Story Submitted by Janice Nepon-Sixt

I was seven and a half months pregnant…I spent the night searching out the window, and finally crying myself to sleep. It was New Year’s Eve. And, my husband had stood me up. It was pretty much down from there. After our son was born, I begged him to do counseling with me, but he refused. Well…I refused to settle for anything less than the intimate partnership I so longed for- so believed in. I had left my first marriage with my childhood sweetheart when the reality turned out to be brutal, and now I realized with despair that my dreams would never be realized in this second marriage. And so I got divorced AGAIN. And, it was ROUGH- That New Year’s Eve found me in a shouting match with my soon to be ex-husband. This was so far from the happy marriage of my parents. Once prone on the bedroom floor I asked myself, well Janice are you going to kill yourself?…NO…then get up- do the first thing. And so I did. I moved forward, and the year passed with me as my son’s primary caregiver. I still yearned for romance. I was now thirty years old. And, it was New Year’s Eve again! This year, I was one of those people you hear about DETERMINED to have a good time on NY’s Eve. So, I went to not one, not two, but THREE NY’s Eve parties. And at the third one, as the song “Some Enchanted Evening” says, I saw a stranger (sing) across a crowded room. He was tall with long, sandy hair… a mustache. He had on a white-collar shirt and a black vest. And, like the song says, I flew to his side. Well, in this case, I joined ALL the women, lining up to give HIM a NY’s Eve kiss! When it was my turn I said, “Couldn’t I have one of those?” Well, turns out, he had noticed me too. He saw me talking earlier to a mutual male friend and thought I was with him. At the time, I had short salt and pepper hair. I was wearing a white pants suit with a navy blue turtleneck; everyone else was wearing jeans, including him. He happily obliged with a sweet kiss. Well, that was 31 years ago this New Year’s Eve. And, that was JERRY. And, we have been married for over 28 years. In that time, we have faced some of the biggest stressors people CAN face: We’ve raised two sons, with all the inherent ups and downs; we moved cross country without jobs, we’ve dealt with financial difficulties; drug addiction; death. But, we have a passionate, connected, intimate, fun relationship. Last year, Jerry converted to Judaism. In August, on our 28th anniversary, we had our Jewish wedding with a full ceremony, dinner dance, and even a family show. And on this New Year’s Eve, Jerry and I will celebrate again, not only the beginning of the New Year, but the anniversary of the beginning of our wonderful life together.