When I first met My husband, I didn’t like him very much. He was cocky, arrogant and reminded me of the people in school who bullied me. Two years later, we would meet again and this time, we just clicked.
On our first date in 1989, He asked me if he could kiss me and I said no. He looked a little confused (as if he wasn’t used to hearing “no”) but then he asked me why not. I told him I didn’t like kissing on a first date and that most guys didn’t ask and I thought it was nice that he had. He grinned and said:
“Nice enough to give me a kiss?”
“Nice try buddy!” I laughed; he was just too cute. Then he wanted to know what would have happened if he hadn’t asked. “I guess, I would’ve been kissed…” I shrugged and he stole his first kiss. I pretended to be mad about it.
On our second date, he claimed that I was his wife at a party because someone hit on me. That night while watching a lunar eclipse on the hood of his friend’s car he asked me to marry him. I said: No. Again, he asked why not?
I told him that night, that we barely knew each other, I wanted what my parents had. I wanted to marry for life, it wouldn’t be disposable or on a whim. When I married, I wanted a best friend, someone who would be silly and weird with me, someone who would be a good father, someone I loved and trusted. Someone forever. I got all of that with my hubby, in spades. Especially the silly and weird.
On our third date, we went out for dinner on a boat called the Bay Lady. We went with on a double date with friends. The men got drunk and Hubby started asking for the ship captain, he wanted him to marry us, even though I’d turned him down. When we got off the boat and were heading home, I sat on one of the cannons in the inner harbor and he knelt in front of me. Down on one knee he asked me again. The moon was full, the salt water was in the air, it was a beautiful night. The guys who sing at the fudge factory were leaving and saw the scene. They broke into a romantic 80’s song, something about trees echoing in the pines and something. It was as perfect as it could be; what girl could say no? Me…
I went home a few weeks later, back to Arkansas. He went with me to the airport, and before I got on the plane, he told me he had something for me. He told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands. He covered my hands with his and then removed them, I looked down and didn’t see anything. It was my turn to be confused. He said… “It’s my heart, take good care of it.” I kept my hands cupped all the way to my seat before I realized I didn’t really have to do that. It was cheesy; it was romantic and sweet. It was typical Dave. I’d like to think I’ve taken good care of it while it was in my care.
I went home, convinced that he would move on to much more beautiful women than me. But he called almost every night, and talks on the phone turned into more. Eventually I moved to Baltimore to be with him. I told someone this story recently and they asked… when did you say yes? I had to think about it, because I don’t think I ever actually said yes. We just went from “no”, to making wedding plans in Jan 1990. Hubby came into the room and tossed me an engagement ring. I put it on, and here we are 26 yrs later.
During his life, Hubby had helped a lot of people, touching their lives in ways I’m just learning about from his friends and colleagues. He truly believed charity wasn’t something you advertised, it was something done privately. He helped the police in Dallas solve a hit and run accident where a child was killed, he was helping with another case before he left for China. He gave to homeless people; he used his graphics skills to help a group of at risk children design new shoes.
Over the years, we had gains and losses, good and bad times and challenges that have been conquered together. He loaned his confidence and strength to those around him including me. And although I stand here alone, I know he is here with me. I know, that there is nothing that can dim or hold his indomitable spirit. Not even death.
How hubby explained love to me once: “We are born with nothing but a small trunk. As we go through life we collect memories and experiences both good and bad. Pain, happiness, laughter and tears. All those things go into that trunk, and we become weighed down, it gets harder and harder to carry. We start to drag it along behind us, then one day someone else picks up the other side of the trunk and helps us carry our burden.”
Thank you, Hubby… for helping me carry my burdens for a while, they are so much heavier without you. I love and miss you dearly.