Jake and I went to Parowan High School together, but I wouldn't call us "high school sweethearts". The people Jake and I were in high school are not the people that got married two months ago. We're not those same people today. That's the important thing about who you marry. You start to change each other without even realizing it. For example, I'm a worrier. I'm naturally high strung. I over analyze everything and it keeps from enjoying myself sometimes. Jake's favorite response to any of my worries is, "Don't worry about it". At first, it bothered me. How could he not worry about the bills we need to pay or about the test I have in Communication Theory on Friday. How could he not worry about our careers and our future plans and this whole huge life we have to live ahead of us. I was jealous. I wished I could stop worrying. Though I haven't stopped, I experienced a breakthrough.
A few weeks ago Jake and I made our way to St. George to watch our brothers play basketball. It was a split second decision. So Jake and I hopped in his 1998 Saturn SW2. We were already late for the game, but thought we could make at least the last half. As we neared Hurricane, Jake's muffler fell off. His car became so loud my teeth shook. We had to drive on the right shoulder of the freeway before we could get off, and slowly made our way to the game. I was mad. I hated the car. Seriously Steve! (Jake named it Steve). We have so many other things to deal with this month and now we have to stick a car on the list! As I sat in my frustration we pulled up to the high school in silence. Jake turned the car off, we could finally hear our own thoughts, and he burst into uncontrollable laughter. I couldn't help it, I did too. "Don't worry about it" he said. And I didn't. Everyone could hear us coming whenever we took the car, but I didn't worry. I laughed.
When I was little my Grandpa Townsend and I wrote letters to each other when we didn't live close. He'd send me a note on a yellow piece of lined paper with a dollar in the envelope. I always responded with something like, "I love you Grandpa. I hope I get to come to Parowan soon". In lieu of a dollar I would draw a hand turkey whether it was Thanksgiving time or not. As I got older I realized what an amazing example my Grandpa and Grandma are of strong, lasting marriage. Their legacy has encouraged all 5 of their children to find their eternal companions and marry them. That legacy inspired my parents and has now inspired me. I married my sweetheart because they married theirs, and they are so happy.
Last weekend was my grandpa's 70th birthday. He wanted all of us together for a party. My parents, aunts, and uncles decided to plan a "fake prom" in his honor. We rented the high school commons area, and decorated it according to our theme, Elvis Presley's "I can't help falling in love". All of us asked and answered our spouses just like high school and dressed up in formal attire for the party. I got to go to a high school dance with my sweetheart, which I never thought would happen. My sister Shelbey got footage of the whole thing and created a video our family will keep to remember the occasion.
As we danced in our old high school surrounded by my favorite couples, I was overcome with the same feeling I had when Jake laughed in the face of the lost muffler. "Don't worry about it". So I didn't. I didn't worry about anything. I sang, danced, and held my sweetheart close. I couldn't help falling in love again with him that night. Some things are just meant to be. My happy wife life with Jake happens to be one of those things.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!