Messages Erased

Three years ago today, August 18, 2007, Tim and I started dating.

I almost forgot about this ‘anniversary’ until I started going through my saved messages on the phone I’m about to surrender back to my parents.  I figured I’d better clear on out the voicemail box to make room for them.  I knew it would be hard to delete the few I’ve hung onto.  But I didn’t quite realize what a nostalgic walk back through our courtship it would be.   

The first message stored was from 3 years and 4 days ago: Tim, calling me about getting together that next Saturday.  THE Saturday.  The one that changed the direction of our lives way more than we ever expected back then.  I was in his town with my roommate for two weeks in between a friend’s wedding and the start of my senior year of college.  We’d exchanged e-mails most of the summer, but hadn’t really connected well (or at all) at the wedding, and I felt like it was my fault (I was running scared).  I spent the whole trip from Western PA to Richmond feeling guilty for not giving more than a nod in the poor kid’s direction all weekend and worrying what that might make him think.  What if he thought I didn’t want to be friends anymore?  By this point, I had not a few hopes riding on our relationship.  So I casually called him when I knew he’d be at work (thus unable to pick up his phone) to let him know I was going to be in town.  To my horror, he picked up.  I panicked and said something like, “I don’t want to talk to you, I want to talk to your machine.”  He got the idea, hung up, and let me call back and leave him my ‘casual’ message about my whereabouts.  Then the ball was in his court, and here’s the message he left me in response, the one I saved for over three years, and the one I deleted today.  I almost have it memorized.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2007, 5:37 pm: Hey, Cristy, this is Tim.   Thanks for your message.  Sorry I didn’t call back earlier.  I decided to wait until I got home and got settled.  Anyway.  Yah, I’d really like to get together sometime while you’re in Richmond.  That’s a great idea.  I’m glad you called.  So anyway, you can call me back anytime tonight; we can talk about how that’ll work.  I’m trying to figure out, you know, a place we could go or whatever; I’m not too familiar with Richmond, so anyway you can call me back anytime tonight til like…oh, I don’t know…9:45 or 10…and I’ll pretty much have my phone on with me all the time except when I get my shower, I won’t take it in there, but other than that just call back sometime this evening and we’ll work something out, so.  Thanks again, thanks so much for calling.  I’ll talk to you soon.  Bye. 

Words on a screen are nothing.  Nothing!  Not when in my mind as I read, I can hear all his umms and ahhhs and chuckles and stops and pauses and starts.  I can hear when he’s reading what he wrote that he wanted to say and when he leaves the script for a bit.  I can hear when he’s really nervous and when he relaxes a little.  I can hear phrases new to me then that have become as familiar as my own tongue now.  I remember thinking 9:45 or 10 was early then; I know how late it was now.  One thing I don’t hear in this message that is in all the others I’ve saved–love.  It makes it that much more meaningful now, to hear how his voice has changed since that first call.

Laura, November 20, 2008: Cristy Ann, pick up your phone, you have me in a tizzy, I just want to talk to you, yah, anyways, I’m just kind of floating around, trying to  do homework, not really getting much done, and wanted to talk to you, but you’re probably in bed like a sane person.  You can call me in the morning.  I will be up. 

Big jump here–a year and a few months.  You couldn’t know without hearing how much exuberance and excitement my sister’s voice contained.  I’d sent her a text about 10:30 pm after a formal dinner Tim and I went to with some friends.  I think it said: He kissed me.  He wasn’t going to kiss me until he knew he was going to marry me.  She knew that.

Tim, Monday, December 1, 2008: Yah, Cristy, just calling to ask if you would PLEASE quit distracting me.  Just kidding…I’ve been thinking about you a lot today.  I’m semi-serious, but not really…it was really fun to ride into work again today…I really missed seeing you, it’s really great to be back nearby you and I’ll look forward to seeing you this afternoon…I’ve been a little bit tired, not too bad, more distracted than anything…anyway, I love you.  I love you alot.  I love you an awful lot…

Every time I hear this one, from the first time just after he left it to the last just a few minutes ago, I’m run all over by this huge, barreling semi truck of love and happiness that drives his voice.  This was after a long, long 10 days of separation over the Thanksgiving holiday when Tim had to work an emergency at one of the power plants.  He kissed me, left town, spent 10 days thinking about getting married, made up his mind to go for it, came back, and was about to let me in on his plans.  It was either later that same day or the next that he proposed. 

Tim, March 1, 2009: Hey, Cristy, it’s me…just wanted to thank you for your note, and I love you alot, and I’m so blessed by you.  I’m really thankful God has brought you into my life, and I just am so thankful to see what a suitable helper you are to me.  You’re really wonderful and I love you…

Tim is so good at making me feel loved.  I saved this one and the next one just as reminders to myself when traveling through bogs of insecurity or marshes of discouragement.

Tim, June 8, 2009: Hey, Cristy, it’s me…wanted to make sure you got back safe…just wanted to let you know that I really, really love you and I appreciate you so much.  You’re such a perfect helper suitable to me.  I know I don’t always express it well, but I just really, really appreciate it…  You take really good care of me.  I love you alot.

I think I’d just spent a couple hours crying my brains out over some wedding details.  Probably the first time Tim saw me cry, and it was a doozy.  Good thing he knows how to handle it so well, because it certainly hasn’t been the last! 

Tim, June 19, 2009: Hey, Cristy, it’s me.  I love you.  I’ll look forward to seeing you in the morning…hmmm.  I love you.  I’ll marry you in the morning!  Bye.

He sounds so buoyant and invincible in this one.  His voice tells me he is on cloud nine.  He is happy.  He is excited.  He. Can’t. Wait.

My Dad, June 27, 2009 I guess I have the wrong number, I was trying to reach Mrs. Carr, but this is Cristy Gesink.  I guess I’ll just leave my message anyway.  Something you’d probably find interesting and enjoyable, there’s a really nice blackberry patch that I found when I was walking around your apartment…{detailed directions to the patch by car and by foot}… they out to be getting close…I think you’d really enjoy it…I’d love to hear how many blackberries you found…hope things are going well…love you, bye. 

This one was from just after our honeymoon, on the brink of the start of the rest of our lives.  I saved this because it reminds me of the interests Dad and I share, but even more because it is a reminder of his love and care for us.  I saved messages from Mom, too–about every day things, work and groceries and cooking–just so I could hear her voice.

Messages erased.  Oh, sad day.  I feel like I just kissed my youngest child off to college.

I guess I’ll just have to tell Tim to call and leave me lots of special messages at momentous turning points in our lives so I can save them on my new phone.  Or, since my new phone is his old one, maybe I’ll just have to listen to his side of our special story every now and again…

I wonder what he saved? 

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  1. #1 by Sally on August 18, 2010 - 11:04 pm

    This is so sweet! You have a great way of savoring memories.

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