Monday, August 24, 2009

I Married Him Twice - Chapter One

The first of a three chapter story.

It wasn't long after I'd met my Beloved Mystery Man in Milan, that I knew-- over salad-- I'd found my soul mate and was hopelessly in love. But I didn't let on to anyone, especially him!

While we were still in the “just dating” stage of our courtship, we were not seeing other people. But, we played the “dating” game with him calling me for a “date” numerous times a week and every weekend. I liked being “courted” and the relationship evolved slowly, but at a pace we were both comfortable with.

Neither of us was anxious to jump into a serious relationship, but there was no denying the spark between us. So we made a point of taking our time getting to know each other and building a trust and a meaningful relationship one “date” at a time.

Then, out of the blue, I got the dreaded phone call no daughter ever wants to get. My Dad was on his way into surgery for just-discovered cancer. The words still ring in my head leaving me reeling with helplessness. I was at work when the call came in and remember sitting at my desk for a full hour not knowing what to do. Then I called Beloved and cancelled our date for that evening. My Dad’s illness was simply too shocking, too painful and too personal for me to cope with. My usual instinct to “withdraw” and “put my guard up” immediately kicked in.

Beloved was having none of it. Instead, he said he would meet me at my apartment at 7:30pm which was when I usually arrived home from work. He greeted me in the driveway with open arms and no judgment as I cried uncontrollably.

Being “weak’ was not my usual self and I was embarrassed to be so needy and weepy in his presence. Despite my feelings for him, we’d only known each other for ten months and I’d never cried in front of him before. Eventually he helped me up the stairs, unlocking the front door for me, then settled me onto the sofa with a blanket and a glass of wine. When he disappeared out the back door I wasn’t phased and thought he’d had enough drama for one night.

Thirty minutes later, I dried my eyes and found the dining room table set with my favorite salad from a local gourmet restaurant. Beloved knew I had not eaten all day and this was my version of “Los Angeles comfort food”. It was one of the kindest and most thoughtful things anyone had ever done for me. It took a while for my first bite, but eventually I calmed down enough to start eating.

That night, as I told Beloved stories about my father, whom he’d never met, I knew I was in love. Of course I was also devastated and pushed the feelings as far back in my mind as I could, but it was very real and there was no turning back for me.

A few months later, for Valentine’s Day, I gave Beloved a beautiful salad bowl, which he thought, based on his expression, was a strange gift. No, I did not explain the significance of the salad he’d brought me, and insisted I eat, on that fateful night. It wasn’t until years later, after we were first married, that I told him this story of exactly when I knew I was in love with him.

Dad eventually recovered from this go ‘round with cancer but it was a long and difficult haul for him. Sadly, it was not the last time I got one of those awful phone calls about Dad’s health. Each time, over the next five years, Beloved brought me another salad and held my hand through the process.

Stay tuned. Chapter Two on Wednesday

Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna

Photo Credit

56 comments:

  1. You're very lucky to have found your soul mate. When it happens you just know, don't you? (I can say this with absolute cetainty because I did too). :)

    I'll be waiting for the next installment. I love the way you write.

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  2. This was wonderful Joanna, THANK YOU! Thank you for infusing hope in love and relationships through a beautifully told personal account. I love your writing very much.

    You are indeed very lucky, and I had great fun learning about it in your Mystery Man saga. He sounds like perfection to me.

    Ciao,
    ~Lola xx

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  3. Great story...I love a good romance.

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  4. This was sweet and touching. Loved it! Real love stories always bring tears of joy to my eyes.Can't wait to read more.

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  5. There's a book in there...and I smell the intoxicating scent of movie rights being sold. Really.
    Could you hear the collective "ohh!" as we came to the end of part one??!! That's the telltale sign.

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  6. Love... :)
    always makes us happy

    best wishes
    Ribbon

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  7. You have a good story and a gift for writing.
    L A comfort food....great!

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  8. Oh, what a sweet story! Can't wait for the next installment.

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  9. Very kind. He's definately a keeper....but, you already knew that. :)

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story. Looking forward to hearing more of it.

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  11. I can't wait for the next installment. I'm not sure where your story is going to lead, but maybe you might want to make it into a 'little book'. When I wrote about Dan, it was around Father's Day. I made our story into a little book and gave it to him for Father's Day. It actually brought a tear to one eye...

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  12. I like the way you call him Beloved. That is such a precious expression. He sounds like he was patient and kind and mature, not needy and selfish. This is an interesting way to tell your story, in three parts.

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  13. Love it, cannot wait to hear more,........

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  14. Joanna, just beautiful, there is a movie I am sure, I could totally relate to your feelings of your dad, I just lost mine in May, I don't think I could have made it through without my husband. Can't wait to read more.

