14 years ago a shy, young football player and wrestler from an opposing school team bravely approached me during my night shift as hostess/cashier at a local Shoney’s restaurant. He patiently waited until I was caught up seating crazy late night NASCAR diners, taking phone orders, and tallying up payment for meals. I smiled and greeted him politely as I would any other diner, although I had a hunch he had seen me scoping him out from behind the kitchen door while he sat at a table with his friends.
Being the Southern gentleman, he didn’t mention it-but looked me directly in the eyes-gave a sweet smile, and softly asked if I’d like to go out sometime. Heart pounding, cheeks burning, and maybe a little bit of stomach fluttering going on, I tamped down my optimism quickly and agreed to a date. I tore off a piece of receipt paper and gained my wits enough to play it moderately cool. Scribbling my name and number down, that was the first time he read anything I had written. I told him it had been great meeting him and I looked forward to his call.
Throughout the years, for better and worse……and nearly rock bottom, this man has stood by my side. From the beginning he understood my shoddy view on relationships and that I didn’t want to start a family for a long while because of it. As I gained the freshman 15++ poundage and cried outside the mall knowing most every stylish pant size in the stores there wouldn’t fit anymore, he wiped away my tears, gave a tender kiss, and told me I was beautiful. We both agreed the fucking mall was overpriced anyway. He was accepting of my undomesticated ways, understanding I needed a huge learning curve when it came to house, home, and family responsibilities. When it came time to reunite with my estranged Dad, he drove me to my Dad’s house, walked beside me as a calm reassurance, and understood I had to reach closure on my own.
Although I went through postpartum depression and felt so utterly alone, he now proofreads those dark memories I’ve written about and leaves his ego in the closet. Most recently, when I got off my depression meds and realized I wanted to live boldly leaving no stone unturned to pursue my dream as a romance writer, he ruefully admitted he enjoys the bold, new me.
Throughout it all he has been an unshakable rock of non-judgmental love and understanding. Not being a romantic himself by far, he stole my heart from the first with his courage, persistence, and quiet strength. I recently read his Facebook “About” shpill and it humbled me to know this man ‘o mine thinks of me as his prize.
Today I just want to shout to the world I’M THE LUCKY ONE and HE’S MY PRIZE. Through thick and thin…then thick again 😉 lol — This one’s a forever kind of love. #72, you are my #1.
HAPPY 11 YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, MY LOVE – HERE’S TO SEVERAL MORE
“It’s Your Love” by Tim Mcgraw & Faith Hill
Listen To It —- HERE