Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Infinity

The cold misty November morning engulfed us as our pure joyful bliss warmed us to the core. I never even felt the cold around me or the moisture touching my skin as my heart pounded like a big bass drum pumping raw emotion through my body. “Remember your vows! Remember your vows! And for GOD’s sake whatever you do, do NOT be sick from nervousness. Not here, not now.” These thoughts played over and over in my head as the time got closer for us to bring this entire relationship to fruition. I heard the words coming from the minister as I held my bride’s hands tightly. She is a cool, calm and collected customer to most but I know her better than most. I could feel her nerves through her fingertips and could notice the rhythm of her heart beating intensely through her blouse. Yeah, I felt a little more at ease knowing she was just as excited and as nervous as I was; one more thing that we seemed to be in sync with. The perfect bride on a perfect day; what could possibly go wrong? Just then, it was time for me to recite my vows. I gathered my emotions and opened my mouth but I paused for what seemed to be an eternity. “Oh my GOD, I think I forgot what I am supposed to say!” As I thought of what to say, my entire time with this phenomenal woman replayed in my head at the speed of a hummingbird’s wings. It was almost like those stories you hear of people saying about their lives flashing before their eyes in split seconds but feeling like it lasted forever. Time paused for a moment as I saw, US.

January 18th, 2010. Another MLK Holiday to most people but for me it was also another work day. The office was quiet and I was the only one there. I got my systems up and running and was ready for another awesomely, exciting day as a real time energy trader. Ok, so that was a weak attempt at sarcasm but I think we all can relate to a job we do really love but have some boring days we try to make more exciting. Anyhow, everything was running smoothly and the TV showed nothing but boredom. I decided to do what most of us U.S. workers do at work, yep that’s it; I logged into facebook.

I had been on for a few minutes when I found myself on a friend’s page commenting on a thread. As I read through various comments, I noticed responses within the thread left by this gorgeous woman. She had eyes that were so deep that her picture appeared to look right into me. “Who is this beautiful woman?” I thought to myself. I had to attempt to at least find out a little more about her as my curiosity peaked. I posted on a common thread. You know; to be cool about it and not seem “stalkerish.” One of my phones rang as I had to do the old work thing for a few minutes. All the time I kept checking back to see if there was a reply. A few minutes later there was a message awaiting my response on my facebook chat from this woman who had instantly intoxicated me with her essence. Literally I thought to myself; “OH SHIIIIIIII*!!!”

We chatted getting to know each other for a few minutes. “A few minutes???” It was more like we chatted the entire day away. It was almost ten straight hours of chatting back and forth getting to know each other; finding out that we both were in parallel lives going through breakups of equally dissatisfying marriages. We discovered that we grew up less than ten minutes away from each other and shared a ton of friends from the same high school. Hell I know I had said that the year 2010 would be a serious year of change but I had no idea what was about to happen to my life.

We spent the next month chatting back and forth online via facebook and skype as well as lengthy phone conversations before we decided to meet up face to face to really see how things would progress. I was seriously excited. I mean for me that was a big thing because in my first marriage I had grown to become almost robotic with no emotions involved other than anger. On my way to meet her, I felt my heart beating and my palms getting sweaty. Hell I felt like a high school boy going on his first date and not knowing how to act. This woman enticed my senses into an awakening of sorts; and I loved every moment of it.

I got to her place and nervously I approached the door. I dried my palms and took deep breaths. I did the “smellit” test. You all know what that is, right? Cup your hand and blow your breath into it covering your nose to see if you can “smellit.” It was all good. Now it was time to make this happen. I knocked on the door and took another deep meaningful breath. A second or two passed before the door began to open. Everything suddenly went into slow motion. The door opened and there this woman stood as gorgeous as I could have ever imagined. Her hair was long and perfectly in place. Her smile that was so warm and inviting etched into my mind. Her tall beautiful figure was enough to make a grown man fall to his knees. Luckily for me I was too nervous to fall to my knees or that would have been a disaster. I couldn’t do anything but revert back to what I had done for the previous 16 years of my previous marriage; I acted. I gave her a big hug and walked in and started conversation. We talked like we had talked for the past month. Nothing seems awkward at all. We had great chemistry and everything was going well but something was bothering me. I had it all in my head as to how things would be when we first met and to be honest, this wasn’t how I saw it at all. I had to do something about it. I had to stop acting and be me. It was time for a mulligan of sorts but how in the world do you get a chance to make a first impression, a second time? It was time for the real me to come through and hopefully she would follow along.

