Since Aaron has passed away, I've been trying to tell the boys a lot more about what he was like when we first met. Jay often laughs about things I tell him. The main thing that stood out to me when I first met Aaron was that he just seemed different to all the other guys at church. He obviously was, but it was in a good way. He loved all things American and was obsessed with NBA basketball, NFL, hip hop and rap music and wore really trendy clothes (for those days anyway!).
After saying that Valentine's Day wasn't a big deal, it was actually the day that Aaron proposed to me...all those years ago, in 1995. He was definitely the one who was the most romantic in our relationship.
We had talked about getting married, so I knew that he was going to propose sometime and had a suspicion that it was going to be on Valentine's Day (he was romantic at times, but also not that great at keeping a secret!). I was only 20 and he was 22, but we knew that we wanted to be together forever.
We ended up going to Hollybank Forest for Valentines Day for a picnic tea. He was so nervous, so it was obvious that he was going to propose. I think I bought him something unromantic like a baseball cap for Valentine's Day which he loved, and then he asked me if I was ready for my present and he got down on one knee and told me to open my hand and shut my eyes.
When I opened my eyes up he had placed an open box with my engagement ring in it. I looked at it and then looked at him and he said 'will you!?'. We joked about it for years because he never actually said the words 'will you marry me?' When he was trying to act cool and make jokes about wishing we didn't get married, he would say silly things like 'I meant 'will you cook me tea?'.
We were married on the 23rd November, 1995 in the Sydney temple and had a reception at home two days later.
We used to spend a lot of time just hanging out doing the things we loved like just shooting the basketball around together. Aaron used to hate it that I used to beat him at 'horse' and every Saturday we would have another play off.
Having four years together before we had the boys meant that we had a lot of time with each other, and we really grew to be best friends. Our relationship was one where we could just muck around and stir each other and loved to have a laugh together, but we also told each other that we loved each other, every single day. Aaron would often tell me numerous times a day, and it became a big joke when I was out as he would text me or ring me and want to chat and tell me he loved me, even though we had just seen each other half an hour before.
Over the last week I've had fun going through lots of old photos and they've made me smile as I've remembered how silly he was, and how much fun he was to be around. He had the best sense of humour and we used to pretend that we hated his silly 'Dad jokes' that he would make, but deep down we loved them.
How spunky did we look going off to the Make a Wish ball to talk about the wish that Noah was granted!
I remember so well the feelings I had this day. It was our first time alone over night in ten years as we flew to Melbourne for one night to see Pink in concert. We were so nervous about leaving Noah,, but so excited and had the best time in Melbourne -even if it was just for about 15 hours.
We loved working together with the youth from church, and loved being able to help plan and go to fun activities with them. Aaron always loved acting like a kid himself, which is why he got along so well with teenagers. This was him 'turning me on' at the 'T' dance.
I'll never forget when he stole the show when we did a little skit at another youth dance which was Disney theme. We were 'Sharpay and Ryan' from High School Musical. Aaron was totally into it.
Having Noah meant that we couldn't do the things that many other couples take for granted - things like just leaving the boys with anyone so we could go out, but we learnt as time went on how important it was to make time for each other and our relationship became better, because of Noah.
When Noah passed away our lives felt so empty. Aaron found it extremely hard and these photos just show how different we both were afterwards. We have smiles on our faces, but they aren't like before. It's like the light in our life had gone and it was so hard to see Aaron like that, because he really just missed Noah so much.New Years Eve - just 26 days before Aaron passed away.
Mum and Dad took the three boys for us for two nights. We hadn't had that much time alone together, since before Jalen was born. It kind of felt like the old days when we used to play basketball together on the weekends. It was so nice just being the two of us. It was just 13 days before Aaron passed away.
We were still so sad that Noah wasn't with us, but it kind of felt like a turning point for us. Aaron seemed to be dealing with it a lot better, and we could see that we had a lot to look forward to in the future, like having more nights on our own without the boys :)
Oh how I wish that we had more than 13 more days on earth together. I know we will be together again but it's so hard to live without him until then. I'm missing my valentine so much.