When I first set eyes on you 39 years ago, I didn’t know what love was. I thought I did. At 21, on my own for the first time, recovering from a broken engagement, I’d been disappointed in love too many times to chance it again. That first girls night out was the beginning of a new stage in my life—playing the field. No way was I going to get involved in another relationship. I was flying high and free. And that’s the way I wanted it to be.
Then you joined our table.
You stood out from the crowd—but it wasn’t your 6 ft. 4 in. lanky frame or bearded face or wavy hair that fell almost to your shoulders that drew me to you. It was your eyes—blue eyes that twinkled when you smiled. And you smiled a lot that night. You’re the only one I remember dancing with. You and what’s his name.
What’s his name asked me out for Friday night. But the best part of that date—I was playing the field, remember?—was running into you. Suddenly a humdrum evening sparkled like those blue eyes of yours. The next evening we were out with the crowd again, and this time you and I were together. I felt safe with you.
Our first date was one week after my date with what’s his name. You took me to see Deliverance. I hated it. But I loved being with you. After you took me home, we sat on the sofa in my second floor apartment eating White House ice cream. You fed me the cherries from yours.
“That’s the man I’m going to marry,” I announced to myself the next morning. So much for playing the field.
Over the next few weeks, we became an item, and my feelings for you grew so fast it scared me. So I broke up with you.
That was Friday night. By Sunday evening, I knew I’d made a big mistake. That was before the days of cell phones. I didn’t even have your home number. I didn’t even know where you lived, except way out of town in a village called Smithport.
I’d left the window shades up and the lights on all weekend—our signal that I was home—but you didn’t stop by. You didn’t call. So Sunday evening I went looking for you—and found you at a restaurant not far out of town.
“I don’t know how this will end up,” I told you. “But however it does, I know I’d rather have you in my life than spend my days without you. This weekend was horrible.”
Later—years later, after we were married—you told me it was a quirk you were in the restaurant. “It wasn’t a place I usually went on Sunday evening.”
That day was a turning point in my life—I decided to take a chance on love.
And I’m so glad I did.
Thank you, Lord, of the love of a lifetime. Amen.
|Dean and me, May 1973|
Special-Tea: Read 1Corinthians 13