I've heard more times than I can count how fascinating "our story" is. I see people looking back at me with smiles of wonder on their faces as I tell how my husband and I got married. So I thought I'd start from that beginning here and share it with you. Each time I have the opportunity to share my story, I am reminded how very special this union is and what a gift I have been given.
The questions I get most times are quiet, puzzled looks when one part of a conversation reveals my son's age (18 now) and then a few sentences later, or in another conversation on another day, they hear me say we have been married for 6 years. Most people do not dare to ask the obvious question, "Is he your son's real father?" (except for Pastor George in the Hospice Dept at work, but then again he's an exception to all the rules =) I usually end up volunteering the information, followed by our story. Partly to save them the embarrassment of asking... and partly because I love to tell it. (I'll try to keep it brief.)
I met Tommy through a friend in 1989 when he was visiting his sister in Ohio. He visited her around Thanksgiving each year. It was love at first site for me. I'd never met anyone so sweet, kind, considerate, thoughtful, funny, and HANDSOME! We spent some time together while he was in town but it wasn't nearly enough for either of us. We spent hours each week talking by phone. Mailed letters and cards (I still have those.) He would even play his guitar and sing to me on the phone. I was IN LOVE! But long distance relationships are hard, with just a handful of face-to-face time together in a year.
In that first short week we knew each other, we connected on a deeper level than either of us realized. But Tommy had been burned badly twice before and would not let himself risk that again. When he made a trip to Ohio in November, 1990, we spent some time together, sort of a 'goodbye', realizing that the odds were against us with such a great distance between us and his fears of the past. Two months later in January 1991, I found out I was pregnant. Fast forward....
Tommy and I did not get back together because of the baby. Adam was born in July 1991 and Tommy did the right thing in supporting his child. But he faithfully paid the state of Oklahoma, who in turn sent it to the state of Kentucky before it reached us. Because of this process, and the fact that he was living with someone who was controlling, manipulative and jealous (who did everything she could to hinder out contact with him), Tommy and I eventually lost contact.
I never stopped loving Tommy and did not date anyone for 10 years... since saying goodbye to him in 1990. I focused on working and raising my son and for a while that was enough for me. In 2000 I decided I'd been alone too long and started dating again. I eventually became engaged. I thought I had it all planned out. I was wrong.
When I met Tommy he was a single father raising his two daughters, Traci and Mandy. The youngest, Mandy, was a daddy's girl and the cutest little freckled-faced, red haired thing you ever saw. She and I both were equally heartbroken when I had to say goodbye to her too. It was her that found us in March 2001. She was about to be married herself and wanted to reconnect with me (so that I could be a part of her happiness) and she also wanted to meet her little brother she'd only seen pictures of and talked to briefly on the phone with a few years before.
After Mandy pulled the family back together, and Adam and I went to Oklahoma to see his dad and 2 sisters I knew immediately that I still loved him. I had to do some thinking and make the decision to break off my engagement because I knew Tommy was still the love of my life. We continued visiting as often as possible and Tommy and I renewed our relationship with each other. We married in January 2003 and I know it was 'meant to be'. After so many years apart, and neither of us marrying other people, I believe we were meant for each other... soul mates. And I thank God for His plan. Sometimes you don't understand why things happen the way they do. And it could take days, months, or as in our case years to see the plan that God had.