I got up and asked her to come to the door for a second. I stepped back outside of the door and told her that I needed to start this over again, so please just bare with me and play along. She stood there with her sly smile on her face and an expression of approval. I think she loved the fact that I was a little nervous and was trying something perhaps she had never experienced. I closed the door; her on the inside and me on the out. I paused and took a deep breath; then ran the “smellit” test again. I knocked on the door with a little more confidence and determination that I knew was inside me waiting to come out

This time when the door opened, I walked up close to her assuring to purposely get into her space and have her in mine. We looked into each other’s eyes deeply with full meaning and really SAW each other. We got closer and closer as I could feel the vacuum of our passion sucking every bit of noise and motion completely out of the room. Our lips touched and it was everything I imagined and much more. We kissed passionately exploring each other as if we already knew every little aspect of each other’s mouth. I backed her against the wall and held her hands in mine extended tall above our heads assuring that our lips never lost contact. I have to admit I had never kissed anyone with this much passion. All I can say is it took this phenomenal woman to bring it out of me. We slowly backed our lips away from each other’s slowly while staring into each other’s eyes. Both of us gasping for breath as this kiss really gave our cardiovascular systems a good work out. We smiled with serious approval at each other and giggled with excitement as we gathered our things to head to a nice dinner together.

From that night on, we counted the minutes until we could see each other again. It was a reoccurring thing each and every week. I looked forward to seeing her every time I was off from work. It was almost like the anticipation of a long needed vacation every few days. I worked and lived in Austin TX as she did the same in Houston. Luckily I have a work schedule that afforded us plenty of time to share with each other. Weekly trips back and forth kept our passion growing beyond our wildest dreams. It wasn’t very long into our growing relationship that I knew that this woman would indeed be my wife one day.

We committed ourselves to each other in our relationship and searched for a way to solidify it. We did this by deciding to get a tattoo that represents us. We wanted something to signify our infinite love and respect for one another. We decided on an infinity symbol to be tattooed on our wrists. It was perfect! Now not only could we feel our love within each other, but we could also see it physically on each other. The infinity symbol was now us. It was our way of saying and showing what we felt for one another. We continued to say “I love you” to each other but it just never really expressed our feelings to each other in its totality. Now, we had a word that was ours to fully explain to one another our true love and respect for each other. INFINITY!

We spent the spring and summertime planning all kinds of events to see how we would be able to work as a family. After all, we both had kids from our first marriages. The key would be to see how they (the kids) would all get along. The kids loved the thought of their possible additional siblings. They played hard, they all ate hard and they all fought hard. It was comical seeing the little spats followed by intense play sessions. As the summer passed, they all became inseparable. Everything was going perfectly. Our passion grew stronger and stronger and our kids noticed every bit of it. The “married” comments started to be tossed around by the kids as they expressed their interest in us being married and becoming a family.

By September 2010 we were both finally divorced from our first marriages and engaged to be married to each other. Talk about a whirl wind romance. Everything happened at such a fast pace that it was PERFECT for us. We knew exactly what we wanted in our soul mate and we had found those qualities within each other to share it with. We decided we would be married in Houston and we selected Nov ember 13th to be our special day. Only our really immediately close family members knew the date as we preserved the actual ceremony to be shared with our kids. We decided it would be perfect to keep it really low keyed and to have our kids in the ceremony being we were uniting us all to become one family.

It was exciting picking out colors for the kids to wear and organizing our small ceremony that we were in control of. No pushy family members telling us what we should do or where. No friends telling us when or how big it should be. This was just me and my bride calling all the shots on the joining of our family to become one. I loved every second of this planning and the anticipation of being able to share every day of the rest of my life with my best friend. I bubbled over with joy finally realizing that this entire year was real and was blossoming into what I thought I would never ever feel in life; true love.

We pretty much had everything set and ready to go by the middle of October. We still had three to four weeks remaining before the big day. The time on the clock started to move slower and slower. The previous seven months had flown by so fast and now time was moving as slow as it possibly could. We continued to enjoy each other every week as we had done since first meeting in person in February. It was pretty amazing realizing that once we met in February we hadn’t missed one week of seeing each other. Our dedication and initiative was strong in moving us to travel to each other every single week without fail to just simply be in each other’s presence. This had to be fate.

I woke up that November morning in the same manner as I had so many mornings before. My beautiful lady by my side, the birds chirping outside the window and the hustle and bustle of the kids running through the place playing as hard as they possibly could. As much as I tried to tell myself this was another day to just be with my best friend, my body knew that so much more was about to happen in a few hours. 30 minutes later we were in full preparation mode. The girls were getting their hair ready and getting dressed. I once again was reciting my vows to myself flawlessly but still feared I would forget them under the pressure of having to say them when it counted. Time picked up her pace and started to fly by now. It seemed as though it were only minutes before we were all in the car and on the way to unite as husband, wife and family.

