One year ago today, I left work in the dark, ran home to let the puppy out and smothered him with hugs and kisses as I apologized for making him kennel up again so soon. I knew I was being a giddy girl–something I try not to be too much of–but I couldn’t help myself. It was getting closer. I did my best to clean up after working that day. Life had been so topsy-turvy lately that I hadn’t had much of an appetite and had unnecessarily dropped weight. I did my best to find a pair of jeans that fit, picked out a long-sleeve black V-neck and tied a yellow scarf around my neck. I tried to put some life back into my flat hair and touched up my make-up. I sighed when I realized it wasn’t going to really help all that much–I still looked frazzled. It would have to do, I told myself. I sat down on my couch to wait out the 15 minutes until I needed to leave. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt that nervous, so I stopped twiddling my thumbs and started praying. I prayed that he would lead me in the right direction, I prayed that I would have good and objective judgment, I prayed for him to take the pit out of my stomach.
One year ago today, I made that drive to the coffee shop. It was cold and rainy. I remember seeing the 87th street bridge and feeling that nervousness creep back into the pit of my stomach. I started taking deep breaths…none of it really helping. I pulled up and parked in front. Before turning my car lights off, I scanned the coffee shop. I didn’t see you. After pondering which scenario would be less awkward, I decided I would go inside and wait. I stood there alone in front of the counter for a minute or two before I heard my phone buzz. My friend Emily was texting me to wish me luck that night. While I was responding, you walked in and approached me in your yellow sweater. I don’t think I ever finished that text message. 🙂
I remember thinking you had funny mannerisms and you were chewing gum. We both wanted coffee, but I hung back a bit, unsure if you intended on or wanted to buy or not. You quickly answered that hesitation by telling me I could order whatever I wanted, it was on you, as you ushered me to the counter with your hand on my back.
We sat down in the two leather chairs. There were two college girls studying on the couch across from us…and they kept stealing glances at us and whispering back and forth with smiles. I think they saw it too. Over the next two hours, we shared the basics about ourselves, but we also wasted no time in delving into the “real” us. You told me about the accident that claimed your mom and little brother…and how your response was not of anger, but of gratefulness for the providence God had shown to you and your family. I told you about the anger and rebellion I wrestled with for most of my teenage years…and how God had delivered me from those attitudes. We talked about Lord Blaze, our great and crazy mutual friend that set the whole thing up. We talked about how we played for the same sports teams, had the same friends, graduated from the same college the year before…and somehow had never crossed paths. Maybe we would have met at our graduation ceremony…had you attended. 😉
We closed the shop down. They locked the door behind us and we stood on the sidewalk talking for a couple more minutes. I remember asking you why you didn’t bring a coat and you told me it was because you were tough! As you walked away, a scary and foreign thought ran through my mind…I knew I was going to marry you. It’s crazy for me to have thought anything like that. Me. Independent, not-looking-for-a-relationship, I-don’t-date-strangers, cautious little ‘ol me. But I knew. I don’t know how, but you were different and it showed.
One year ago today, you walked into that coffee shop and changed my world forever. In fifteen days, I’ll be your wife–the greatest honor ever to have been bestowed upon me. Thank you for a great year and for the many years ahead of us.
I love you and I dig you.