Updated: Jan 6
I did my best to appear nonchalant as I scanned the crowd on the bottom floor. Almost all of my co-workers were there, drinks in hand and comfortably mingling. Where was he? The wind whipped my hair around my face as I climbed two sets of stairs to the top deck of the tour boat. There he was, head slightly tilted back and laughter reflected in the sparkle of his eyes as they met mine. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long. He quickly snapped his flip phone shut and made his way toward me.
I bit my lip, attempting to keep my nervous babbling to a minimum. My face felt impossibly hot as I looked down and quietly murmured hello. My pulse quickened in his presence, slightly in awe of the way he commanded a room. The rest was history.
We purchased our first home only eight months later. His was the only signature on the paperwork, my lack of self-confidence leaving my signature absent, but it felt like our home. I remember coming back from a run that May, stepping through the front door, and looking around, my eyes wide with disbelief. Do you really deserve all this? Is this really YOUR home?
The following year I sat on the couch after returning home from work. It had been a miserable day. He had called me. “What would you like for dinner? I don’t want you to have to cook tonight.” I was thankful I could relax and didn’t have to make dinner that night.
He came through the door, arms full of take out containers that held my favorite meal. He set down the dinner and came over to where I sat on the couch. He got down on one knee and retrieved the tiny box that he could no longer keep concealed. “Will you marry me?” My tears of happiness quickly washed away the residual misery from the long work day.
“Yes!” I had finally found one worth holding onto…he was The Keeper.
September 20, 2008
My best friend of twenty years, Nicki, sat beside me in the white limousine as we pulled into the driveway on the unseasonably warm fall day. The tint of the windows allowed us to see out but prevented anyone from seeing in.
Tears glistened in Nicki’s eyes as they came to rest on The Keeper. “He looks so happy!” Her choked voice revealing how difficult it was to keep her composure. She turned to me and wrapped her arms around me before climbing out of the backseat, reaching for my hand, and helping me out of the limo.
The sun shone brightly as we stood in my parent’s front yard and exchanged our vows under an arch covered with pink and red Gerber Daises.
Hours later we sat at the head table under a massive white tent that twinkled with white lights, surrounded by our bridal party, friends, and family. As the best man stood to begin his speech, my four year old son yelled from across the tent, “Hey, that’s my mom and dad!”
We had never asked Will to call him Dad, but he chose that moment to begin doing it on his own. Will, The Keeper, and I became a family.
Excerpt from CROSSROADS: My Search for Truth Through Music and a Lot of Red Wine
"And So It Begins..."
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