Grandma Priscilla enchanted me with the story of her first date with Grandpa Charles. While standing in line for the Ferris wheel ride at the county fair, he reached down for her hand. She looked down at their hands and knew they would be together forever. And they were.
Of course I expected that to happen to me and when Cupid's arrow struck me on the baseball field when a kid threw what looked to me like a perfect fast ball and then held my hand as he walked me home later, gave me my first kiss under the railroad crossing bridge.....and broke my heart two weeks later when he told me Nancy was cuter than me and we were "breaking up". Why hadn't I "known" like Grandma Priscilla had? She assured me I would figure it out.
It took me years and years and years. Forty seven years, to be exact.
And it had nothing to do with finding the right man. It had everything to do with becoming the right woman.
I'm thankful now for the bumpy -- no, make that treacherous -- road I traveled to bring me where I am now. Finding the courage to leave a marriage that wasn't working, working jobs I hated to make sure there was a roof over my head and food on the table, supporting my children, unweaving myself from other unhealthy relationships I'd find myself muddled in.....all steps I had to get through to discover the person I was meant to be.
There was a late fall afternoon when I was sitting on the back deck of a house I owned then, having a cup of tea. I'd called in sick to work that day, needing a mental health day. I'd been thinking about life and love and health and what was important. I'd just turned down a marriage proposal that would have guaranteed me financial security and life on the Jersey shore. Why? Because that Mr. Right kept saying he needed "a wife"....not that he needed "me". And I remember not feeling sad that I had finally broken off this relationship....but overjoyed that I had finally thought enough about myself that I could say "no". I didn't need him. I was able to take care of myself, had been doing a great job of it and would continue to do so. With or without a man in my life. And life went on.
And a few months later, I met Chris, on a blind date of sorts. The first time I saw his smile, his eyes, there was this lurch in my heart. And he took my hand as we headed for the movies. And as I looked down at our hands, I knew we'd be together, just as Grandma Priscilla had known about Grandpa Charles. I'd found Mr. Right.......but also, because I was the right woman. Finally.