There are days it feels like forever. There are days it feels like yesterday. We are blessed that there are more days like the later than the former. He’s my biggest fan and my best friend. We’ve laughed, argued and loved through good times, bad times, two kids, dogs and an empty nest.
First some history. I first saw my husband at a friend’s wedding shortly after I moved to Florida. He was really cute. I also met his sister and we became fast friends. We both LOVE reading romance, still do.
I saw him some months later at a church service. By this time, I had lots of friends and was having a ball. Getting out of the small town where everyone knew me, was fun. He was up on the stage tearing down some audio-video equipment for a church service we held at a college that day. He was adorable: blonde hair, lean, athletic build and these twinkling hazel eyes. I walked up to him, said hi and kissed him. I couldn’t help myself! He offered me a flower from one of the arrangements on the stage with a puzzled look on his face. He had a great smile, but I could tell he didn’t know who the hell I was.
About a month later, I was on one of those youth trips that involved a long bus ride. We were going to Georgia from Florida. I sat with his sister, Pam, and another friend and we talked about Mr. P. I wanted a date. I was never one to sit and wait for something to happen. I had to make it happen. So my friends and I concocted this scheme. I’d write a letter about the weekend and put my phone number in it. Not only did I put my number, but made sure he knew I was available 24 hours a day – for him. Yeah, I was that girl. On the last day of the trip when Pam and I parted ways for our different homes, she dared me to give her the letter to pass to Mr. P. I’m southern. I can’t pass up a dare. I handed her the letter.
He called. We talked on the phone and agreed to meet at his brother’s wedding: our first date. This was May 1981. We went to dinner and walked the beach. He was romantic and fun. He could kiss like a dream. I was hooked. The day of the wedding, we spent the entire reception together, in his car. I could not get enough. I was addicted.
From that moment, we were inseparable. By this time I was living in Orlando with a new job and he was in West Palm Beach. He visited me every single weekend. We talked on the phone all the time. He sent me roses for my birthday. We went to Disney together and then dinner with friends to celebrate their wedding anniversary. That night he proposed that I make an honest man out of him. Well, to be honest, we had both had a few too many drinks. I had to ask him if he was serious. He took me ring shopping.
Within three months we were married and we’ve never looked back. We’ve been through tough times and fun times. We’ve raised two incredible boys. There were a couple of times I wanted to kick him out and change the locks. I know he’s had more than a few of those as well. I suck at housekeeping and he’s a neat freak.
In the 32 years that we’ve been together, I have definitely received much more than I’ve given. Mr. P. has believed in me, pushed me to do better. He has made me a better person. He lets me go after my dreams and is there to cheer when I succeed and hug me when I fail. He’s also there to push me to try again and not give up.
He takes care of me. He nags me when I don’t eat right and exercise. He makes sure I get vacations to recharge. He knows when I need to just be and regroup. The best part of this is he has taught our son’s through his example to be caring and giving men. His faithfulness and belief in me, and what I can achieve seems unending.
I’m not sure how I ended up with such a HEA after a dare. I have to admit, that it does read like a romance novel. I’m not discounting the hard days, the difficult decisions, the tears and fights. They happened, but honestly, they aren’t what I remember.
I remember the warm press of lips and the look of surprise on this handsome man’s face the first time I kissed him. I love you so much, sweetheart. Here’s to the next 32 years of being in love, living happily ever after and infinitely more kisses.