Part 3 – The Love Story (2 of 2)
At the age of 19 I turned away from the church, as my father did earlier in my life. I didn’t need it anyway – I was a college student and having way too much fun. Going to church, attending services and having that community was just not my priority, especially after having the “Pastor Peter” episode in my life. I was on the go, attending classes at the University of Denver, working as a waitress at Pour la France and in my spare time hanging out at keg parties.
My thoughts on religion changed dramatically after the birth of my first child, Jenna , (I was 27) and she was born with severe internal birth defects. I’ll save those details for another time… Suddenly I felt that religion was a necessary foundation for my children’s upbringing. I started attending the Episcopal Church in Avon, CT in 1995.
I was drawn to the Episcopal Church, as Ian and I were married in one – not because we were Episcopalians but because it was the only venue available near Moraga, CA on the date we were married – June 21, 1992. My uncle, from Vermont, happened to be an Episcopalian priest so he flew to California to perform the ceremony – it was beautiful!
Two weeks after the wedding, Ian was transferred to Washington, DC. It was quite an adventure being newly weds in a brand new city! Ian’s father, Bob, came to visit us Labor Day weekend 1992. The three of us drove into DC from our rented house in Reston, VA. I walked to Ernst & Young for a job interview, Ian went to the Price Waterhouse office and Bob walked to the Washington Monument. He then boarded a tram to Arlington National Cemetery and swiftly had a massive heart attack. He was DOA at the hospital. I got the job at Ernst & Young and promptly requested a week off to help Ian bury his dad in California.
After 18 months of living in Virginia and working in Washington DC as well as the birth of our first born child, Ian was transferred to work for Price Waterhouse in the Hartford, CT office. We moved to Avon, CT (a suburb of Hartford) – where our second child, Robbie, was born in 1995.
In April of 1996 Ian took a job with GE, so we moved from Avon to Ridgefield, CT. I was eager to meet new friends so I jumped right in and got involved with the local Episcopalian church. I LOVED it!!! I even went so far as being received, which means I formerly left the Lutheran Church and declared my devotion to the Episcopalian church. Both of the children were baptized at St. Stephen’s. I taught Sunday school, volunteered my time on different committees, and eventually became the assistant treasurer on the vestry.
Everything was going quite well, until my husband became sick. Ian was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in the spring of 1997. He had a bone marrow transplant, at Sloan-Kettering Hospital in NYC. While he was undergoing this month long procedure, GE promoted Ian to a company Tax Director, his life long ambition – the problem – the position was located in Cincinnati, Ohio! I didn’t know if he was going to live or die, and I had to put our home in Connecticut on the market and fly to Ohio to buy a new house. Ian lost 80 pounds and when he showed up for work in Cincinnati – they didn’t even recognize him.
Two weeks after we arrived, as I had just unpacked the final boxes and started to get Jenna (4) and Robbie (2) settled into a new routine – Ian came home and told me that the GE company he was working for was closing down! We had to move AGAIN in less than 8 months! We made the best of it and moved to Moorestown, NJ. We were there for less than 18 months when that GE company was shut down too! We had to move again – back to Ridgefield, CT.
At least I had my faith and my church to get through these terribly hard times!