We met on the 26th of April, in McDonald’s of all places. I was in line in front of him, and ordered “My Usual” ... (oatmeal); He was behind me assessing me from the ground up ... jeans, pony tail, the voice, and then his turn where he ordered “my usual” as well (sausage McMuffin), and turned to look at me sideways, and said “wow” to himself. We had to stand aside and wait for our food; I noticed his AZ hat and said “where about in AZ?” Then our food orders were called, and we got them, and he asked “Would you like to have breakfast with me”, and I said okay, and we did.
About the first or second thing out of his mouth was “I’ve been married before and I’m never getting married again”. (God Laughed). I said I’d like to do things and go places but I won’t do it alone (his feelings to a T). He asked if he might have my phone number to call me, and I gave him a business card, then thinking “good grief, you gave him the one that says you’re a pastor, that’s the last you’ll hear from HIM”,.. but he simply asked for my first name.
I left to go do bookkeeping at a local restaurant; He stopped by my house on the excuse of helping me with the 50 pound bag of corn cobs in my trunk, but I wasn’t there. He tried a second time, but then left for Detroit, as it was the third anniversary of his daughter’s death, and he was going to pay his respects.
Sunday I went to Wal-mart to get a simple silver bracelet. I had a bracelet with silver bells, but lost it, and was in the process of making a new one. The only one available had a disk on it that said “Hope”.
Sunday evening he called and asked if he could “stop by” on his way home, and I said yes, so he did. He said he’d been thinking about me a lot, and wanted to get to know me better. He showed me two fortunes (from fortune cookies) he’d gotten that night: One of them said “You’re about to receive one of life’s most precious gifts, Hope”. The other was “you’ll be pleasantly surprised soon”.
He asked if I would be interested in dinner/movie ... and we made a date for the next evening. After dinner/movie, he took me home, and as an afterthought, ducked his head and kissed me chastely before he left.
Tuesday he took me to see his house in Greenbush (19 acres, wooded, ponds, hills, flat lands). I fell in love with it. He said he was developing “strong feelings” for me. In the mean time he started fixing things around my house, because the greatest satisfaction he has is making a positive difference in someone else’s life. (direct quote).
By Thursday he was head over heels ... a week later, he asked very firmly, “will you marry me”, and I said yes. We’ve been together ever since. May 24, our one month’s anniversary, we stood in the kitchen and said our vows to each other, and exchanged rings that read “I am my beloved’s and she/he is mine”.
Both of us feel God was behind all this, as the things that happened in the sequence they happened was just too much to be chance.
I feel cherished, loved, respected, treasured ... and I feel a whole lot of things I’ve never felt before. We’ve taken each other to places neither of us have ever been. After a quick trip west, we turned around and went to PA for him to meet my family. I was anxious about that, not sure what the kids would think. But the one I expected to be the hardest to sell wasn't, and really bonded with him. When we left, of her own accord she reached for him and hugged him, and told him to take care of mom.
For once it’s on my terms, and his, and they are the same. It’s not on the heels of some other failed relationship.
I’m happy. Simply, completely, refreshingly happy.
SO, in a year and a day, we’ll make it official.