I have saved for my last 'Being thankful' post, to express thanks for my Beloved bride. I still remember the day that we met twenty one years ago. Neither of us where supposed to be where we were. I had a last minute invite to travel to see a friends baptism and when i arrived i had been informed that i had been set up on a blind date and would meet her at the nearby home coming college football game, she was supposed to be on a camping/canoe trip. My blind date was her roommate, and since my (then future) beloved had nothing else to do, ended up being at the game to hang out.
We spent that afternoon, the three of us, discussing the sovereignty of God. I think i may have watched 3 plays of the entire game. After the game my date and i went out to dinner with a slew of other students, and then to the dance - which, i don't dance. The whole Christian Student Union crowd hung out though, and afterwards we all went out to Denny's. I ordered a hot fudge sundae, she ordered french fries with Ranch dressing (admittedly, i didn't learn about the Ranch Dressing part until later). I only remember two people being there, my (then future) Beloved and her friend who had led her to Christ. After Denny's we traveled out to a nearby historic park. We wandered around in various small groups. I left and headed back home, clueless as usual.
Three days later, i am standing on a ladder, holding up and cleaning a house's gutters because that was my job as a Carpenter's Apprentice that day, when a little light bulb lit up right over my head. You know, a real AH HA! moment. I distinctly remember the Holy Spirit asking me, "where you paying attention back there"? When i got home that night i called my friend who lived out where she was going to school and asked him to get her telephone number (this was back before e-mail was very wide spread). He said he would get it for me and get back to me.
Three weeks later! he finally gets back to me. I learned later that she was MAD at me for asking for her for her telephone number - which he had asked her for, the day after i had asked him - and then never calling her! I am still not sure what took him so long to get the number to me. Well, i called her immediately following and made arrangements to head up to meet her again that weekend.
I didn't see her until Sunday services, she was wearing a beautiful white dress with blue flowers, and her hair was on fire in the sunlight. We went to a Ponderosa (i know, big spender here) and we chatted. After we hung out with a married couple who she was friends with and also were leaders in CSU. She invited me to go to her five year High School reunion Thanksgiving weekend, ironically, it would be one year before our wedding. I don't remember much about that first date other than we spent the evening with her friend from High School.
The next six months where a whirlwind. I introduced her to my singles bible study friends, she introduced me to all of her friends, and we to each others parents. I checked in to the National Guard's tuition assistance, etc. and proposed on her the day she graduated from college - although, by then, she had already known i would.
For over twenty years now, she has endured sixteen years of me being in the Army National Guard, my quirks and short comings. Not every moment, well, sometimes for a few weeks, things have not always been the most pleasant, but i know there is not one second i would trade or discard. I truly feel lost when she is not around. In so many ways she truly completes me. I love her, and she loves me... and what better life could one hope for?