Sunday, July 24, 2016

eighteen years ago today

eighteen years ago today, i was a fiercely independent 23 year old who was just returning from a month’s vacation in europe. as i returned to my job at a small local church, there was a note in my box from the church’s pastor. it read simply, “a guy named jim called looking for you…he sounds nice. call him back.” and with that note my life changed forever.

little did I know that the match making had started long before my pastor had gotten involved. my mother went to a church when she was in high school with a young girl named thelma. over the years they had lost contact with each other but, that year, thanks to the wonder of email, they reconnected and came to find out that they each had children, who were single, living within an hour of one another who were both interested in law enforcement (side note: this was in my forensic science days. i have a master’s degree in it. i have never used it once. #moneywellspent.) somehow my mother and thelma managed to get my number to thelma's son, jim. he was instructed to call. maybe i needed help getting my law-enforcement career going. maybe he could use a friend when he came to san diego. regardless of their reasons, my number ended up in his hands and on that july day of 1998, he called…and i called back.

we talked for a couple of weeks on the phone, a few minutes here, a few minutes there and we slowly found out we had things in common. we laughed, shared some more and talked vaguely about grabbing lunch sometime. and when lunch never seemed to work, we decided on dinner, on a friday night, just two single young adults who had never seen each other. 

as i think back now, i’m horrified that this complete stranger drove up to my apartment where i lived alone to pick me up for what had now become a blind date. still, at that time, i was just nervous. i had never seen a picture. there was no facebook stalking. facebook didn’t exist. our date was planned based on our phone conversations alone and when he showed up with flowers as i peered from my bedroom window, i knew i was in trouble. 

this week marks that first blind date. four weeks ago we marked sixteen years of being married…and i wouldn’t have it any other way. our marriage isn’t perfect…far from it. it’s work as all relationships are. it requires priority and compromise. it requires forgiveness and endless communication. it and all marriages are work but as i went on that first date so many years ago and as i have gone on countless dates with the same man for the last 18 years, i know the work is worthwhile. he is worth it. our marriage is worth it. our family is worth it. as i think back on eighteen years ago this week, i can’t help but feel grateful that i took a pastor’s advice and called the stranger back. that note changed the course of my life for the rest of my life…and i’m forever grateful.

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