During my Freshmen year of high school, I met a tall, dark, and handsome young man at my friend’s house. He rode with her boyfriend over to her house that afternoon, and that was when we were first introduced. Both of us were shy back then so hardly a word was spoken, but we were secretly checking each other out.
By the end of the night, numbers were exchanged, and he began calling my house. Still as shy as ever, though, he had very little to say when he would call.
Months went by, but I never forgot this young man.
When I was with another of my friends, she was inviting her boyfriend over so I called him. Much to my surprise, he raced over to see me that night. It appeared that he dropped everything, and later he told me that he did, indeed, race over to see me as he got a speeding ticket on the way. Oh my!
I remember sitting under the stars that night on the hood of his 1969 Camaro. It had a dull white paint job at that point, and to be honest, I was not too excited about the sports car. It just looked like an old fixer upper to me.
Later that evening, more friends arrived and we went riding around with them. This young man and I held hands for the first time, and that night I had my very first kiss.
I have fond memories of our time together. I also remember going to school and writing his name all over my notebooks. I’m sure all school girls have done that with their “crush.”
Being incredibly shy again without much to talk about, and seeming as if we didn’t have much in common back then, we went our separate ways in life. My thoughts would wander back to him from time to time, and one year I saw in the newspaper that his grandmother passed away. I sent a card to him offering my condolences.
The years went by, and we both went on with our lives. I got married and had a beautiful baby girl. Sadly, that marriage ended in divorce due to my ex husband’s infidelities. And I vowed never to love again. The heartache and pain just was not worth it.
In the mist of all of the chaos that divorce brings, when I felt so low, so down, and so unloved …
This gentlemen was thinking of me as evident by a letter he wrote and mailed to the only address he knew for me, my parent’s address.
One evening, my parents and I were talking on the phone when my mom mentioned “some letter” I received at their address. They gave it to me the next time we were together, and much to my surprise … it was from my tall, dark, and handsome “first love.”
It appeared that as my thoughts wandered to him through the years, he, too, was thinking of me!
I held the letter in my hands for a long time before deciding whether to write him back. I told myself that it would just be light conversation and nothing would come of this.
Over the next couple of weeks, we would share more handwritten letters through the mail before exchanging email addresses and ultimately phone numbers.
I was very honest with him and upfront about the divorce I was going through. I’m sure he did not want to hear it, but I was honest with him, too, about my lack of desire of getting anything started with any one ever again! Yet, he hung around. He continued to call and pursue me despite my trying to discourage him from doing so. There were many conversations with him that began with him just checking on me, but my ex husband had just pulled another of his stunts that upset me so I had zero desire to be with another man at that point or EVER! This man would laugh as I ranted with him on the phone, and then say that he’d try me back another day.
And … he did.
He pursued me for two years! Now tell me, wouldn’t anyone else have lost interest by then? I would think so! But, not him!
One day after my divorce was final, he called to ask if I would go on a date with him. Feeling as if I was launching my “anti-man campaign” all over again, I declined.
Do you think he gave up? Nope!
I would check my mail box to find a random card that he sent because he was “thinking of me.” Or, flowers would be delivered to my office “just because.” There was even a time that he made me a key lime pie – now who does that ladies?? No one but this man! What’s bad is that I opened the door to find him standing there with his arms stretched out holding the jewel that was my pie, and I said thank you as I quickly took the pie and closed the door not allowing him to come inside!
Even still, he would give me a little space then come back around. I remember asking my dad WHY wouldn’t this man just give up? My dad said that this guy obviously knew a good thing when he saw it — thanks, Daddy, but you’re supposed to say that! 🙂
When I would talk to my mom about it, she would get this look on her face, smile, and say, “You’re going to marry him one day.” I would protest LOUDLY … and she would just laugh.
Then one day, he asked me why I would not give him a chance. Truth be told, I was devastated by the divorce. A man that promised to love me and my daughter forever threw us in the trash when he went to another woman. That pain, that devastation, that heartache wasn’t something I could easily get over. I certainly wasn’t interested in getting back into a situation where I would give my heart to someone for it to be broken so I resisted as much as I possibly could! I wanted no part of “love.” Ah, but love is a beautiful thing, and it will surprise you when you least expect it!
He was practically begging me at one point, “I just want you to know who I am …” he said. I shook my head not willing to allow it. Then he asked if I would listen to the song, “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Back then, I was not a big fan, but I decided to give it a listen … and I am so glad I did. The chorus of that song really got to me, and I realized that I had not given him a fair chance. I had not gotten to know him, truly know him and invest in him like he was trying to invest in me.
I weakened …
That song spoke to my heart and softened it. The words of that song forced those walls to come tumbling down, and at that moment … I decided to let him into my world.
We married two years later. My mom was RIGHT! I DID end up marrying him after all!
Although we have had some struggles along the way and have had to deal with things that most couples never encounter, we will be celebrating 13 years together at the end of the month! We now have TWO beautiful girls – he took my daughter from my first marriage in as his very own, and God blessed us with another daughter two years after we were married!
I have come to know in my heart that love truly is a beautiful thing!
(And would you believe that he KEPT the letter I sent after his grandma’s passing? He still has it to this very day! And that 1969 Camaro I mentioned? We drive it to the classic car club that we are now members of! Things just have a way of working out if we let them … don’t they? 🙂 )