Thursday, August 19, 2010

:: Our Story - Part Two :: [caution: looooong post]

I found out he was dating another girl.

His visits to my work again became more frequent.  One time, we sat and talked for hours when he realized she was waiting for him at his house and had been for quite some time.  Shortly after this visit, he broke it off with her (grin).

We started hanging around more, usually in groups of people - going to Compline service at St. Mark's Cathedral on Sunday evenings.  I'll never forget those crisp, fall evenings...bundled up, stopping into a coffee shop, then headed out into the dark, talking and laughing as we waded through thick piles of crunchy leaves, settling ourselves into the cathedral to listen to beautiful songs and voices.  It was during one of those evenings that I realized what I felt was really more than just admiration.  This is where I first imagined myself as a bride.  His bride.

In the fall of 1999, he asked me to a concert, which was taking place a couple of hours away.  It was a cool, crisp evening when he picked me up to take me there.  We talked all the way down there, trying to be heard over his loud car.  The concert was great - towards the end, I felt an arm slip around my waist.  I snuggled into him and it just felt right.  It was pouring my the time the concert ended, so we quickly dashed to the car.  I had all sorts of butterflies sitting in that car on the ride home.  I hardly noticed the leaky seal on the soft-top as my clothes gradually got more and more soaked.  He kept looking at me and apologizing.  I couldn't stop laughing.  I laughed quietly so he couldn't hear me because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.  When we were almost home, he reached over and took my hand.  We said our goodbyes as he pulled up to my house, then I went inside.  My cousins stared at me - sopping wet with a big grin on my face.  We all laughed at the state of my clothing.  And I told them about our first official date, trying to include every last detail.

From then on, we went on dates quite often.  We went to Thai food a lot, to Gasworks, to coffee, the Lake and numerous shows at the old Paramount and other places.  We held hands in church.  We were pretty much official.  We had our first kiss.  We talked.  A lot.  We discussed everything from our pasts to dreams and goals, and even travel.  We both wanted to go to Paris and decided one day, we'd go together (which we eventually did in 2003).

In February of 2000, we attended a Valentine's banquet that our church put together at the Spaghetti Factory.  We were the only unmarried couple there.  Sandwiched between married couples - most of them having been married for many years, we began to answer questions about our relationship.  We were given sound advice, as we had talked and knew we wanted to be married one day.  There was pretty much no question about that.  They said, "When you know, you know."  So, as we rode home that evening, we both decided we were ready to take that step sooner than we had thought.  We thought meeting the parents on both sides was in order, so we took a quick weekend drive down to Chico, California to surprise my mom.  While we were there, he got a chance to talk to my dad (and little did I know) ask him for his blessing.  He told me on the trip back up that my dad had given him his blessing and everything my dad had told him.  I had never been more proud of my give a young man who he's meeting for the first time, permission to marry his daughter.  That must've been so tough.  He must've seen what I saw in this man.  I eventually met his parents when they traveled up here and hit it off instantly with his mom.  We also took a trip down to San Diego to visit them once or twice.  I instantly felt at home with his family and found that I had no misgivings about joining this family.  He has a really wonderful family.  His mom later told me that she knew it would take a special woman to be able to handle her son.  She knew when she met me that I was that woman.  And she was right...he can be a handful (ha).

February 29th.  He took me to Seattle, where we were supposed to have some pie at Minnie's, but they were closed.  It was a cold evening, so I didn't think anything of it when I noticed he kept his hands in his pockets a lot more than usual.  We decided to go up the space needle.  Closed.  We wandered over to the International Fountain, which was more crowded than usual as a basketball game had just let out.  We sat there for awhile, near the whale sculptures, just watching people.  After a little bit, I felt his body shift, and I thought he was ready to leave.  I looked to find him on his knee in front of me.  I'll never forget his words.  They were, "Molly, I love you.  Will you marry me and make me the happiest man in the world?"  I thought the hug and tears meant yes, but as our hug ended, he looked at me with concern and I quickly blurted out, "YES!  Yes, of course I will marry you!"  I heard some applause and a few congratulations as I realized we had a small audience.

I was happy.  And overwhelmed.  I'm not a big planner, so a wedding seemed daunting to me.  And I had to do it all by myself.  But I quickly realized that we could get married wearing burlap sacks and I'd still be happy.

[ be continued...again...]