Some people have sunsets and a knight in shining armor…….my story is a little different. I fell completely in love on a rainy day in a Philadelphia cemetery.
I met my future husband while working retail for a luxury brand as a teenager. He walked in wearing a Pelle Pelle jacket (ladies from the 80’s? You know the look, hmmmmm mmmmmm) and a bad boy attitude. Being the good girl that I still am…..I couldn't resist!
We dated between 2 states. He was as fascinated with my suburban upbringing as I was with his inner city one. We liked each other. It was comfortable. We moved easily from fancy dinners to drive- thrus with a soundtrack of Babyface and Boys2Men playing softly in the background.
I was a starving college student holding strong to my independence. I may have been broke but I didn't show it. I had my own. When he filled my gas tank up after a visit he had no idea how grateful I was. He was generous with all things except long conversations. Being the chatterbox that I am, I filled those late night phone calls with plenty. He listened.
After a few fun months reality set in……where was this really going? Two people so very different are destined for ruin for sure. I played my mother’s mantra (soon to be mine with my own daughter) in my head…..equally yoked. Equally yoked.
I started rehearsing the exit conversation. You know the one that goes, “I really like you but….” Somehow the timing was never quite right. More fun times. His smile…..my God, this is tougher than I thought. Just when I decided I needed to make a move, I mean, he is really nice but he is not interested in college, I am never living in a city, come on….where is this going……he picked me up for a dinner date.
“I need to make a quick stop, that ok?” he asked. Fine by me. Off we went. Not paying much attention to where we were headed, I sat back and watched the rain slide down the windshield. He held my hand. “I’ll be right back,” he says, startling me from my own thoughts. “OK,” geez, where are we? I look around and notice I am in the parking lot of a large cemetery. I see him go in the office and purchase a small bouquet of flowers. I watch as he goes to inspect his late friend’s grave site. Even through the rain I can see the sadness and the sense of responsibility all over him. I knew at that moment what I know to this day.
I love this man. This man that is so different from me. This man that hasn't had any of the same experiences I have had but what does that mean? Obviously, his upbringing was stellar enough to instill a sense of friendship so great it extends past the living. While I watched him that day, I thought to myself, even when no one is watching he chooses to do the right thing. Even when others have dropped the ball, he is here checking to make sure things are right. If he will go this far for his friend what will a man like this do for his family?
Even after 24 years, and every up and down imaginable.....the answer's the same. Everything!