By now you all know that Star Wars plays a Death Star sized role in my life. Thus, Star Wars, plays a Death Star sized role in my family’s life.
Since Lis and I are embarking on our 11th year of marriage, I thought I would put a Star Wars spin on my usual anniversary post.
Last year I compared our 10 years of marriage to the vows we made when we were hitched. I’ve told the story of “When Kevy, Met Lisy.” And I’ve shared cheesy stories about how I married my “It Girl”, my best friend, my soul mate and blah blah. ;)
Here are 11 Star Wars phrases to describe our 11 years of being married.
Before I start … you won’t hear me describe Lis by saying, “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.” And you won’t hear me explain, “Size matters not. Judge me my size do you?” (Good thing she doesn’t.)
There are moments when I’m sure Lis thinks of me as the red R2 unit that blows up (“This R2 unit has a bad motivator!”), and times after a bad decision I’ve thought, “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” Both of those didn’t make the cut.
I’m sure when I got married there was, “a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.” Those voices being all the women finding out that I was off the market. Ha! As Han told Luke, “Great kid, don’t get cocky!”
I wasn’t able to use Lukas’s pick, “Let the Wookie win.” (Do you think he thinks I’m the Wookie, and Lis lets me wins sometimes, just to make me happy?) Nor was I able to use, “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!!!” to explain my whininess when I have to do something I don’t want to do. I still blame Luke Skywalker for this unwanted trait in my life.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”
Okay, so 11 years isn’t that long ago. Okay, so Brazil isn’t in a different galaxy (but it is on the other side of this planet). But 11 years ago in the Land of Soccer (and Beautiful Women), I stood in a constrictive suit, on a beautiful day, and married the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Seriously, my lady doesn’t like to fancy up, but when she does … deep sigh, large smile … she looks nice. Nowadays she likes to complain about the way she looks, but in my mind, she will always look like the day I got off the airplane my first time to Brazil (hubba hubba), or the day we got married. Still Lis, that’s not an excuse to let yourself go. ;)
“Wars not make one great!” – Yoda, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Do I believe in soul mates? I don’t think so. But if there is such a thing as soul mates I married mine. I don’t have an easy personality to get along with. At times I can be a “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” I’m quick-tempered (quicker than most, but not as quick as I once was), I can be a jerk to my loved ones, I can be whiny and impatient. Lis has not only put up with those things, but has the perfect personality to counter my dark side. Why the line from Yoda? Because in our 11 years of marriage we’ve never gotten into a shouting match. I may yell and yell, but she’ll just turn her back and walk away (and then ignore me for a couple of days). I may yell and yell, but her response will be, “Do you want me to punch you in the face now?” Does fighting make someone or something better? Hmm…not in this instance.
“Never tell me the odds!” – Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
The honeymoon (we never really had) was barely over before we were given a new challenge in our marriage – cancer. Not even two years into our marriage Lis had been diagnosed with leukemia. Without immediate treatment she’d have 3-6 months to live. With chemotherapy treatment and a likely bone marrow transplant, she’d have a greater long-term survival rate. It’s likely we wouldn’t be able to have kids again, but we were happy that we were blessed with one, a son, who was five months old when Lis was diagnosed. Well the Force was strong with us. Her fight wasn’t easy, and didn’t come without any scares, but she beat leukemia, took treatment so well that she didn’t need the bone marrow transplant, and the kid we weren’t able to have? We had two more. Never tell us the odds!
“The Force will be with you. Always.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
What is the Force? Obi-Wan explained to Luke that, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” For the purpose of this post and quote, I like to think of the Force spiritually. I like to think of the Force as our Christian faith. Sure there are times when God may use the Darth Vader line, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” But our faith allowed us to survive Lis’s battle. Our faith individually and together, has continued to grow throughout our relationship, thus allowing us to continue keeping us together and allowing us to deal with stressful situations. May the Force be with you.
“Strike me down and I’ll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
I know, I’ve been talking a lot about Lis’s battle, but what do you expect. Go through something so life-changing, so early in your life together and you’ll continue to look back at it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Cancer tried to strike us down and instead we became more powerful than even we could possibly have imagined. Not just in our marriage, but with the way we handle situations. We went from caring less about us and more about others. I love being a part of the community, our church, the American Cancer Society, and that is because of the battle we fought.
“Do or do not … there is no try.” – Yoda, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
We’ve taken a few risks in the last few years; one being the decision to start our own business. There may be others on the binary sunset horizon. Sure, there are times where we think, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Whenever a tough decision comes my way, and I wonder if I should take the illogical risk and try it Yoda’s line pops into my head. Don’t try it … just do it. Lis and I “dated” for a year before we were married. We didn’t go into it to try it. We just do it.
“No. I am your father.” – Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
I can’t sneak through a post about our marriage without mentioning our three kids. Yes, Luke, Lia and Lando Levi. Like every parent we have our ups and downs, our good days and our bad. But what makes our marriage tick is the teamwork we put into raising our three merdinhas. Each of them extremely different from the other. Each one extremely similar to the way we once were. Lis’s stubbornness. Kevin’s impatience. Lis’s strength. Kevin’s compassion. The kids have all of these – and more! – but we love them dearly and wouldn’t change one thing about them. Okay, so maybe Lukas can cry less, Lia can ask fewer questions and Levi can be less of a wrecking ball. I guess that’s what makes them unique. I guess that’s what makes us love them.
“Impossible to see the future is.” – Yoda, Star Wars: Episode II – The Attack of the Clones
Lis and I learned this real fast. After we were married, we were sitting in her hot, stuffy apartment in Brazil writing down our five-year plan. Ha! The first kid came four years earlier than expected. Cancer showed up before our first travel experience. We couldn’t dictate the future then and we can’t do it now. Impossible the future is to see.
“If money is all you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.” – Princess Leia, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
We all love money to a certain extent. As the wise Jedi, Zig Ziglar once said, “I’ve had money and not had money and having money is far better.” It’s true. Except the part about Zig Ziglar being a wise Jedi. However, Lis and I learned right away the different stages of having money. After Lis got sick we went from a two income household to one. We cut some unnecessary things and survived. When I was finally making a decent income we decided to leave that and start our own business from scratch. There have been $1,100 months and $4,000 months. We’ve continued to cut down on unnecessary bills. We’ve learned that money doesn’t matter that much to us. Yes, would we rather have some than none – of course, but when people ask me my definition of success it’s to be able to support my family and take them on a vacation once a year (that includes visiting our family in Brazil, which is the price of a small country). That’s all we want to do. Fancy cars, extravagant houses, cable television, a Jedi craves not these things.
“I love you.” – Princess Leia; “I know.” – Han Solo, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
We’re not the kind of couple that holds hands as we skip through Wal-Mart, calls each other “babe” or jumps on Facebook every time we do something nice for each other to profess our love to our “friends.” You won’t hear us repeat any cheesy love quotes from Star Wars: Episode II – The Attack of the Clones. Lines like Anakin’s, “From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you. And now that I’m with you again… I’m in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you. I can’t breathe. I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating… hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me… what can I do?- I will do anything you ask.”
And Padme’s profession, “I truly… deeply… love you and before we die I want you to know.“
Nope. We’re more Leia and Solo, and that’s why Solo’s response to Leia is even more precious to us. We love each other. We make sure to tell each other that every night (or at least the night’s where one of us don’t fall asleep on the couch watching a movie) before we fall asleep. I love her, she loves me; we both know.
“Stay on target.” – Gold Five, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Pretty simple. We’ve made it 11 years and we’re doing fine. Let’s keep on keeping on. Let’s continue to “Stay on target.”
Here’s to another 11 years of staying on target!