We selected the Houston water wall as our location to be married. It is a beautiful structure that stands tall with lots of straight lines that demands your attention with its beauty within its fluidity throughout itself. The perfectly manicured grass running long ways to the base of the steps to the wall gave the structure depth that would make for awesome photo opportunities. The mist in the air softened the pictures to give them a cloud like appearance that added another layer of beauty to be seen. It was the perfect place for us. I wasn’t nervous one bit as we approached the wall with our minister and meeting our friends there to witness the ceremony. There was lots of laughter and anticipation of the event. Smiles were on everyone’s faces as we approached hand in hand, eyes clear and hearts full ready to take the next step into our beautiful relationship. Today was our future and we gladly welcomed her with open arms.
We took our places and took a deep breath as we began our ceremony. I heard the words being said as if they were raining down upon me from the sky. I stared off in the distance at the Williams Tower and the sky as I tried to take in the moment hoping I would never forget what I am seeing and feeling at this moment as long as I shall live.

Time paused for me so that I could take this all in. It was as if everything stood still for the opportunity for me to study it all. I stood away from myself to look at us. We are so happy and blessed. Our kids were full of smiles and excited to become brother and sisters. Our friends were beaming with joy as they had witnessed our relationship explode from the very beginning and couldn’t be happier at the outcome.

My beautiful wife stood there looking at me and it melted my heart. Her eyes explained every emotion she was feeling and she for once and for all was not afraid to let it show to anyone that noticed. She is reserved that way in being private and not to let too many people into her world of what she is thinking. Today was not such a day as she let her thoughts be seen proudly. She is the most beautifully amazing, phenomenal woman I have ever met and God has so blessed me to be her husband. Me? Of all the men on the planet, it was me that she had chosen. Eat your hearts out fellaz!!!

Again, I stood there seeing us when all of a sudden I felt my heart pounding and could finally see motion and hear sound again. I stood there looking at the minister as she expressed with her eyes that it was my turn to say something. I finally snapped back to myself and realized I was standing there with my mouth open replaying the past ten months in my head awaiting the words to come out. My vows to my new wife were supposed to come out and I had paused to take in the moment. Finally I began.

“I come here today before our family and friends to give myself to you. Our hand in hand and heart to heart, I promise to always love you. I promise to always respect you as an individual. I promise to always remain faithful to you. With you I will walk my path understanding our strengths and learning from them as well as recognizing our weaknesses and overcoming them together. On this day and every day, I choose you; Jeanne-Marie Listl to be my wife.” The vows started to come out of me with no hesitation except for an occasional dramatic pause as I fought off emotions trying to make me cry. I mean I could never do that. I am way too “RTD” (rough, tough and dangerous) for all that to happen (wink). I completed my vows and took a deep breath as my body just wanted to collapse with raw emotion exhausting me. Jeanne said her vows back to me and made me excited with the thought that we were moments from becoming husband and wife.

We placed our rings on each other’s fingers as we beamed with joy. After hearing “You may now kiss your bride,” we embraced for the most loving kiss that I have ever experienced in my life. We were now husband and wife. And I couldn’t be any happier in my life.

It has now been a couple of months since that wedding day and we are now living together in Austin, Texas. The kids are adjusting quite well and really enjoying every moment they have together. We’ve even enrolled them in soccer and are awaiting the upcoming soccer season in a few weeks.

Happiness is something that I thought happened to other people. It took me a long time to realize that we are those “other” people. Happiness is ours to have but we have to accept it and run with it when given the opportunity. We ran with our opportunity and it has become our infinity. Most stories of this nature are written in an anonymous fashion but I love this woman so much, that I don’t care who hears or reads our story.

I hope that we continue to inspire people as many have come to us saying that our story has touched them in many different ways. One thing I can say is that I, Alton Matthews, love my wife, Jeanne-Marie Matthews and she is definitely my INFINITY!!!


The love that we share knows no bounds. Saying “I love you” never will do our feelings true justice.

Together we will make history as our hearts beat as one. Living, laughing and enjoying our lives is our priority.

As we continue to love each other forever, our love is our “Infinity.”

Alton and Jeanne

November 13, 2010

Update: We often give the kids a chance to tell us what they would like to do for a day or a weekend or whatever, so a recent trip to Target for shopping was a kid’s outing for us. We strolled through the store while the kids looked for items to buy with their gift money. Shoes, toys, toys and oh yeah, TOYS!!! We strolled from one section to another when I heard our youngest saying something to Jeanne. As we continued on I heard “tell daddy” from Jeanne to our little one. The pitter patter of little steps fast approached me from behind before I felt a tug on my hand. I looked down to a beaming face with a big smile, minus a few baby teeth. I mean this child really knows how to work her cuteness. She gives you just the right look and just the right tone to often get her way and whatever she wants. She cleared her throat and in her “I’m going to get what I want” tone, these words rolled off her tongue and through her lips; “Daddy? I want a little brother…”

happiness is ours to have; we got this!

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