And this is the other side of the story. This is my friend's husband writing his version of how it all went. I thought maybe you'd enjoy it as well. :)
A TRUE LOVE STORY
Where to begin? Our love story, for me, started in August of 2000 at a church meeting in Missoula, MT. I remember I was standing in the foyer of the church right after an evening service. I happened to glance over to my left, and a gorgeous blonde caught my eye! I knew she was a visitor, but had no idea from where? This was the first time I had ever seen her. I will never forget the thought in my mind, that maybe she was the one for me to be with someday?! I do remember something telling me that the feeling in my heart and thought of my mind was different this time. I had never experienced this before. I never forgot that moment and tucked it away in my mind for years to come. I was informed by her best friend that I paid for their meal when a group of us went out to eat later that week. Her friend says she could tell, then, that I liked her. I guess she was oblivious to me at the time. I am unable to recollect that moment, but will never forget the first time I saw my future wife.
Fast forward to February of 2001. I and 2 friends of mine decided to take a trip to Lacombe, AB. We needed to get away, and were intrigued by a Pastor who lived there. By this time I knew that my future wife lived in Lacombe, and that she was living with this Pastor and his wife. So, of course, I had in the back of my mind that I hoped I would get to see and, possibly, meet her on our trip. We went to a prayer breakfast on a Saturday morning, and low and behold there she was!!! She greeted us at the door and immediately my heart returned to the feeling I had the first time I saw her! She was very formal, but a bit giddy. She asked who we were staying with and retreated to the back room. I would like to say that we both locked eyes and she was just as interested in me as I was in her, but that was not the case! :( We seemed to her as just a few more young guys that couldn’t turn her eye. We attended church the next day (Sunday), and I found myself taking quick glances at her, perhaps hoping she was taking glances at me. Unfortunately, once again, there seemed nothing there for her. I tried to say hi after the service, but seemed that I made her nervous or bothersome. I went away from that trip a little disappointed, but was able to joke about it with my friends, that I had been rejected! I was also able to just let it go…. for now…
I lived the next 10 yrs wondering if I would ever be married. Opportunities arose, but I never once felt like it was right for me. I struggled at times if I had missed my opportunity to be married somewhere along the road. I eventually resigned to remain single and live the best way I could. I was now an Assistant Pastor in Helena, Mt. It was the spring of 2010, and I was talking to my best friend, and made the comment; “I wonder if she ever got married”. He did some detective work and found out, to my surprise, that she was still single! This obviously perked my interest again and reignited my heart as before. I planned a trip with a friend for May. I phoned Pastor ahead of time to see if it was ok, and he gave the go ahead to come up. I was a bit nervous and anxious driving up. I had thought of her periodically over the years and sometimes told others of the thoughts in my heart about her. I was taking one last chance. We attended a church service that Sunday, and there she was sitting in the first row! She looked just as beautiful as the first time I saw her! I prayed that God would give me a chance to meet her after the service, and he did. I was now talking to her for the first time ever. It was 10 yrs from the first time I first saw her. We had a great conversation and traded stories of our lives and families. I reminded her of the meeting in August of 2000, but she had little recollection. Oh well, we were finally talking now! We went out for coffee with a group that night which was pleasant. We made small talk, and I could sense that there may be a slight interest on her part, but I didn’t push it. We left with a cordial ‘goodbye’ and a parting smile only to wonder what would come of it. 4 months had passed, and it was now September. I had been invited to an October church meeting that her church was putting on, back in May. I had thought and prayed about her over those 4 months and wondered if it was time to visit again to see if our previous meeting was just that or something to pursue. I shockingly was able to get work off at the church and my part-time job at Costco. I decided to go for it. I knew this was all or nothing! The meeting lasted 5 days. She and I were able to spend some good quality time after the services talking. It became evident over those 5 days that we were both interested! So, on the last night, I was able to get the guts to ask her if she would be interested in continuing to communicate after I would leave. To my joy, she said YES!!! I then received permission from her Pastor/“Dad”. All those years of waiting were finally paying off. I was now 36, and she was 32. Neither of us had been married previously and neither of us had children. A miracle and anomaly to most people! We both sensed that this was what we wanted and that we were going to take it slow and do it right!
She and I agreed to start by writing letters first, which became evident that it was too hard given the length of time waiting for the mail across the border. So we began emailing daily and sometimes nightly filling in all the details of our childhood, and the last 12 yrs. It became apparent that this was a match made in Heaven! I made a trip up to Lacombe again in November. We were able to get to know one another quickly and get comfortable with what we wanted to do with our lives in the future. She then made a trip down to Helena, MT in December over Christmas for 10 days. By now, we had exchanged over 100 emails and a couple of letters. Things had accelerated fast, but comfortably. I now knew it was time to propose. My sister had helped me pick a ring out previously, so I was ready and committed to ‘pop the question’! Christmas day 2010, would be the day. I chose a beautiful, remote place on Canyon Ferry Lake, outside of Helena. I went out earlier that morning and tied a dozen roses to a lone tree on a peninsula that jetted out into the lake. Later on that day I told my wife -to- be that we were going to take some pictures at the lake with my Mom and Sister. She had no idea, and was oblivious to what was going on. But, I had a good idea from previous conversations that she would say ‘Yes’ to marriage. I led her to the tip of the peninsula where the tree and flowers were. She was amazed, but still unaware of my intentions. I then turned to her and said “I’m not finished yet”! She was shocked to say the least, but very happy!!! I bowed the knee and nervously asked the question. She gave an ecstatic….YES! We would spend the next 3 months emailing and talking frequently on the phone. I made visits in January and February to spend some time together. Both our families were made aware of our relationship by now and were very excited for both of us! We decided that a short engagement made sense, and felt comfortable that we knew each other well enough. So we would have the ceremony on March 19th 2011. We truly are living ‘Happily ever after’!!!