Twenty Years Ago Today My Life Changed

Life is strange with how the ebbs and flows happen as we go through life, sometimes it is great and other times it sucks. However, I have learned over the years that how we react to what life brings to our doorstep is often more important than anything else. It is all about the choices we make and what we actually do that determines the life we have.

However, we all have days in our lives that change us completely, October 29, 2000, was one of those days for me.

I was in the middle of a divorce (any divorce is bad), my children had moved to another state with their mother, recently changed jobs, financially in a pretty bad situation, sinking downwards towards the bottom of too many bottles and some other bad decisions.

Definitely a part of my life that when looked back on with 20/20 hindsight — I am not proud of.

Let’s back up a couple of weeks before that day in October 2000. I was at the local library using their Internet and I initiated a request to “talk”/email with someone who sounded interesting. Back then those dating sites were pretty primitive and to this day I do not know how I came across this particular profile, but I did. We emailed back and forth for a bit, figured out we were real people who might have something in common and made plans to meet in Waterville at 6:00 PM on October 29th, to see if we had anything more to talk about.

I got there early, driving my old Toyota Corolla SR5, and she pulled in shortly after in her Corolla. We introduced ourselves, talked for a little while and decided it okay to go to Friendly’s for coffee and a bite to eat. I don’t have a clue what we had, but it involved drinking coffee, something we still do at about the same time most evenings. We talked about everything and anything and when I drove her back to where we left her car. We decided that it was still too soon to part ways.

It was rather chilly, so we bundled up and walked around Waterville and it started to snow. It kept snowing, and we kept walking, talking and talking. Our first meeting was less a date and more a get to know one another, who we were, what we thought about things. We were both in our 40s and had baggage (don’t we all by that time), mine a little worse and more active, but the more we talked, the more interesting she seemed to me.

There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be around her. Beautiful and a helluva lot smarter than I was or am, hell she even seemed interested in me. I was honest and upfront with her about everything going on in my life and despite all the crap I told her, she seemed willing to take a chance to get to know me better. My being honest and human, made a difference that night I am sure.

I must have done something right because she agreed to see me a second and third time on actual dates. Then the courtship began and ended up with us getting married.

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the day I met Mary.

Christmas 2000 photo of Mary and me.

It is an important day in my life because it also marks, the beginnings of a new life for me and climbing out the hole that I almost buried myself in. I celebrate it every year and am thankful that I can.

The changes in my life have been for the better. I cannot imagine how my life would have been so different without Mary in it. Too many people poo poo the idea of love at first sight, happily ever after and all that other stuff that the romantics write about, but I believe. I am living that life and the last 20 years have been the best years of my life.

I was so very lucky to find the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with, on October 29, 2000.

I love you Mary, thank you for taking a chance that day and here is to another 20 years of celebrating the day I met Mary.

Yes, fairy tales do come true — sometimes. Life is not always perfect and you have to work hard as hell to have a good life together, but it does happen.

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