So there was a time, many years ago, when hubbs was not in my life.
We met just after I’d formally given up on love; at a time when I assumed that being alone and a single Mom was just the way life was meant to be for me. I’d even announced it to friends (like that made it official – ha!).
Yep, I thought I had it all figured out. I was a divorced mother of a 5-year-old and he was a well-traveled businessman from the Midwest. I had a child. I did not date. I worked and took care of my son. But a relentless girlfriend dragged me out one Friday night and that’s where we met. He chatted her up (I thought he had a thing for her) but, little did I know, he was making his way to me.
The evening was fun and the conversation was great. He was easy to talk to and even easier to look at. I recall settling back into my seat when he asked me if I had any kids. Shyly I told him a little bit about my little boy. I’ll never forget his face lighting up and him saying, “Really? I love kids.” But still, caution ensued and when he asked for my phone number I had to say, “I’m sorry I don’t give that out.” I’ll never forget his confident reply, “If you’d at least tell me your last name .. I’ll look it up.” And he did.
Before we even had our first date, my employer announced they were relocating us from Connecticut to Texas … 6 states away in 4 months. Still, summer arrived and, cautiously, we spent time together – the 3 of us – how’s that for romance? Seeing that big shouldered man play with a tow-haired boy softened my wounded heart.
But the movers came anyways, and we found ourselves having long talks about a future together. It was me who kept chiding, “You know we’re moving; I have to go with my job. I’m the only provider…” And his reply was always the same, “I know but I’m just not letting you go that easily.”
Letters were written, phone calls exchanged, and visits were often.
It was on one of those weekend visits that he asked me to marry him. Again. And again I shyly gave him my pat answer of “maybe.”
When we said our tortured good-byes at Houston’s Hobby airport, I could sense his frustration.
Driving home, my boy heard me cry out loud … “Oh no.”
“What’s wrong, Mom?” he chirped from the back seat.
“Tomorrow’s his birthday and how could I forget, oh my God we didn’t even get him a present to take home with him!”
I felt like a heel. A total idiot. A terribly thoughtless person caught up in a romance that my heart trusted but my head had said no to.
And then it came to me, a voice as clear as any I’ve ever heard. One that said, “You know what he wants.”
And I wanted it too.
I couldn’t wait to get home and get on the phone.
Calling information, I found a shop located near his New Rochelle office. Desperate and breathless, I tried to explain the situation to the gal on the other end of the line. Sympathetically she said,”No problem, sweetheart, we’ll take care of it for you. Good luck to you!”
And the next day, in front of his all female staff, that big shouldered Michigan man received a giant bouquet of yellow roses on his birthday. Why? Because we were in Texas and he wasn’t. And the card?
The card said Y-E-S.
Happy Anniversary, Hubbs.
21 years. 7,665 days. No regrets.