Twenty five years ago today a love story began. It’s not a perfect love story, it’s full of challenges, mistakes, and rough patches. But it’s also full of joy, happiness, wonder, and amazement. Most importantly, it’s full of kindness, forgiveness, hope and love.
Elisa and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Her dad was my scoutmaster and I helped sheetrock their basement as a teenager. But Elisa was three years younger than me — a lifetime when you’re a teen — and we never really got to know each other until I was 21 and she was 19.
I confess to being distracted and blind and not noticing Elisa had her eye on me. After patiently waiting six months for me to pick up her subtle hints, she finally took charge and asked me out for a backyard Fourth of July barbeque. It was a quiet date, just she and I, eating burgers and watching fireworks magically exploding in the distance.
It was just supposed to be a first date, and you’re not supposed to fall in love on the first date. But the stars aligned causing time to stand still as moments deliciously blurred together. I didn’t dare give voice to my feelings, afraid I would scare Elisa away. So I waited until our second date later that week and expressed my feelings by asking her to marry me.
The pundits said we would never make it. To their credit, the odds really were stacked against us. We didn’t really know each other that well, we got engaged way to fast, and we weren’t a match of any kind. I was a backward farm kid, very rough around the edges, and full of self-doubt. Elisa was a beautiful and refined young woman, an accomplished pianist, and very smart and confident.
We shouldn’t have made it from the start. The journey since then, like most marriages, has also had its share of challenges, some of which others may consider to be above normal. But here’s the deal with those kinds of extraordinary experiences — we choose to let them chip away, or we choose to let them build up. The choice is ours.
It takes both sides to make a relationship work, and I’m extremely grateful for Elisa’s abundant love, patience, and hope. That’s what makes this story so great.
Forgive me for sharing such a personal story. I realize it probably doesn’t mean that much to you. But it means everything to Elisa and me. It’s given an incredible foundation for our children to build on and a beautiful start to the next twenty-five years. Best of all, it’s our love story… and we’re sticking to it!
Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to share a piece of your own love story, no matter what it is.