Last weekend, I ran into someone who has been following my blog and she asked “why do you always say ‘my late husband’ instead of saying his name?” I was actually shocked by her question and didn’t know how to answer it because I really didn’t know why. To be honest with you, I didn’t realize that I did that and had to go back and re-read every one of my post to just see. Sure enough, I didn’t say his name once not even in the About page. So, now let me take a moment and introduce you to my late husband, Russell E. Austin (aka Russ or Lizrdbrth) and here is our story.
Over the years, many people have asked us how we met and we always laughed and said that we met at a bar. Yep, at a bar called Incahoot. It was December, 1998 and both sets of our friends wanted to go out before the holiday craziness began. Both of us ended up being the designated drivers for our friends that night. As it turned, out his set of friends and my set of friends actually know each other. Our first introduction was when I bopped Russ in the head thinking it was one of my friend who is a spitting image of him except Russ is taller. Of course, I apologized and we ended up sitting out on the patio shooting the breeze. We enjoyed the conversations so much that we never left the patio the whole night. Our friends kept interrupting us trying to get us to back into the bar all night. When it was closing time, he was such a gentleman walking my girlfriends and I back to our car. That is when he asked for my phone number.
He called me for the first time on New Year’s Eve and asked if I wanted to go out on a date the next night. Our first date was on New Year day 1999 at the Pomona Mining Company. Once again, we became lost in conversation the entire night. He was such a gentleman that night and I was deeply impressed. He wasn’t the typical guys that I gone out with lately. He didn’t jump my pants on the first date. Later when we talked about that night, I learned it was because of the car he was driving, a Pontiac Fiero, the center console was in the way. We both laugh so hard about that.
We had a unique relationship; we respected each other independence, intellect, and sense of adventure. This independence allowed for me to pursue my career, which ended up take me over 240 miles away from each other. For five years, we endured the long distance finding places to spend the weekend together and explore the town’s history. As for respecting each other’s intellect, we learned early on to agree to disagree. For the most part, we agreed on any topics that we choose to pick apart but there were a few that we did not and we were okay with that. As for our sense of adventures, we loved to explore the local history and we traveled near and far whether it was by horse, car or on a motorcycle.
As in any relationship, we had our ups and downs but after 13 years of dating (mind you, we never lived in the same house for all of those years), we finally got married on May 14, 2011. So you may be asking, how did he finally proposed? Well, it wasn’t the kind of proposal where the guy would get down on his knees and proposes with a ring in his hand. It was during a conversations with the kids where we were discussing what to do when the lease is up on the house that I was renting, he made a comment that it was silly for us living in separate houses and that we should be a family under one house. I wasn’t really sure that I heard him correctly. Mind you, Russ has never been married nor have children of his own but helped raised mine and after 13 years I kind of figured that we would never get married. So I waited three days to ask him if I really did hear him correctly. Yep, I sure did. Yeah, I know it wasn’t very romantic but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The biggest lesson I learned from her question was that I was writing for an audience rather than for myself. The other day, I also learned that I wasn’t alone in making that mistake. Another friend of mine who is also a motorcycle writer has done the same thing. At least she figured it out before she published it unlike I did. Writing about my feelings, thoughts and emotions in learning how to stand on my own two feet again has been and still is a huge learning curve for me.