then something weird happened. Something that I never thought would be possible. Janet was carrying three babies at once. The feeling that God was on my side had left me. How was she, how was I supposed to do this? Can the babies survive? Can Janet survive? I could survive anything if all four of them could just stay alive.
They all did. Janet, and I don't know what kind of luck we have, gave birth to our two girls and a boy. Emily and Elizabeth turned out to be identical twins and they both look just like Janet. I couldn't ask for daughters more beautiful. Our only son was named Jack despite my protest. Janet swore she couldn't think of a better name. Okay, maybe I was a little more flattered than I'm letting on. My poor son wasn't strong enough to come home with us, but our girls were. He would be fine, but would need another week in the hospital to make sure his lungs were stronger. It killed me to not have our son home, and even though Janet was heroic in taking care of our girls head on, it killed her harder. She cried every night and I didn't know how to comfort her. I would tell her that everything was okay, she was okay; it seemed to only reach a part of her.
The day when Jack was finally able to come home was the day I saw my wife come back to herself. She kissed him with tears flowing down her cheeks the whole ride home. Only about twenty-four hours later did I realize how easy it was with just two babies. Adding a third to take care of just seemed borderline impossible. I'll be forever thankful for Janet's parents for flying in and helping us for a while.
That year our anniversary went pretty much without celebration. Cards and kisses were exchanged, but that was about it. We were still too busy trying to adjust to our new life. That night I woke up to our girls crying. I told Janet that I would get them and to go back to sleep. She thanked me as her eyes immediately closed. My God, she's exhausted.
Emily and Elizabeth just wanted to be held it seemed. I picked them up and walked them downstairs to the family room. They were quiet as I set them down and pulled out a videotape. Our wedding video. I was going to show the girls who we were for the first time. I scooped them back up after pressing play and again, they didn't cry. They perked up at the organ music playing, their eyes were transfixed by me and Larry, the best man and Joey, Janet's brother, the groomsman; and then by Terri, maid of honor, Jenny, Janet's sister, the bridesmaid, and their Grandpa Roland walking their mother down the aisle. I kissed Janet as soon as she was with me and that made everybody laugh and swoon. Even Elizabeth made a noise. She's funny.
"You think that's funny?" I asked as I kissed her forehead.
Emily just kept watching and reached for the TV as the camera went to her mother reciting her vows through her tears.
"Yeah, there's mommy, she's okay," I reassured her with a kiss.
"Mommy is okay," I continued. "She's actually great. God knew she could take care of us. Your mother has risen above every challenge she's ever faced. I couldn't have picked a better woman to be your mom. I love your mom."
It was my turn to cry. I watched as we were pronounced husband and wife and I got to kiss my bride. God, she was a beautiful bride. How lucky I was to kiss her and have her be mine. To have these babies be mine.
"Jack," I turned to see Janet, Jack in her arms, calling out to me from the bottom step.
"You missed our kiss," I said as she came closer.
"No, I didn't," she said as she planted one on my lips. God, she tasted so good.
"I love you, Janet."
"I love you, too, Jack. You and I are going to be just fine."