Saturday, January 23, 2010

The meeting, the date, the wedding

Wednesday arrived and I was a nervous wreck. The person babysitting the kids said she'd be to my house by 6:30 PM. I would leave work at 4:30, pick up the kids (5:00), get home and get them dinner (5:45 at the earliest) and then get myself ready. Ron was supposed to get there at 6:45. He beat the babysitter.

I heard the knocker on the door, so I rushed to open it expecting to see Kathy (my friend/sitter). Instead, I see an overweight, short man with too short, too curly hair wearing a suit outside my door. He said his first impression of me was that I had a dirty face (I had a sun spot just above my lip that has mysteriously gone away in the past 25 years). About the time we were stammering through our introductions, Kathy arrived. I directed her to where the kids were, talked about what they could do for entertainment that evening, and we headed out.

We ate at a restaurant that is no longer in business here, but the food was excellent. We had a nice conversation about what he did for a living, what his hobbies were, where he went to church, etc. (after all, he'd already heard my life story). And, then - he took off his glasses. I saw the bluest eyes I had ever seen and the description that "you could drown in them" certainly fit. Every other impression I'd had of him just flew out the window at that point.

Before he took me home, we went to his house (he was in the process of a major renovation as he'd bought a condemned house and was restoring it) because I'd told him I liked piano music. He sat down at his piano and played music for about 30 minutes. He said he played by ear and couldn't read music but he just played stuff that he heard or stuff that "came" to him. In my eyes, he was awesome.

After we left there, he took me home and didn't even kiss me goodnight. What a gentleman. I had a softball game the next night, so I asked him if he'd like to come watch us play. After he left, I called my brother and told him he HAD to come watch my game the next night because Ron said he'd come. So, he promised he'd be there.

Ron arrived just a little late for the beginning of the game, but he was present to witness my one and only 3-run home run. I was so excited. I don't remember if that was the game deciding hit, but it was the deciding "hit" in his eyes. He told me later that he thought I had the best looking set of long legs running around the bases that he'd ever seen.

After the game, we all went to have ice cream and Ron got grilled by my brother. LOL - that was probably amusing to him. He was 36 and Jerry was 24. Ron had plans for Friday night but invited the kids and I to his house for Saturday to grill and watch movies on his big screen. That was exciting as I'd never seen a big screen TV before (I was so sheltered - hahahaha!).

Ron picked Shaun up about noon on Saturday and said they'd go to the movie rental and to the store, and I could come over after Amy woke up from her nap. That seemed like a great plan. Later in the day, the doorbell rang and since Ron was at the grill, I answered. There stood a lady with an overnight bag in her hands. She seemed genuinely surprised to see another woman in Ron's house and after asking me a few questions, I said I'd get Ron for her. I had no idea who she was, but evidently she was who he was busy with on Friday night. He had dated her for several months and had even asked her to marry him. She declined because she said he was too short and too fat but she'd be glad to "date" him until she found Mr. Right. She was astounded that he was getting himself involved with a divorced woman with two small children.

Joanne had some skills as an interior designer so she had decided that she'd come to Ron's house for the weekend and help him pick out some wallpaper and get it hung. Unfortunately, she neglected to discuss those plans with him so our presence certainly took the wind out of her sails. She left very quickly after Ron went to the door.

We had a great dinner, watched a lot of movies (kid-themed), had snacks, the kids slept and then we watched some more TV. I'm not sure what time I left, but it was very late/very early (depending on how you look at it). When my phone rang at 11:00 am on Sunday, I was not interested in answering it. But, since the kids were being quiet I decided I better take care of the blaring noise or they'd wake up. It was Ron.

He said he'd had a wonderful time with me the past week and he'd decided that he no longer needed any of the names in his little black book. I had no idea what he was talking about. What was a little black book???? He laughed and said that although I started out as a charity call, and he was not going to get involved with me, he was hooked and hoped that I would consider dating him exclusively. Well, I wasn't dating anyone so he had no competition. I told him that I was not in the market for sex or marriage but would welcome companionship and friendship. He agreed.

It wasn't very far into the month when he proposed. I had a very clear thought that THIS was what God had brought me to Wichita for - to meet my soul mate and the man of my dreams. So, I accepted and we made plans for a Christmas wedding. He was still working on his house and we knew it wouldn't be big enough for us to move in. He had people willing to rent it after it was complete and the thought was that December would work.

Then, things got a bit confused for his renters and they needed to move into the house in November. Then, it was October and he wanted to move the wedding up. I said (and I quote), "If you want to marry me so damn bad, you can just do it this weekend." He said OK, but there was a three day waiting period in Kansas so we'd have to do it Monday. Was that soon enough? If so, I needed to go to the court house that day and purchase the wedding license.

I didn't even know this man's date of birth or where he was born - or his mother's maiden name. I had to write all of that down on a slip of paper before I went to the courthouse. I just knew that I was doing what God told me to do. We spent the weekend in a whirlwind of activity. Once people found out that we were going to get married (and had planned on going to the courthouse on Monday), they started changing plans for us. Debbie #2 insisted that we have the wedding at her house. Debbie #1 and #2's husband (who was the person who actually got us together) were to be our witnesses and Ron had a friend who would perform the ceremony. My brother and his wife were invited and my friend Kathy would bring the cake.

In all this time (19 whole days) I hadn't told my parents much about Ron at all. Finally, Sunday night arrived and I decided that I better make the telephone call. I got my mom on the phone and asked her what she was doing the next night. She said, watching {whatever the show was} and wanted to know why. I said, "Ron and I are getting married tomorrow night and wanted to know if you and Dad wanted to come." She said, "Oh my God. I won't tell your father." She thought I was jumping off the deep end - why would I want to marry a divorced man who had three kids. I said why would he want to marry someone with two kids and who didn't get child support. She thought that was a very good point. Ron talked to her for about an hour and when he was finished, she said for some reason she felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

We only had the one date before we got married. We spent the rest of the month together, with children in tow, and functioned as a family unit. All of Ron's friends were against him getting married. All of those friends are now divorced and we're the only ones still married. It has taken work and determination, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. We both came into this marriage knowing it was for the long-haul and we both had instances where we could have thrown in the towel and walked away. That would have been the easier thing to do.

So - the plan God had for me worked according to His wishes, starting with the phone call to my union steward so many months earlier. Every anniversary of our wedding I am once again thankful for the way in which He brought everything together. I HAD to move into those apartments in order to meet Debbie. Debbie HAD to tell the other Debbie what I'd said, and she HAD to tell her husband. Everyone had to be obedient to God's urging to bring the two of us together.

My children are very grateful and are honored to be called Ron's children. I am honored to be his wife and to be able to do the things for him that I do. Life is definitely not easy right not and will probably never be again. I pray that God grants us favor in our finances and in our health.

We didn't have a honeymoon (not with two small children at home) and have never really had a vacation. Our trip in February is up in the air, partly because of finances and partly because of Ron's health. It is supposed to be the celebration of our 25+ years together and my prayer is that God provides a way for it to happen. That is a bit selfish on my part because I feel like I need a break just as much as he needs one. We need a break together and an opportunity to have fun together would be great medicine for him.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

I hope you can have your long awaited "honeymoon". That was such a sweet story. Very similar to mine. It doesn't take long to simply know who you want to spend the rest of your life with, does it?

Pat said...

Wow! A whirlwind romance! It was truly meant to be!

I know that you and Ron have had a rough few years (healthwise), and I hope that things look up for you this year, and that you'll be able to get away in February.

I enjoyed your Cinderella story!