Sunday, February 10, 2013
Our Love Story
Hi, everyone! In the 9 months that I have been blogging, I haven't gotten into any deep, personal things. I'm basically a private person, and I like to keep my blog on a light note. Until now. Today is special...it is Keith and my 14 year anniversary. So I decided (with his permission of course) to share our love story. It's kinda long...are you ready?
Keith and I met at Bowling Green State University in Ohio when we were 19-year-old sophomores, almost 26 years ago. We lived in the same dorm and would often see each other standing outside in the wee hours during fire drills. (Unfortunately it was a common prank for people to pull the alarm in the middle of the night and we had to evacuate every time!) Keith said he thought I was cute (which is something in itself, since he always saw me with bedhead and no makeup!) and he began to 'chat me up' during these drills. I definitely thought he was cute, too, but what especially attracted me to him was his sense of humor! He had a quick, dry wit that always kept me laughing.
We soon began dating, and all was good for awhile. However, the following year I moved to North Carolina as part of a Student Exchange Program for my junior year, and the long distance took its toll on us. We were young and not really mature enough for a serious relationship, so we broke up. But we still had some sort of a connection that allowed us to stay friends.
Fast forward 5 years. I had met someone else and was getting married. Keith and I had kept in touch throughout the years, so he was invited to my big, fairytale wedding, and he actually came. ("Awkward" he says now.) I eventually moved to Florida and we would call each other occasionally and it was like no time had passed at all. He still always made me laugh.
About 6 1/2 years into my marriage (we had moved back to Ohio) I was blindsided and crushed when my then-husband told me that he wasn't happy and didn't want to be married anymore. How could this be happening? I never dreamed in a million years that I would go through something like this. My 'safe' world was shattered as I had to leave a beautiful home that I loved, downsize into a tiny apartment, divvy up belongings (which became quite petty), begin to financially support myself, and go through a divorce that I didn't even believe in. All of my hopes and plans for the future were destroyed, and instead there was a gaping question mark. It was a VERY dark and painful time for me.
Around this time Keith was getting serious with someone, but he was still there for me. He'd send me funny emails or call with an encouraging word. Even though he lived 2 hours away, I remember selfishly thinking, "I wish that he was single, so that we could spend more time together!" I honestly didn't think that we would ever become romantic again; I just enjoyed his company and he was being such a good friend.
He and his girlfriend eventually did break up (I didn't have anything to do with that, but was I happy? ok, maybe I was a weee bit jealous) and we started spending as much time together as we could. Because of the 2 hour distance, we were doing a lot of driving! We even took a little 5 day trip to the Bahamas together, as FRIENDS (although my friends teased me about it and didn't believe me! Honest-it was platonic!) We literally laughed non-stop the entire time we were there! To this day, that is one of the funnest trips that I've ever been on! When my mom picked us up at the airport she said she saw the writing on the wall (with us ending up together) and she was hopeful. She adores him!
I casually dated a few guys, basically to have something to do and someone to hang out with...but I always wished that I was with Keith instead. When I started to realize this and admitted to myself "Whoa! I'm in love with him!" I was actually conflicted. What if he didn't feel the same way about me? I'd be devastated if I bared my soul to him, and then in return lost our friendship. But I finally decided to go for it, and when I nervously told him my feelings he just said "I've always loved you." My heart melted!!
We officially started 'dating' again, and we became exclusive. The following Christmas Eve my parents and I were leaving for Arizona to visit my sister and her family. Keith told me that he had to go into work that day (remember he was 2 hours away) so I said my goodbyes to him over the phone. Imagine my complete shock when he suddenly showed up at the airport, and he had a news camera crew following him! He had a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, and an exquisite ring that he had designed, and he got down on one knee and proposed. Everyone around us started clapping, just like in the movies! It was so cute because he never gets nervous, but he was shaking so badly he could hardly get the ring on my finger!
The camera crew had filmed all of this, then they briefly interviewed us and we were the 'endearing' story on the local news that night! (The crew had been roaming around the airport trying to find something interesting since it was Christmas Eve, and Keith had snagged them and said he was about to propose-they loved it! Serendipity! So now we have a recorded copy of his proposal :) The bad thing was that I then had to leave him to go spend the holidays in Arizona!
The next couple of months were a whirlwind as we planned an intimate wedding with just family, and I prepared to transfer jobs and move. We figured since we'd known each other forever, and being in our 30's, why wait? (Later in the year when it was warmer we had a bigger celebration with friends.)
It's been a wonderful, fun 14 years! I truly believe that Keith is my soul mate, and I am SO thankful that God gave me a second chance at love!! Our relationship has exceeded every expectation that I could have had...he still makes me laugh every day, he is supportive of everything that I do, and he is still my best friend!
Well, now you know our love story! I hope that by telling this, someone may be inspired to never give up on love!
Now we're going off on a romantic 'tryst' that he has planned for us ;) Thank you so much for stopping by!!