Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Phone Call That Changed My Life FOREVER

It was the phone call that changed my life forever.

It could  have been just another average Friday night in the city of Milwaukee, the place I had called home for the last three years.  But it wasn’t...all because of one phone call.  Instead, that evening became a Friday night that I would never forget.  The call was from someone I had just met, yet what he said that evening left me speechless (and if you know me, that’s saying A LOT!).

The previous weekend I had journeyed to a small town four hours away to meet up with my former classmates from a missionary training school that I had graduated from a few years before.  As I had greeted all the familiar faces there was one face in the crowd that was not familiar and caught my eye.

I couldn’t deny I found the mischievous eyes and easy smile on this 6-foot-something stranger appealing but by the end of that day, it was his kind heart that had grabbed my own.  The way he leaned in, brow furrowed with interest, when I would speak when most guys I had previously met seemed more interested when THEY were the ones talking!  Yet when he did share something, his quick-witted humor and the depth of his insight made it obvious to me that there was definitely something good brewing under that messy, dark hair and crooked baseball cap!  It didn’t take long for me to wonder if Mr. Tall & Dark was taken and this was coming from a girl who had been perfectly content with her city-life, good friends and nice job.  I didn’t want any big changes, especially if it meant getting involved with some mysterious farm-boy hours from where I lived.

When it was time for me, my friends and our new acquaintances to part ways that evening, Mr. Tall & Dark had suddenly disappeared.  After we had all swapped contact information and he still had not appeared, I felt a twinge of disappointment as I had climbed back into my truck for the ride home.  Well, I thought, I guess he is taken after all...he was just being a nice guy.  But just as I had turned the key, he magically appeared next to my vehicle, seemingly out of breath but with that easy smile that had this weird affect on my knees, making them feel like spaghetti noodles.

“So, do any of you guys ever get back to this area to visit?”  He had asked, referring to everyone still mingling in the parking lot but (or did I just imagine it?!) seeming to look directly into my eyes.  I waited, what exactly was he getting at?

“ ‘bout YOU, Tara?  Can I get your phone number?”  He casually flipped open his cell (I found out months later he had disappeared to find his phone in order to be smooth about getting my number!) and waited while I suppressed a smile and (gladly!) gave him my phone number.

The drive home that beautiful October evening no longer held any disappointment for me and I belted out every happy song that played over the radio as the miles sped past and my heart sped up.  I swung between soaring with excitement (Could it be...could this be him?) and being practical and cautious (but I didn’t do much of that because it’s boring and I’ve never been good at it anyways!).

It was five days later when we finally connected, when I reached to answer the phone with a hand slightly shaking...unsure of what awaited on the other end.  All I knew was it was Mr. Tall & Dark, ie, Bob, this interesting guy I hadn’t been able to get out of my head since we had said goodbye.  I shouldn’t think TOO much, I reasoned with myself, I JUST met this guy.  I bet he doesn’t even know my last name or if I have a boyfriend (I found out later he didn’t know either but didn’t care what the answer to those questions were!).  But yet, I can't remember ever feeling so...sure that something good is about to happen.  

Little did I know he was going to have ME at hello.

And little did I know that was the only word I’d even get in before Bob said something that would cause my mouth to hit the floor.

“Hey Tara!  I’m at work so can’t talk long but I wanted to see what your doing this weekend. (Um, as in tomorrow!?  Oh, wow.) I’ll be in Milwaukee and I wanted to see you.  In fact, I’m interested in pursuing you.  The truth is, you have everything I’ve been looking for in a wife (he then listed all the things he liked about me as I thought: you noticed that?  you see that in me?  you believe all these good things about...ME?!) and so...well, to not pursue you would be a waste of something good that is happening here.  I’ll pick you up tomorrow...does it matter what time?”

“Oh, um...yeah, how about noon.”  Notice this is the only question he asked me so far.  I thought about what he HADN’T asked me such as, “Are you interested at all in me?  Could I pursue you?  Are you even available?!?!”  Then I realized: it didn’t matter.  He was going to pursue me and that was that!  It was bold.  It was crazy.  It was...just what I had been waiting for.  A man that knew what he wanted and knew why he wanted me.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that I’m a little crazy myself and love an exciting adventure which I was pretty sure this whole thing was going to be.

“So,” I searched for words but Bob cut in, “Hey, sorry, Tara--I gotta run now but I look forward to seeing you soon.  Goodbye!”

I echoed a goodbye before hanging up the phone in a daze.  I used to roll my eyes at the notion of being “swept off your feet” but the truth was, after I set the phone down, I felt a little shaky and quickly sat down before I fell down.

What I couldn't have known at that moment on that not-so-average-Friday-night was it wouldn’t be the last time Mr. Tall & Dark turned a regular moment into something that I would never forget.

Because the next day, our first official date, was also unforgettable as we talked for hours over chips and salsa in a quiet little Mexican restaurant in the middle of my bustling city.

And the next month, when he asked my father for permission to court me (yup, old fashioned but I loved it!) then asked me to court him, I was speechless once again.

Two months after that, he asked me to marry him and once again, the moment was unforgettable.

And seven months later when I walked down an aisle and saw those mischievous eyes twinkle with something other than mischief (those were definitely tears!) I was glad I didn’t have to speak because I was without words to describe the love I had grown to have for this man.

Tonight could be another average Friday night...but it isn’t because it’s the eve of our six-year-anniversary.  So whether we escape our new bustling city (uh-hum, the four, soon-to-be five, little rascals we’re blessed to call Coles!) to a quiet restaurant where we talk for hours or whether we just prop our feet up on the couch and enjoy each other (and the noise!) doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that I feel like a pretty lucky girl because the guy that was going to pursue me no matter what is still pursuing me no matter what.  No matter how many kids he has to wade through, how big of a mess he has to dodge or what kind of mood I’m in (pregnant Mamas are a sometimes bit...unpredictable shall we say!), he still scoops me into his arms at the end of the day and (literally) sweeps me off my feet (not always an easy thing with my big ol’ belly!).

I’m glad I married that man who knew what he wanted and knew he wanted me (quirks and ALL!).  Bob Cole, thank you for six unforgettable years of marriage and for that phone call that changed my life for the better forever. 
I love you.


Zazzy Episodes said...

How beautiful and lovely proclamation of your love to Bob! I love it.

angela said...

awwww~ ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!