We were married. We were young. It was fast. I was scared. He was the one. Still the one. We’re not young. Life moves faster. He calms my fears. He’s the one.
I could leave it at that. Leave you wondering. Filling in the blanks with your imagination of all sorts of things. Really, it’s not that exciting. Except, every love story has its sparks.
Our first date was December 30, 1976. Henry’s 24th birthday. I was 19.(I’m not a first date remembering kind of person but being it was his birthday it’s easy and he can kid himself that I remember the date of our first date.) We had known each other from church for a few years but the timing wasn’t right.
Six weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, he proposed. I was struck with fright. Not surprised but scared. And not knowing that everyone has some fear. This is big. If we do this right we’ll do it better than my parents and 50+ % of Americans. But…..how do you know? How do I know?
I convince him we can’t tell anyone yet. My parents, neither of which lived in Florida, would freak. Everyone would, wouldn’t they? Why so fast? Really, I was giving myself time. I knew how I felt and I felt scared because….how do you know?
I wanted a spring wedding but not this spring. That would be in two months. He doesn’t want to wait until the next spring. So we compromise. The beginning of lasting relationships – compromise.
By my birthday in May, three months after he asked, we tell our parents and friends. Mama, the one hurt so badly from daddy’s rejection questions my age, my youth. She had been 16 when she married daddy and was 18 when I was born. She knew young.
Weddings were a lot more simple in the 70’s. No fancy sit-down dinners, at least not among our friends. We had a bar-b-que in the church parking lot for the rehearsal dinner. Ahhh youth.
How will I know he’s the one for more than now? The forever one?
Here’s what I know. He’s smarter than me. He has always cared for me in a way that has my best interest at heart. He did and does put me first. He is a better person than me. He is the most giving man I know, this introvert that has no energy to talk to me at least two nights of the week. This man who prefers to sit in his “man cave” and watch golf to recharge for another day. He is the one.
He took this scared, insecure, orphaned girl who had no home and became my strength, my home.
It seems my opinionated strong will can intimidate some men. Not this man. Even my tears have never driven him away. Maybe starting out a little scared is a good thing. Maybe that prayer when I asked God to show me and he did? Yes, God answered. He gave me Henry.