I am flattered that Hurricane agreed to let me introduce him to all of you, and remove this last vestige of anonymity in our journey. We have had an interesting couple of weeks since we sent an e-mail to our friends and family and on balance, feel stronger and more sure of our decisions and path than ever. I am eager to begin posting here, and elsewhere, as my true self, with no question of cowardice. I am proud of the way I have handled this situation, I am proud of my loved ones who have been touched by our story and are interested in helping us instead of judging us. Most of all, I am proud of my one-time husband and best friend, Chris Williams.
Rather than bore you with biographical details, I will make this short and simply tell you that Chris is one of the most honest, trustworthy, caring, talented, intelligent, articulate individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Our friendship began over twelve years ago, after we had been acquaintences and "ran in the same circle" for a few years. He had been on a mission, where we had exchanged a few brief mailed words, and we were both attending the University of Utah. One snowy January day in 1994, my family experienced the tragic loss of my two-year-old cousin to congestive heart failure. I had spent many hours with this precious little girl over the course of her short life, and with her parents and siblings, on the roller coaster that only those with a terminal illness can appreciate. On the morning she finally died, I saw her in her father's arms and was distraught. I had, of course, classes scheduled and although I didn't feel like going, something compelled me to campus. Instead of sitting in my class, I simply took my usual path from one building to the next, where I often ran into someone I knew. I thought I would feel better if I could just tell someone what had just happened. Chris was one of the first people I saw, and though he was with a couple of other friends with whom I had a closer relationship, he didn't hesitate to hug me tight and express his sorrow at my loss. From that moment, I knew he was someone I would connect with, and we began to hang out together all the time.
We have recently been able to return to that friendship, but on a deeper and more meaningful level as our relationship was enriched by the ten years we spent as a married couple. Chris and I are committed not only to our children, to our collective future, and to our household as a loving and spiritual home, but to each other as important partners on the journey of life. I have been struggling over the past few months to come up with something we can call each other, something that means not spouse, since we are no longer that, but more than friend, since that is thrown about so casually. We simply cannot invoke the term "ex," as it sounds so bitter... We need a word that conveys the importance of our relationship, the nature of our partnership, while still leaving room for potential spouses for each of us in the future. Chris has taken to calling me "WINO" (Wife In Name Only), but obviously, I think we can do better.
The recent hub-bub over the book and film The Da Vinci Code has thrown the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene into speculation. I don't mean to digress, and I won't, except that some of the confusion seems to stem from a word used to describe Mary Magdalene as Jesus's "companion" in the gospel of St. Phillip. Some have commented that since in Jesus's tongue of Aramaic, the words "companion" and "spouse" are the same, that they must have been married. Some have pointed out that this particular gospel was written in Coptic or Greek, and the word used to describe her was koinonos, which means "religious partner," "friend," or "companion," but NOT spouse. Perhaps we can start using this term, but it doesn't roll off the tongue that easily.
So I don't know what to call myself, and I don't know how to convey to others in simple terms what our relationship means to each of us. Perhaps there will never be a concise way to describe it. I will tell you that I am not the wife or ex-wife of Chris Williams, nor just his friend, but myself, Keri-Kathryn (Fowles) Williams. I can't think of any other name I'd rather have.
It is rather long, however, so on this blog I will be known as "KK." I don't know if Chris plans to continue posting under the name "Hurricane," or if he'll adopt a username closer to his own now that we have no secrets. I invite anyone who wants to post here to be as courageous as we have been, and let us know who you are and if you are personally acquainted with us. Friends, come out of the closet.