Forty-two years ago today I walked down the aisle of St. Ambrose Church in Rochester, NY and married my adorable 24-year-old college sweetheart, who, coincidentally enough, happened to be from my hometown. If you believe in coincidences.
We made it through law school for him and grad school for me. Eight years.
After years of recovery from our divorce, I called those eight years my “practice marriage.” I went on to do more practice, too, never quite getting it right.
Whenever someone asked me, “is there anyone you think you should have worked it out with?” I’d always say, “My first husband. We had a lot going for us, but we were way too young.”
So when my still-adorable first husband (and first ex-husband) knocked on my door 27 years after our divorce–pounded is more like it–no one was as surprised as I was. This was Hallmark Movie Channel fare, the stuff of fairy tales, I thought.
I thought wrong. It was real life coming to call, unexpected for sure, but real. Oh so real.
That young life-of-the-party frat boy and law student had kept his boyish charm (and his baby-blue eyes) and set out to convince me that we belonged together.
And he was right.
I’d lived an independent life, worked hard and made my own way through the world. I’d had husbands and boyfriends, just never had “partner” in the truest sense of the word.
My once-young, now mature husband invited me to join him on a grand adventure of love and life. It took him roughly a month to convince me, and here’s what did it:
“We haven’t even seen each other in 27 years!” I said.
To which he responded, “What, you don’t think I know who you are?”
I am known. I am loved. And–for the very first time in my adult life–I am taken care of in all the important ways.
And I hope he feels the same way.
Happy fifth and 42nd, Michael. You always rocked my world and you still do.