Tuesday, 12 April 2011

J had to be for Joanne

Joanne and Ruth

There was never going to be any other 'J' than Joanne.  Often referred to in posts as Mrs.RJR.

Jo and I met through church activities when I was 19 and she was 17, and after a short time started dating but this was put on hold when I was 21, as like many young Mormons I served a mission for the the church. Most people are familiar with the pairs of young clean cut guys in suits knocking on doors, well I was one of them between 1989 and 1991. Part of the commitment is to put daily life behind you for the two years and as such one of the rules was contact with home and friends by letter once a week. This from the outside seems hard and sometimes it was, but it does help prevent home sickness. 
While I was away from home, Joanne lived at college and did the last two years of her studies to qualify as a Physiotherapist. To this day we have stacks of ring binders full of letters we exchanged during those two years. I don't believe in coincidence, so it was no surprise that my scheduled return home date fell on the day of her final exams, our time apart was over and we picked up where we left off. Looking back we learnt more about each other through those letters than we would have any other way, we also learnt trust and the ability to sustain each other as one of us was busy with outside responsibilities.

Just under 12months after my return we were married, our belief is that marriage is not just "till death do us part" if performed by the right person, in the right place, by the right authority. As such Mormons build temples to perform Eternal Marriages. After a civil marriage in our local chapel here in England,we flew to what was then our nearest Temple, in Frankfurt Germany.

After the hustle and bustle of a full on family wedding at the chapel, complete with buffet in the church hall, the temple experience was complete contrast. We flew out on our own and the ceremony was just for us. This is not always the case but distance and cost limited family attendance.

That seems a long time ago now (1992) and since then we have added 3 wonderful children to our family Rachel, Jacob and Ruth (R.J.R) I realise there are those reading that share my beliefs, some that don't and some that may even object, it is not my intention to Preach. Its just hard to express the depth of feelings I have for Joanne without sharing some of what and who we are. I could have just put " I love you "at the beginning of the post but that defeats the object of having a blog and sharing feelings?

To borrow a line from my last post, Joanne " I SEE you"

For those of you that have endured my mushy post to this point .. tomorrow we will go for some humour to go with the letter K !!!!


Anonymous said...

Nothng wrong with a little "mush" now and again.

Lynn said...

Awwwwwwe!!! : ) Yay for mushy John post!

Spenc said...

Awe, so sweet. You two were lucky, most missionaries I knew, did not have their girl waiting when they got back, guess that just proves that she was a keeper.

Duckie. said...

It was hard for those left behind as well, its hard for people who are not LDS to understand only letters once a week for two years,but if you believe, its worth it. It made you a better person and the reward of being made Bishop of Ashton was the icing on the cake wasn't it?
And what about those food parcels hey.

Will Burke said...

It's encouraging that you have such a fulfilled life, and if your beliefs have something to do with that, then more power to ya!

Rae said...

My young niece and her fiance are Mormons and are getting married next month. I hope they will be as happy as you and Joanne.

ELSID said...

I read this with my head cocked to the left, eyebrows up and a little smile across my face...you know, the stereotypical "awwwwwwww" face. What a lovely read. Thanks for sharing.

Kit Courteney said...

Love is love no matter what one believes in.

A very sweet story :)

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