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  15. How wonderful Joanna. That story brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing when, in the darkest days, someone can shed some light on us x

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  16. wow Joanna can't wait for the next part .. this one gave me chills and tears!

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  17. A beautiful love story. I am sorry to hear your Dad was ill but am glad you had true love to support you. Looking forward to hearing more!

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  18. Truly, those were your salad days, yes?!

    Hugs to both!!! A very good way for me to start my Monday!

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  19. Joanna, your stories are so real and sentimental and lovely. Each one outdoes the last. I so wish I had the finesse to write like you.

    What a wonderful gift to have such closeness with your father and even though unpleasant, to feel the pain and fear that comes from coping with a loved one's serious illness. In my family, we are very disconnected emotionally from our parents and would give anything to feel that deeply and dramatically for them.

    I am so happy that you have parents you hold in high esteem and a Beloved to make your life whole and complete.

    The symbolism of the salad bowl is beautiful. And so are you...

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  20. What a wonderful love story! I can't wait to read chapter 2.

    And Alix? You tell a mean story! Don't underestimate yourself, girlfriend!

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  21. When I came over and saw this post, I could not wait to read it. I, too, married my soulmate twice.
    I want to know how it turns out and will be back on Wednesday.

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  22. What a beautiful post......I love your words and will be back often...

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  23. He must have known you pretty well, to bring you salad. One would think that chocolate or some other comfort food would be better fitting. But he knew what you needed!
    I think it´s so great, that you bought him a salad bowl to remember this meaningful moment.
    Can´t wait to read the rest of your story!

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  24. that was just beautiful...i love hearing stories of how people fell in love...big smiles.

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  25. Oh Joanna, I love your stories! This made me all misty eyed! You should have a warning on these kind of posts because I can't cry all of my makeup off while putting it on!
    I can't wait for 2 and 3!

    Hugs!!

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  26. I'm so looking forward to our lunch on Thursday! I hope I can get the full story and not in spurts!!!

    I'm so loving this! I'm tuning in to hear the rest.

    What a very precious man!

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  27. Joanna, yes he sounds like a keeper. Isn't it wonderful when our hearts led us to the spot they need to be? I can't wait to hear more.

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  28. Oh Joanna. That is just the most romantic and loveliest story ever. Masterfully told.

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  29. Oh Joanna. That is just the most romantic and loveliest story ever. Masterfully told.

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  30. I'm enjoying what I'm reading so far and looking forward to Wednesday's chapter

    betty

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  31. 10 months!!! You knew him for 10 months before you let your guard down.

    Dang girl.

    I knew within 2 months I was going to Mrs. Hall. Went to adiamondisforever.com, designed a ring and emailed it to him.

    hee heee

    This is very interesting... hearing your story... go on now, let's hear more!! :)

    and so sorry about your Dad. gaah. I can't imagine what that was like.

    blogger hug.

    :)

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  32. this story brought tears to my eyes...so touching...can't wait for part 2.

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  33. You definitely have a way with words! Can't wait for the second part!

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  34. how wonderful to have such a person in your life, and what a great tale

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  35. I'm hooked. I need to know more about your Beloved.

    I would like to share an award I received, so grab a cocktail and come on by.

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  36. So sweet. Thus proving that it is those little "taking care of you" gestures that are always the most appreciated.

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  37. Beautiful story, I can't wait to read the rest!

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  38. you lucky girl!! I consider myself pretty lucky as well when it comes to my other half.

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  39. Great beginnings. I love a good love story. Les and I came together like thunder and lightening. I was madly in love by our second date if not sooner and we didn't exactly "take it slow." LOL!

    15 years later, still burning bright.

    Cheers,

    SLC

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  40. Joanna, there is nothing better than someone who really listens in a way that they learn to know us well. I'm looking forward to reading more.

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  41. I can't wait for Chapter II. I love the way you write!

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  42. A beautiful story, thank you for sharing. It's as of I'm reading a novel or something, can't wait for Chapter 2. :-)

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  43. Oh, that IS true love. I'm hooked into this story and can't wait for the next chapter!

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  44. Looking forward to your next chapter.

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  45. How sweet! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

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  46. Can't wait for the rest of the story.

    Cancer is a roller coaster ride for sure. It's a difficult journey for everyone.

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  47. :sniffle:: how sweet! I'll never look at a salad the same way again!

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  48. Oh my - you've got me on pins and needles here, woman! Bring on Chapter 2 and 3 already!!!!

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  49. Love the salad!! What a great story. Can't wait to hear the rest.

    ~Keri

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  50. Okay, I was hooked in Part Two (because I read it first), but after reading Part One, I can't wait for Part Three!

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  51. Please stop by my blog and pick up an award I have for you!

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  52. Oh this is so much fun to read. I love the concept. Looking forward to Friday.

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  53. Oh my gosh! What a sweetheart!

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Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I really appreciate it.