Today is the day when my time on Earth with Jaimie forever eclipses the time I spent without her.
Seventeen years ago, on October 9, we went on our first date. We drove in Old Yeller (the 1984 1982 Ford Crown Victoria that I and all three of my siblings drove with grace and honor throughout high school) to see Man Without a Face, a great Mel Gibson flick. The date is easy to remember, because it was on the same day as my Grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and the night before their big celebration. Because of the celebration, cousin Erin had just arrived in town from Colorado, so when we got back to town after the movie I asked Jaim if she’d mind if I picked Erin up. We had fun cruising Main Street, all in the front seat, with Erin in the middle. 🙂
It actually started earlier than that, on a late summer night in the back end of Shane Vogel’s Brat pickup. No, not like that. We were just cruising Main Street and around town, a bunch of teenagers. I walked into a set up–my former girlfriend’s friends coaxed Shane into getting me to town, and arranged a meet up. I wasn’t interested in anyone or thing other than that amazing quiet Cleveland girl in the Raiders jacket. Strangely, we didn’t know each other. Even though I went to school in a neighboring town, Montrose was always my hometown. I thought I knew everyone. But this mysterious girl–I was powerfully drawn to her and wanted to know everything about her. Like nothing I had experienced before, I noticed only her the entire night. I don’t think we even said ten words to each other, but I was hooked in a way I’d never known before or since. The following few weeks I had one mission–to get to know this girl. I asked my catechism teacher and dear friend Jackie about her, and from there she went into match-maker mode. Turns out she had an easy go of it–Jaim and I were drawn to each other. The rest is our history.
So, this year, on the 17th anniversary of that fateful first date, and at age 33, I’ve been in love with Jaimie more of my life than not. Like everyone’s, our relationship has been a journey with both sunshine and storm clouds, joyful moments and the kinds where you grab hands and brace for something scary. We’ve let our love lead us along a path we are building as we go, and we know each other’s hearts more deeply, and share one breath more happily, today more than ever. Love is a good thing, and I can’t imagine wanting to share mine with anyone more.
(Here’s the Tonna’s Cake I sent Jaim as part of our early celebration date last week.)