This message goes to our grandchildren. Unlikely circumstances sometimes foretell good relationships. Even when memories clash, the fun of telling two versions creates a vortex of togetherness. Below, you will find two interpretations of how Grandpa and I met.
I had started attending a twelve-step recovery group at our church. The group did not require a label: anyone wanting to work on an issue could attend and share. One evening, I arrived at a meeting to learn that Barbara Williams would be leading the session. Fair enough. She seemed nice. I began telling my long, sad, tale of woe. Abruptly, Barbara asked, “Can you share step one?” Although slightly stunned, I stated the step. Did it stop there? Oh no. She relentlessly continued to prod me through the next four steps. What a tough (dare I say mean) woman she turned out to be. “I’ll watch out for her, for sure!”
However, the following Sunday, Barbara met me in the hall of the church with a small paper bag. “I have a little gift for you,” she quipped. I opened the bag to find one of Louise Hay’s cassette tapes. “Thank you,” I said as I leaned down to kiss her cheek. Whoa! At the last minute, Barbara turned her head so that my innocent kiss landed squarely on her lips. What a surprise! Mean AND surprising!
For several weeks, I had noticed that a man named Chris seemed stuck in his heartbreaking stories. As soon as he began talking on an evening when I had been left in charge, I heard a voice in my head say, “Help him move forward. Challenge him.” What else could I do? And so, yes — I pushed him to move beyond the mere telling into taking some positive action.
Later that evening, I wondered, “Was the ‘voice’ only my ego pumping up my importance? Did I go too far? Maybe he would never return.” That same day, as I perused a neighborhood bookstore, I felt drawn to a Louise Hay cassette tape. Maybe a small gift would heal any rift I might have created.
Sunday morning arrived. I strode down the hall carrying my small ‘apology’ gift. Little did I suspect that Chris would almost immediately kiss me — front and center. “What were people passing in the hall going to think?” That man took me totally by surprise.
Months passed. We dated. We got to know one another. Then one day at work, a fax arrived for me, which asked, “Will you marry me?” I thought to myself, “Unusual — to be sure.” Clever — very clever since communication via fax had just arrived on the scene and I considered it somewhat cutting edge. How else could I respond? “YES!” The rest remains history.