Dancing in the minefields
by Jennifer Cohron
May 29, 2011 | 1739 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Cohron
Jennifer Cohron
Zac and I were doing chores together not long ago when he blurted out, "I had a dream last night that I was hunting elephants in Cordova."

I've heard about quite a few of Zac's crazy dreams in our two years of marriage, which is what we are celebrating tomorrow. Zac the Elephant Hunter is probably my favorite so far.

Just the thought of him in camo pants cracks me up.

If it were my dream, I'd probably try to find some hidden meaning in it so I would feel a little less insane.

Zac doesn't feel the need to defend his dreams, though. He just shares them with me so we can both have a big laugh.

I started today's column with this story because it reminds me of our relationship.

I can't explain our love. Zac and I are perfect for each other only because our being together makes no sense at all.

I had no intention of becoming Zac's wife when we dated the first time in the summer of 2004.

I was just hanging out with him and blowing off steam while I was waiting to start my freshman year of college.

We went to see "Shrek 2" for our first date. As Zac remembers it, we actually went as friends. Then he worked up the nerve to hold my hand and all bets were off.

That's why "Accidentally in Love," the opening song of "Shrek 2," was playing at our wedding as Zac and I walked off the ball field hand in hand.

It actually was an accident when we said "I love you" to each other for the first time.

One night I whispered "I really like you" in Zac's ear as he was giving me a good-bye hug. He heard something different and responded "I love you."

I then said "I love you too," more out of shock than sincerity.

I can't say if we really loved each other back then. If so, it was a naive kind that taught us how it felt to fall for another person but certainly wasn't strong enough to overcome the fault lines in our relationship.

However, when I thought about Zac during the four years we spent apart, our problems weren't what came to mind.

All I could remember were the sweet and simple moments from that summer with him when I felt most alive.

Like that Fourth of July night we spent talking and watching fireworks from the back of his truck. He asked me where I thought I'd be in five years. As it turned out, I was his wife.

The best thing that happened to the Zac and Jennifer of 2004 was that they broke up.

I drove to his house one day convinced that I didn't want him in my life anymore. When he opened the door, I wanted to hug him instead of hurt him.

I went through with it anyway. My warped teenage mind wanted him to beg me to stay. He let me walk away, so I did.

I've shared the rest of the story before.

We reconnected via e-mail during my senior year at UAB. Less than a week later, Miss Straight-A student ditched my first class ever and ran into Zac in the crosswalk on the way back to my car.

We got engaged two months later.

That was kind of an accident too. We were sitting in Zac's room talking about a future in which we were already husband and wife. Then Zac stopped and said, "Does this mean we're engaged, or do you want me to ask you first?"

Next came the seven words that changed our lives -- "Jennifer Marie Williams, will you marry me?"

It didn't matter that he didn't have a ring. All I cared about was the question, and all he wanted was my answer.

So I looked deep into the eyes of my first and only love and I said, "Yes."

I know two years of marriage isn't really that long, but Zac and I have had plenty of ups and downs already.

However, no storm whether personal or literal will ever make me go back on 'til death do us part.

Loving Zac is as easy as breathing. It's life that gets hard sometimes.

Luckily, I married a man who knows how to make me smile even on my worst day and can leave me speechless with his sweetness when I least expect it.

One night we were joking about something that I've already forgotten and I said to him, "Is that the kind of girl you want?"

"I want whatever kind of girl you want to be" was his honest reply.

On our second anniversary, Zac and I have become the couple in my new favorite song about love -- "We're dancing in the minefields. We're sailing in the storm. This is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for."