So we first started dating on Febrary 14th, 2010. At the time I was living with my best friend Ryan, and Cam and I lived quite a ways apart. He also was without a cell at the time which leads me into one of my first favorite memories. Cam would call me from his house before he would head down for mine. It would always take about half an hour so I would let the dog know around the time that Cam was expected that 'Cam is coming over'
I have a picture somewhere of this, but after I said it, Gus would stand on my bed with his paws on the window sill, his head barely peeking out the window, watching, and waiting for Cam to get there.
I always knew when his car would drive up, whether I was on my computer or watching tv, that he was here because I would just see Gus' tail start wiggling and he only did it for Cam.
Cam loves this dog like no other. He takes him to the puppy park daily, and they both give me the puppy eyes when I say no to giving Gus people food. He is always making sure the dogs needs are met and that he is happy (which includes Gus sleeping in the middle of us on occasion, as well as letting Gus have his half of the bed and us sharing the other half.) He teaches this dog new tricks and if we are doing something quiet like reading or laying in bed he will say very quietly 'Jen. JEN! to get me to look over and see whatever cute thing the dog is doing. They are an adorable couple and I do fear if he ever decides to leave me, that the dog would choose his father in a custody case.
|A picture Cam insisted I take.|
We had so much fun while our relationship was still new, went to tons of movies, ate out constantly (which led to us both putting on weight!) went to public events, and my favorite of all, he introduced me to my new love- back country hiking.
The first time we went, I can't say it was my favorite. It was a short hike, only 9K to our destination, and even though he was taking it easy on me by taking most of the weight, I had never done something like that with so much weight on my back. I had no clue what I was supposed to do, how to start a fire, or make a tree hang to keep the animals out of our food, but he helped me and showed me how to manage in the wild, and keep clean at the same time! It was Gus' first time in the wilderness as well and it was very funny watching him learn to adapt to his new environment.
I remember the first or second night we were there, it started raining and the three of us sat under a tarp with a fire to protect us. Gus was terrified. He couldn't see as much as he would like to and his head was constantly moving, trying to see what vicious things may be in the looming darkness. It had been a long day and the poor dog was exhausted but refused to lay down on the dirt or come to me under the tarp because the smoke from the fire hurt his eyes and nose. So he just sat there, at the edge of the tarp, where he could breathe the fresh air- and be exposed to the rain. Never in my life have a seen such a miserable animal and needless to say, despite the poor dogs misery, it was quite funny to watch.
He kept me safe from bears, and boiled me warm water to wash my face with, and overall, he took care of us. But that was nothing out of the ordinary.
We were blessed to share part of spring, summer, and part of fall off work together which made us further able to dedicate our time to slowing down the pace of life, and enjoy each day, while exploring new avenues and taking our lives in a new, exciting direction...
That included us moving out to Vancouver island.
The first time Cam introduced me to the idea was when we first moved in together. One day, while walking down the street he first said to me 'lets put our stuff in storage and go hiking for the summer.' The way he presented me with the idea though, made it sound like we would be homeless, and essentially we would be! Leaving all of my 'stuff' in storage and just taking off for the summer, without any plans of the future or where we would end up was a horrifying thing to me at the time.
We were already planning on coming out to attend his nieces' memorial, and had decided to spend some holiday time while we were here- and on the way, with hikes and enjoying the land. However, the unexpected still managed to find us and deliver us the debilitating blow of learning his beautiful mother would be diagnosed with cancer, and the official announcement was made on the same day as the memorial.
That sealed our fate. We would be making the move to the island. I spent many nights that summer in tears over the fact that I would be leaving my family and friends for a new life that I knew nothing about. Cam was always the strong one, able to reassure me and help me look on the bright side of life, and he is still very much that way.
We spent almost two months, including some of that time in the mountains with just us, the dog and nature (and a UFO encounter!) in a tent. Blessed with two wonderful friends here on the island who allowed us to borrow a little plot back in the trees behind their house for our 'bedroom', we slept under the stars (and many times to the sound of rain) and waking with the morning light... and that damn rooster!
Gus fell in love with the ocean, as did I. Cam and I fell further in love with eachother and our new life.
|The lawn Gus spent his summer on.|
We were essentially spending 24/7 together and through that time I learned more about myself than I ever had before. I learned to take risks and that things do eventually work themselves out. That life is too short to ever take advantage of and to enjoy the moments and laughter with the ones you love. All of this thanks to my true love.
After a month of R&R, I decided to start looking for work. Not a week after I started applying did I get a job. It all happened very fast and before we knew it, I was working for a wonderful, established company and we were moving into our new house. Cam also got a job which I am jealous of, working for the health region, and our new life is only getting better as the summer gets near.
I wouldn't be where I am today if it hadn't been for him. He pushed me, and continues to push when I need it, to embrace change and the unexpected and to just go with it. Because if we fight against reality and change, it will be that much harder for us to look forward to the future.
The future still scares me sometimes, but I have this man in my life who stands by my side and supports me- despite my many flaws, and can look towards the future with me and smile.
I love you baby more than anything, I'm thrilled you are a part of my life, and am truly and completely blessed that you chose me to be in yours.
Looking forward to many more birthdays (especially mine this year, since I'm getting you your dream pair of night-vision goggles!)
Happy birthday, Cam!