I think it's time I told you about the best thing (short of my salvation) that has ever happened to me. That would be my sweet hubby of 23+ years. He was (and is) a gift from a loving Father, and I am eternally grateful that God made things happen so we could meet and eventually fall in love and marry all those years ago.
February, 1984 - I was almost 32 years old, single, working full time and had moved back home to help my parents out while my dad had triple bypass surgery and recuperated. Back in 1984 that surgery was a much bigger deal than it is today, although I know it's still a big deal, but there have been so many technical advances since then.
Anyway, my dad had just had his surgery, and I was lonely as could be! One Saturday I was sitting in my parents living room floor watching TV and reading the Creative Loafing newspaper, wishing I could go to some of those places and have some fun, but there was no one with whom to go. Did I mention I was lonely??? So, a commercial came on TV for Together Dating Service, I laughed, said something like 'yeah, right!' and turned back to the newspaper, turned the page and lo and behold! there was a 1/2 page ad for that very same dating service! Once again, I laughed and turned the page. But . . . . .
By Monday I had talked my self into just calling them and finding out what they were all about. On Tuesday I paid them a visit and wrote a check for what was a huge chunk of money for a single working girl! If I remember right it was somewhere between $300 and $400, thank goodness my income tax refund had just come in! I was broke, but cautiously excited.
Within 2 or 3 weeks I started getting these little slips of paper with mens names and phone numbers on them. Being the girl raised in the 1950's and 60's, I couldn't bring myself to make the first call, but that was okay because some of the guys called, and we went out - always only one date, though. There was the guy who wasn't over the death of his late wife. There was the bus mechanic who 'knew' he was too cute for me. There was the redneck in the 'Starsky and Hutch' car, decorated on the inside with pom-pom fringe around the windows and holographic contact paper on the dashboard. And there was the Japanese American doctor who was so nice, but had absolutely zero sense of humor. Most everyone called, except this one guy who never called. I kept thinking maybe I should call him, but would always just stick his slip of paper in the corner, hoping he would call.
And he finally did! But not because he wanted to! He was recently (about 1 year) divorced and had sold his home, moved in with a friend while looking for a new place, then moved into his new condo. Somehow the postal service had done their job and my info had followed him all the way. But when he saw my address - what seemed like a hundred miles (but in actuality was about 25), he decided he wouldn't call me - I lived too far. But for some reason he couldn't throw away that piece of paper. Like me, he would stick it in the corner and wait a while, then try to throw it away again. But he never could!
Eventually he called me and we talked and talked on the phone. Then we set a date for a Sunday afternoon at one of my favorite restaurants. I was excited - he sounded so nice! But comes the day of our date and my brother decides to bring home his fiance to meet the family. I called my date and explained and we rescheduled our date for the following Thursday night. I was bummed, but at least he was understanding and willing to postpone.
April 11, 1984 - Come Thursday night I, dressed in my best 8o's business suit, drove up to the mall where we were meeting. I sat on a seat in front of the mall and waited. Finally, here he comes. Hey, he's cute! We introduced ourselves and headed into the mall. The plan was to walk around the mall a time or two and then go get some dinner. By the second time around the mall we were holding hands. Before long we decided to sit on a bench and decide where to go for dinner.
Fast forward several hours later . . . we are still on that same bench, still talking, and they are literally sweeping under our feet and strongly suggesting we should leave the mall. We had been sitting there for over three hours!He walked me to my car out in the parking lot, admired my car, and I don't have a clue how long we stood there and talked, but ours were some of the last of the cars in the parking lot. Before we parted, we had at least 3 dates planned, and the possibility of me joining him and some friends on a trip to the beach in August - four months in the future.
I honestly do not know how I made it home that night! Don't have a clue, God must have definitely been my co-pilot that night, because I got there safely.
We started seeing each other regularly, like several times a week, and after only two weeks of knowing each other, he told me he loved me. Being the practical minded gal that I am, I explained how very much I cared about him, but I'd never been here before (relationship wise), and I wasn't ready to say those three little words - yet! Before long he gave me my very own key to his condo, and I would go straight there from work and either watch tv or, as the summer progressed, put on my bathing suit and go up to the pool and wait for him to join me. Life was good, and I wasn't lonely any more.
Finally I decided what I was feeling really WAS love, so I bought him a pretty card, wrote my feelings inside, telling him I loved him, went to his condo after work and changed into my swim suit, locked up, left the card leaning against the door, went to the pool and waited, and waited, and waited. When he finally came up, he was still in his work clothes, and his face was as white as his long sleeved white shirt. I asked him if he was okay and he said yeah and asked if I was okay.
Yeah, sure, did you get my card?
Yeah, are you sure everything's okay? he asked again.
I said yes, and asked what's wrong.
He said, you're not breaking up with me are you?
I was confused, to say the least! I said no, did you get the card I left for you?
He said yes, getting kind of perturbed about the stupid card.
I said, did you read it???
Well, what did it say???
Ummmm, huhhhhh . . .
It said I love you you idiot! Do you actually think I would break up with you in a card, with my car in your parking space and my clothes and purse in your house and me up here playing in your pool??? Huh????
The color slowly started coming back and he grinned sheepishly, reached down and kissed me and said "Wanna go get something to eat?"
That was in June of 1984. On December 30th we got engaged, and July 20th of the following year we got married. And I can honestly say, though we've had troubles and we each have had our 'moments', our love has only grown deeper and stronger and I cannot imagine living my life without him.
God's hand, unseen to us at the time, worked things out so that two people who were lonely and unhappy could meet, fall in love, and make a life together. Now we gratefully acknowledge God's part in our story, because we know that we most surely would never have met without His help. So today, the thing I am grateful for, is my sweet, stubborn, loving husband. I love you Winnie! Everyone have a great day, Becky