How You Know It’s For Real- Hindsight is Always Best.
Young people seem to have a common concern: How can I be sure that this person is right for me? The most oft-repeated response: You just know.
Looking back, there were plenty of indications that this guy was different. For one, there were the notes he wrote me at school. I’d written plenty of giggly missives in my time, and received plenty back. But notes exchanged between teenage girls are mainly time-wasters. Much like doodling with words. There was a lot of “so and so just looked at me” and “Don’t you think he’s cute?” Very much the same as teenaged telephone conversations, except without the polite pauses to see what the other person has to say. The notes from this guy, however were very sweet, complimentary, thoughtful. The kind that make you go awwwww.
We really enjoyed each other’s company, and loved hanging out, with or without a group of mutual friends. When he took the big step of taking me to meet his family, it seemed they were instantly sure of the “rightness” of the relationship. One Sunday afternoon, we sat in lawn chairs just to the east of Thornburg Mountain with his parents and grandparents. During a short lull in the conversation, his Grandpa, who was literally a man of few words, piped up with “When are y’all gettin’ married?” A few minutes later, as a storm crept over the top of the mountain, his Grandma whispered to me- “Let’s go inside, the rest of them can get wet if they want to.” I was in.
My own magic moment is etched in my memory. I don’t recall what kind of date we were coming home from. It could have been the latest Burt Reynolds movie, or a sausage, pepperoni and mushroom pizza at Ken’s on Military Road in Benton, or maybe both. We were riding in his Dad’s pickup, because he had wrecked his car on the way to pick me up for a previous date. He looked straight ahead as I slid in as close as possible while still allowing him to drive, and soon came out with a confession. He said he couldn’t imagine the rest of his life without me in it. I couldn’t believe he said it, and I couldn’t have agreed more. No ring, so the real proposal came later, but from that moment, happily ever after was a foregone conclusion for me.
Thirty five and a half years later, those first indications proved to be right on. He was the husband and father I had dreamed of since I was a very small girl. Yin to my yang, he balanced my creativity and impulsiveness with his desire for perfection and certainty.
Raising three kids was never easy, but together, we found the fun. We laughed and cried together, and now we stand back and smile as three happy little families form the next tier of our family tree.
We’re blessed with good friends that we’ve met and held on to over the years. When we spend time with those folks, I can hear the story he’s about to share before he gets it started, and we fill in the blanks for each other. I’m so fortunate to have my best friend to go home with when all is said and done. With him, I can be me, and he’s learned to put up with my annoying habits and contrary ways. I thank God daily for this amazing gift.
There’s nothing I love more than hearing a good story. So, I’m challenging you to recall yours. Post a comment on my blog at www.jennycarlisle.net or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org No computer connection? No excuse. Send good old fashioned snail mail in care of Ouachita Life at P.O. Box 147, Benton, AR 72018.
Valentine’s Day is set aside to celebrate the loving relationships in our lives. If you’re not in the middle of one right now, I hope you have happy memories to look back on, and a good outlook that will lead to something wonderful in your future. Regardless, my fervent prayer is that you’ll recognize and appreciate the unconditional love of your Heavenly Father on Valentine’s Day and every day.
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