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:

angelcel said...

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.

Lola said...

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

Frau said...

Great story...I love a good romance.

ymK said...

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

My name is PJ. said...

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.

Ribbon said...

Love... :)
always makes us happy

best wishes
Ribbon

anne h said...

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

Tammy Howard said...

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

lisa said...

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

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

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

Cathy Clementz said...

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...

TechnoBabe said...

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.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

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

cinner said...

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.

Toni said...

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

darsden said...

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

Selma said...

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!

Holly said...

Truly, those were your salad days, yes?!

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

Alix said...

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...

Joanie M said...

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!

Judy said...

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.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

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

Betty said...

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!

Brian Miller said...

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

Green-Eyed Momster said...

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!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

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!

Joyce said...

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.

Debbie said...

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

Debbie said...

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

a corgi said...

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

betty

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

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.

:)

Christine said...

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

Kristina P. said...

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

The Courteous Chihuahua said...

Ooooh, romance and mystery! I like it!!

lissa said...

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

AmyK said...

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.

Angie said...

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

Willoughby said...

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

yorksnbeans said...

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

Spencer L Casey said...

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

Jeanie said...

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.

Mary said...

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

Stinkypaw said...

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

Unknown Mami said...

Beloved sounds wonderful.

hugyourkidz said...

Sounds like a fabulous guy!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

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

grannyann said...

Looking forward to your next chapter.

CraezieLady said...

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

Kathy said...

Can't wait for the rest of the story.

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

Loraine said...

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

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

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

forever folding laundry said...

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

~Keri

JamaGenie said...

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

Eva Gallant said...

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

Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

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

Yaya said...

Oh my gosh! What a sweetheart!