I had been dating someone for years. I wasn't looking to find my life's love. I was just trying to visit my friend Curtis...who wasn't at home. Uh-h... so once I collected my wits and discovered that my friend wasn't home, I left a message with the fair haired boy and made my way home.
Over the course of the summer I got to know Da better, as we, (my boyfriend and I), came to hang out with our friend Curtis. At the end of the summer, I was moving to a new place and Da's lease was up. I needed a roommate and he needed a place to live, so he rented a room from me in the place I had just purchased. It was the late 70's, male and female roomies were fairly common. I had a steady boyfriend and Da was dating, the arrangement was platonic. It worked out well. I had someone around to help with upkeep and he was good company.
Over the winter we experienced what we have jokingly called "The Four Horses of the Apocalypse". We had the worst winter weather in years.The winds howled their angst through the jalousie windows, depositing a thick layer of snow on the sill inside of the windows. The furnace blew up, the pipes broke, flooding the yard and freezing the van to the driveway until spring thaw. My pet birds and hermit crab froze to death one bitter night. I hurt myself in a fall on the ice that left me unable to work for weeks while an elbow injury healed, so money was short. When the pipes broke the inside of my trailer flooded so everything was wet... it just went on and on. Da and I face each new blow with the optimism of the young ... In times of weakness when I would start to worry or despair about the state of things, his constancy and light-hearted attitude helped me through. He helped me care for the details of life, he cared for me... he was my best friend.
Then spring came. The ice thawed and the van was freed from its wintery prison. Da and I were able to make repairs to the house and life was beginning to sort itself out. I was still dating my boyfriend of 3 years, but he was no closer to seeing our relationship as permanent than in any of the previous years. I decided to take a job that would move me to another city and Da was going to join the military. I dissolved my relationship with my boyfriend and began making my plans for a new life in Richmond. One night while Da and I were in the kitchen making dinner, the conversation turned to what life would be like when we no longer lived under the same roof. We hadn't really thought about that part of the changes that were coming... gee... the more we talked about all we had been through together and how well our life together worked, the more we realized that while we were busy dealing with and surviving the "apocalypse", we had forged a relationship that might actually last. So we decided that night over cooking stew in the kitchen, that we would begin our life together. There were no dates, no proposal, no engagement ring, no big wedding plans. It was not romantic in the conventional sense, it was just the two of us in agreement that we could make a good life together. The wedding took place shortly afterwards and we began our next adventure...
We both joined the military, saw the world, and started a family. We created a fruitful homestead out of North Carolina red clay, homeschooled and raised two boys and lived in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Our life has been full of stories, some wonderful, some tragic, with lots of just everday stuff, but there is a single thread that has been woven through it all, we are good together. I haven't written the love of my life any love letters because words don't suffice. Instead, together we have expressed our love through our actions, through faithfulness and faith, by having grand adventures and considering the impossible possible, by being content and feeling blessed by the simple things in life. We have held each other through a sea of heartaches, trusting that God will carry us on to solid ground again when we were unable to get there on our own. We have seen His hand on our lives and we have rejoiced. Our love letters have been written on our hearts, with the permanent ink of a decision we made long ago... that we would remain together until death parts us.
Today, 33 years ago, we started our life as one. I still lose my words when I look into his bright blue eyes...