25 years

25 years ago I met my family, my best friends and my love of a lifetime. I was 13 years old and had no idea that the start of high school would be the beginning of a

life worth living.

So much has happened in those years. so many things have changed, but one thing has remained constant. My love for Edward. That love has never faltered.

I thank God, that Alice saw something in me, on that first day of school. Something worthwhile..someone worthwhile.

After Edward proposed, we finished the school year apart. It was a necessity, but once completed and he came home we were inseparable.

We started at U of M in the fall and were finally able to be together every day.

There was a trial for Jacob Black. Others had come forward against him as well, and with Seth's testimony against him, well it was a done deal. With much

satisfaction we heard his sentence and celebrated. Finally closing the book on that chapter of my life.

Edward and I agreed to wait until I finished school to marry. As soon as I graduated and passed my law exam and boards we took the plunge. I was 23 and Edward

25. Alice was my maid of honor with Rosalie a bridesmaid. Jasper was best man, Emmett a groomsman. Rose and Em's twins, Jordyn and Joshua, just turned three,

were the flower girl and ring bearer.

Alice wanted a big, huge, fancy wedding. Edward and I...not so much. It ended up being a very small, intimate affair, because, let's face it, I had nobody to invite. I

had no one and came from no one. Carlisle walked me down the aisle.

It was a beautiful wedding, even if it did rain. The ceremony was short. The reception fun. The food divine. The flowers beautiful. My husband perfect. Edward and I

danced all night. I dedicated "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top, to him, and he dedicated "Brown Eyed Girl" by Roy Orbison to me.

Our honeymoon we spent in Toronto. We went to see Phantom of the Opera at the renowned Pantages Theater. We also went to the Toronto Zoo, Canada's

Wonderland, Toronto Science Center and the Hockey Hall of Fame. And yes, we spent a good amount of time in our room, consummating our marriage.

Edward was doing his residence at U of M Motts Children Hospital in Ann Arbor, as he had specialized in pediatric oncology. I got a job as a pharmacist and we bought a house in the town of South Lyon, MI.

We had planned on waiting a couple of years before even trying for a baby. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Edward had just started in private practice when our son made his entrance to the world.

Anthony Jon Cullen, or A.J. as we called him, 8 pounds 8 ounces 20 1/2 inches long of beautiful bouncing boy. A total towhead. Don't know where he got that from,

but he had Edward's beautiful green eyes. A.J. was born on a cold, blustery day in January, and brought 11 inches of snow with him. I was 25 and Edward 27.

We were a happy family of three, hoping to add to our family in the near future when I became ill.

Nothing too serious, thankfully, just my gall bladder needed out. I was being prepped for surgery when the doctor performing the operation informed me I was

pregnant, but because of all the pain killers, antibiotics, nuclear medicine and x-rays, would have to have the pregnancy terminated as soon as possible, or risk a

severely retarded and malformed child.

After being released from the hospital, we consulted with my OB/GYN.

Edward and I decided to have faith in God and trust that if our child had special needs that we would have the strength and ability to take care of it.

We went forward with the pregnancy.

I had two miscarriage scares during my pregnancy. Bleeding and cramping and late nights in the E.R. And still we went forward.

At the end of April I gave birth to our daughter, Paige Marie Cullen. 9 pounds 10 ounces 22 inches long. 10 perfect fingers, 10 perfect toes, long brown hair, and big

green eyes. No birth defects at all. Our miracle baby. I was 28 Edward 30.

Once both A.J. and Paige were in school full-time, I went back to work. I didn't have to, but I loved what I did. I was 34, Edward 36.

Of course Edward and I have had our ups and downs in our relationship. What couple hasn't. But we have always managed to go to bed each night, still loving each

other, apologies made, problem resolved.

Our life together has been everything a girl could dream of. More than I thought I would have or deserve.

I still have no contact with Renée or Charlie. I don't even know if they are dead or alive, and to be honest, I don't care. I have no desire to find them, or know them.

My children are better off without them.

Alice and Jasper married a couple of months after Edward and I. Unfortunately Alice was never able to conceive. They ended up adopting two children. A girl, Mai,

from Taiwan, and a boy, Sergei, from Russia. They live a couple of blocks away from us, and we do everything together.

Rose and Emmett have reproduced like rabbits. The have seven kids. Their first set of twins, Jordyn and Joshua, Kaitlyn, Ashlyn, Austin and another set of twins

Lucas and Samuel. They also live in South Lyon, but on the other side of town, about three miles from us.

Carlisle and Esme live in a condo outside of South Lyon, so they can be close to their grandbabies.

Today, my son A.J. is starting high school. That's why I took this stroll down memory lane...knowing that today, is the first day of the rest of his life. I don't know if

he will make any new or important friends. If he will meet his future wife, or if it will be just another day for him.

Both of my children were wanted and loved. Adored and spoiled before I even laid eyes on them. They will never experience the rejection I did. I did learn one

valuable lesson from the idiots who gave me life. They taught me how NOT to act. How NOT to parent. My children have friends and cousins and grandparents and

parents that think they are the world.

Their futures are bright.

Life is good.

With my Love of a Lifetime.

A/N Thank you so much for reading my story. I have a new one started and have posted the first chapter. It's called Hearts on Fire. You can click on my name to access the story or her is the story id. Thank you again for reading and reviewing. I hoped you enjoyed my first attempt at writing...and hopefully I will get better.