Being that today is Valentine’s Day and all, I thought it would only be fitting to share my “love story.” There is no better way for me to remember all of the reasons why I love my husband.
Why I wake up every morning and make the choice to love him over and over again. It may not be the best one out there, but to me, there is none other.
How I Met Your Father
When I was in High School, I was as boy crazy as can be, and — in some ways — that personality can still shine through.
My husband knew of me from school because he saw me walking down the hall with a group of guys on occasion. These guys were some of my best friends.
Having never been girly a day in my life, I was just one of the guys.
My husband was the quiet type and I never saw him in school. The only way I knew he existed was on the weekends; when I saw him down the street at near my best friend’s house.
My best friend moved to a new neighborhood one year and we were sad to leave behind the house she had lived in since we were in the 3rd grade.
That house had the most amazing wrap-around porch. We spent a lot of time on that porch, and in the huge side yard, plotting out our lives.
They moved to this new neighborhood with a group of kids that were always playing down the road in a cul-de-sac circle.
She and I were a bit older, so we never engaged them, yet still noticed that they were constantly down there.
As we wondered outside more and more, my friend noticed one of the guys from down the street. We began finding random reasons to take a walk or to drive by the circle to see what was going on.
Well, one day this boy she had taken interest in had disappeared.
I already had my eye on this boy’s friend and had begun running to my friend’s house every day after school just to see him walk by. She lived just 2 houses over from him.
So, I would literally run out of school the second the bell rang and get to her house as quick as possible. Then we would both watch out the front door until he walked by.
We were curious as to where the boy she liked had disappeared to.
We began talking about how we had not seen him in about 2 weeks and that perhaps he had chicken pox. That became the perfect reason we could use to stop his friend and ask about him.
Therefore, we strategically placed ourselves outside on the tailgate of a truck so that when he walked by, we could ask about his friend.
We could see him coming up the street and I was ready to go with our prepared conversation. He came closer and closer and, of course, we began our girlish giggles.
So, we were wondering. Where’s your friend?
“Oh. Ummmm. He has the chicken pox.“
We rolled out laughing and he looked at us like we were insane and walked on home.
Yeah, that ultimately meant I had to go over later and apologize. We must have looked like crazy people.
It was then that I discovered that his friend was actually in a Psychiatric hospital for attempting suicide. Wow. Now I really felt bad.
So we talked about his friend, as well as a little about my friend, and even a bit about each other.
In fact, we talked so much that the day ran into the evening and I had to get back to my friend’s house. I ran back over just long enough to hand him my phone number.
Literally. I knocked on the door, threw him a piece of paper with my name and number on it, and left.
The next day I walked the normal route, perhaps just a little slower. I knew he was only about 20 yards behind me, and I wasn’t in a hurry to get inside and watch anymore.
When I got inside my friend’s house I still waited at the window.
He knew I was inside watching and just walked on by.
My friend and I decided to sit outside and talk when we saw him emerge from his house with a lawn chair and a magazine.
As my BFF and I conversed back and forth using sign language (only to find out later he knew sign language as well and could read our conversations), he pretended to read his magazine.
The next day was more of the same.
Some days we would watch from the front yard and the others we would climb on her roof to spy on him. Again, he knew we were watching him and would base his outside plans for the day accordingly.
This went on for the entire last week on my Junior year in high school.
On the last day of school, I ran by his locker at school and threw a note in.
I figured one of us had to make the first move!
The note was a bit of rambling, as well as a lunch invitation. My BFF and I were going to go eat after finals were over and invited him along.
He accepted, and then experienced the real insanity of she and I together.
After we parted ways for the afternoon, I asked my BFF what she thought and she actually liked him (she did not like most of my boyfriends so this was a huge plus).
I wrote him another note and dropped it in his mailbox: “To You Over There from Me Over Here.” (We still use that tagline often).
We made plans to hang out the following day and just talk some more. We sat outside and talked and talked and talked most of the day.
We discussed how Cottonwood trees are “not made of wood”. This has remained a running inside joke among us.
We spoke about his best friend, as well as mine. I told him about my family and he talked about his. We discussed our plans for school and our life ambitions.
We had been talking to each other for just over a week now, and yet I felt like I knew him my entire life. Everything about him was simply perfect.
As the night drew to a close, we sat on the gutter in front of his house and rambled on. The street light shone down upon us as we wandered what the summer ahead would hold.
It was just after 11:30pm when my mom came by (no cell phones back then) to tell me that my dad’s cat had just been run over by a car, and I had to come home (yes, this memory is forever marked by the cat’s death).
Although I did not understand, as a teenager, why I needed to get home because of the cat, I knew I needed to leave. It was one of those moments in time you wish would never end.
I stood to leave and it became one of those awkward “what do I do now” moments. We talked a little more and discussed seeing each other the next day.
I was 16 years old and he was 15.
He had never had a girlfriend and I was not sure yet what he thought of me.
He reached out and took my hand and I shook it and turned to walk away. Instead, he pulled me in and kissed me.
My knees fell weak and I could barely stand. I stepped back afterwards and in the momentary silence all I heard was him say, “I love you.“
Years later, I asked him why he said that and he said it just seemed like the right thing to say at that time.
I still laugh.
I felt bad because I just turned around and stumbled to my car to leave. My legs shook the entire drive home and then some.
I had never felt anything like it and still recall the way it made me feel.
I went straight home and called my BFF and told her, “This is the man I am going to marry.”
That was on June 1, 1991.
We were inseparable that summer. We spent almost every day together and never had one fight. It was the perfect summer romance.
As school began, there were more parts of the equation that came into play with school work and such, but there was still nothing to keep us apart.
His parents eventually tried all they could to break us up, but love covered it all. If nothing else, it made us stronger together.
We have faced our fair share of adversity and heartache over the last 20 ½ years, but here we are. He is, and will forever be, my Valentine.
**I have always wanted to write, and used to pour my heart out into poems during my teen years. When I met my husband the poems became more and more frequent.
Although sappy and rhyme-filled, I wrote this poem 2 days after we started dating. This is just the last stanza to share:
I’m sure we’ll have our problems and our tears,
But we’ll stick together all through the years.
‘Cause I really feel that your love is true,
And I want you to know, “I love you too.”
~June 3, 1991
What is your love story?
How did you meet your spouse? I would love to hear it!