I’ve been thinking about the early years of my parents’ relationship a lot lately. In the car on the way back from Arlington National Cemetery last month, we were chatting with our cousin about family and relationships. She asked when Mom and Dad first met and Dad thinks it’s in 1964. His next statement was, “and how many different boyfriends did you have?” to which my mother just coyly replied “oh, I’ve lost count, there were so many.” One evening, somewhere between 1964 and 1967, the woman renting my father a room (across the street from Mom’s house) asked him who was parked in Mom’s driveway that drove a black Thunderbird. My father said, “I don’t know, but I’m trying not to let it bother me.”
My aunt was so concerned about my mother’s options for meeting a man after divorcing her first husband and having a young son. She used to try to get Mom to go to officers clubs because “the man of your dreams won’t just knock on your door.” Did I mention my father lived across the street from Mom when they met?
Meeting someone really is just the first step. After years of your sweetheart doing so many things to make you proud and finding new things to love about this fantastic person, your relationship starts to take root. And right now (for quite a while, really) I feel like Rich and I have a great relationship, where I couldn’t ask for anything more. There’s a country song that talks about a gravestone saying, “once lived a man who got all he ever wanted.” I feel truly lucky to have the life I have right now.
This past Sunday afternoon, on the beach where I learned to swim, Rich asked me to marry him. I whole-heartedly agreed and we are beginning a new chapter of our lives together. It’s going to be great, but I’m happy just living in the moment and enjoying all that we have.