It was the end of January, the year 2000. I had just moved to New Mexico, and didn't know a soul.
There was a function at the church the day after I arrived, some sort of anniversary celebration. My new roommate invited me to ride along with her, and I accepted, happy that I didn't have to show up by myself.
We approached the double doors of the building where the celebration was being held. That is when I looked up and saw him.
Medium-tall, with jet-black curly hair. Broad shoulders a mile wide, it seemed, held straight and proud. Black leather jacket.
And my heart said, "Hmmmmmm."
I didn't find out who he was until a few weeks later. Ricardo, they said his name was. I passed him in the church lobby one Sunday morning, and, thinking to be friendly, greeted him with a bright, "Hi!"
I got a less than enthusiastic "hello" back, and promptly wrote him off in my mind.
It took him 4 months to get around to asking me out. And I use that term loosely here; I am not sure that calling me up and saying, "Hey, a bunch of us are going river rafting, and I have 2 spots that I have to fill....wanna come?" constitutes being asked out, but apparently it was his roundabout way of doing so. I agreed to go, and somehow ended up in his truck for the ride up and back. We talked non-stop the entire way, and the rest is more or less history.
6 years ago today, I walked down a grassy green aisle in Indiana and became the wife to the only man in the world for me. I saw him waiting for me there at the front, his eyes showing his emotion, and I felt so complete in that moment.
The day had dawned gray and rainy, and since we were planning an outdoor wedding in my parents yard, it wasn't looking good. I pictured trying to cram all of our guests in to my parents living room for the ceremony.
Fortunately, about an hour before it all started, the rain vanished, the sun appeared, and it was perfection. My daddy gave me away, and amidst tears from everyone in the audience, Ricardo spoke his completely unrehearsed vows to me...words that were beautiful and natural and came straight from his heart.
We had a dinner reception afterwards, celebrating with just close friends and family. I hear a lot of stories about how brides are too keyed up to enjoy eating at their own wedding, but I was definitely not one of them. We had a very simple dinner, nothing fancy, and completely in keeping with the rest of our casual setting. But, oh, it was good......roast beef, homemade rolls, potatoes, green beans. Comfort food. Homemade Mexican cookies that my mother-in-law brought along. Actually, I think the only thing I didn't really get to sample, outside of the customary bite that we fed each other, was the wedding cake. Oh well. I heard it was good, I'll take their word for it.
I could not ask for anything more. Happy Anniversary, my husband, my friend.