I got home very late Thursday night, completely exhausted (that happens when you get 3 hours of sleep a night), and full of thoughts of San Francisco. I spent my day off on Friday walking and thinking. I walked to the docks, the beach, and just lost myself to get a firm grip on everything before it slipped away.
One of the first things I began to realize as I walked was that I was feeling much better now. All the feelings of fear and hopelessness were gone. Was it possible that the teachings of my father from so long ago were still there? Was it possible that the farmers and merchants of the Midwest still guided me? Was it possible that Sadako still provided me with the tools of peace and comfort? And what of this woman? Is she the one? Hell, I didn’t know, but I was slowly deciding that I had to find out and I had a pretty good idea how to get that started.
I arranged to have roses delivered to her apartment and also to her office. On Monday morning her entire office knew immediately that she had just gotten roses as they were delivered up the main hallway to her desk. And here was their youngest employee who had just gone on her first business trip having to explain it all. Ok I admit it was a dirty trick. But it started a 2 week-long conversation by telephone that brought out the deeper elements of who we were individually and what we wanted as a couple.
Her mothers birthday was at the beginning of September and we used that as a reason to see each other again. I had a wonderful time with her parents and only had to deal with two difficult questions the whole time. As they are devout Catholics, they had some problems with my divorce and the fact that I was 10 years older than their little girl wasn’t helpful either. But all went well and Karen and I were rapidly finding that we belonged together and increasingly our conversations moved in that direction. We had only known each other for 3 weeks and already we were very much in love and talking about spending our lives together. Even we knew that was kind of weird, but at the same time, sometimes you just know.
My parents were aware that something serious was going on when I started asking questions about diamonds. I wanted something unique and so I set off on my search. I had never done this before so I was hoping I could find someone to guide me. Since my parents were of no help, I would have to wing it. Karen was coming up to meet my parents in a week so I made sure I got everything ready.
It was great to see her again. You know how new love is, even a week is too long to be apart. Before we went to my parents house for her big luncheon and meet and greet, I proposed to her and she has worn her beautiful heart-shaped diamond ever since. The luncheon was a lot of fun and, aside from a cool reception from Elinor, everyone seemed to find her as delightful as I did. But I think that was easy for everyone because Karen is so easy to like, and to love. Of course there were many good-natured comments about how I was robbing the cradle, but they all soon found out, as I did early on, that her maturity overshadowed that 16 year-old appearance.
We set the date for 12/15/84 and managed to get everything done in time. We were a team working together, we were floating in new love, and every day was a new and wonderful experience. One of the obstacles we encountered was the choice of church. Karen was Catholic, but the Catholic Church refused to marry us because I was divorced. My first marriage was in the Congregational Church and I didn’t think it was wise to tempt fate there again. So we compromised and decided on the Episcopal Church. It was a great choice with a great Pastor. At this time Karen’s brother Jim was a Franciscan Friar and was happy participate in the ceremony. We had our reception at the Huttleston House in Fairhaven, owned by my cousin Mark and everything was just perfect.
It was remarkably smooth and almost effortless. We would spend a week in the Bahamas for our honeymoon and then our lives together would begin. So, there is the complete story from my point of view that you have heard so often. I had arrived at this point in my life, despite numerous detours along the way. Now 34 years old, my happy life and career would finally begin. Karen was indeed the one I was waiting for.
© J T Weaver