Seven years ago…
We had almost just married other people. I had my marriage license and was waiting for the right time to elope. His wedding had been planned for a year. I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding, and as I stood behind her while she said her vows, I knew I couldn’t pledge those same vows to my significant other. It suddenly felt so wrong, and within days I ended the relationship.
He had barreled along through his relationship, giving up on the idea of really having that true love he imagined and settling for someone whom time had cemented in his life. Shortly before the wedding, there was a fight… she threw the ring back at him… he felt so free… when she came to apologize later, he didn’t give it back. Later that month, a freak storm killed someone on the same date at the same location of the place he was supposed to have gotten married.
Then I walked into his life (well, his workplace to be exact!). I was working full-time as a pharmacy technician in a hospital, and was growing incredibly disillusioned with the medical system. Patients just kept coming back with all new problems. Pharmacists had a quota of how many errors to find in the doctor’s prescriptions- from small mess-ups to fatal ones. And overall, there was an air of exhaustion and little sympathy coming from the overwhelmed staff. Was this really how we heal?
My apartment flooded, and I needed to find a new one, quick. It was more expensive, so I started working part-time as well, a few evenings at a health food store, to cover the rent difference and see how the “the other side” worked. I noticed him right away. We never worked the same shift, only exchanged pleasantries in passing for a month. Both of us had intended to have a light-hearted summer, for heaven’s sake no relationships for a while! But our co-workers kept telling us we had a lot in common and should hang out. One day… we ended up working the same shift… his truck was in the shop… even though 2 other coworkers lived on his street, he asked me to give him a ride home. We were hungry, so we stopped for a bite to eat. Afterwards, I was glowing!
We had both just gotten apartments near each other on the same day. We had both just done the master cleanse fast, and were trying to adhere to a raw foods diet. We had cracks in the same spot on our windshield. He had the same name as my father, and his sister shared names with my father’s sister. Our mothers were both one of eleven. My parents met at work when my mother was twenty-four, and had a close mutual coworker friend named Gary. I met him at work when I was twenty-four, and we had a mutual work friend (who was also his roommate) named Gary. That is just too many coincidences!
So, he did what any smooth guy would do. He told me a bunch of people at work had been talking about seeing a certain movie later that week. Would I like to go? “Sure,” I said… thinking it would be fun to get to know more health food store people, interesting and unique as many of them were.
He showed up alone. Haha… yes, others had been talking about seeing it. 😉
He asked me to go to a party with him a few days later- a fourth of July party hosted by a coworker. We’d have to bring (health) food, so we planned to spend a few hours cooking together first. We had so much fun and brought plenty of yummy things. As we sat in the kitchen at the party setting our offerings down, I looked at him and thought… I hope he kisses me tonight… several hours later, we ended up in that same spot, this time all alone… and he did. We spent time together every single day after that, often talking til the wee hours of the morn!
A week later, we happened to have the same day off and he took me to Canada (a four hour drive) to see his campus (he was studying homeopathy in a three-year weekend program). Before we went on our tour of Toronto, we spent a few minutes meditating/praying together. We asked God to guide us and prepare our way ahead of us. We felt so connected after dating just ten days- but could we take our relationship very seriously, considering a month ago we almost married other people? As we took in the sights and sounds, sitting on a sidewalk bench drinking fresh juice from a juice bar, we were approached by a jovial Jamaican minister, wearing his black suit and white collar, evangelizing and raising funds for a new church building. He smiled at us and said “You two are a beautiful couple and I’ll marry you right now!” We laughed and gave him ten dollars for his cause.
A few hours later, we bumped into him again. Then later, again! In such a big city, our paths kept crossing. Not being ones to take such “coincidences” lightly, we greeted him this time and said, “Ok, go ahead- marry us!” And he did. Right there on the corner of Bloor and Yonge Streets! After we exchanged simple vows, he told my new husband to get me a ring as soon as possible. The next day, he did… and we had a judge from our town make our union legal a few days later.
We still love cooking together, and now we have a beautiful garden to choose our ingredients from! What a wild seven years it has been… after ten days of dating and two weeks of marriage we found out we were going to have a baby… followed by a move to the country… and two more beautiful babies… I can’t wait to see what the next seven years brings!