Friday, February 14, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday: Boyfriend Edition

I told my boyfriend that in addition to this being Valentine's Day, he has the added pressure of makint this day special because it's the one year anniversary us sending our first message online.

Our first photo in June 2013 at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.

Today is Valentine's Day.  One year ago yesterday I went to an Ash Wednesday service and started seriously considering becoming Catholic.  You can read about that here.  (I posted it after giving the service some thought.)  I figured that I would have to wait until I made up my mind before meeting someone.  The very next day I messaged my boyfriend on a dating site and told him I saw he was a Christian.  


He told me he grew up Catholic but was currently attending an Anglican church.  We started chatting, neither of us thinking it would lead to anything.  We lived 3 1/2 hours apart.  There's a bit of an age difference.  But we kept chatting because there was nothing better to do.  We realized we were starting to care about each other.


By the time I went to Fat Camp  Faith and Fitness Week, I was referring to him as my "kinda-sorta-boyfriend".  Kinda-Sorta because we still hadn't met.  His car had been totaled right before we met online by someone texting and driving and he hadn't found a replacement for us to be able to meet up.  I had a rough week at the weight loss camp, and everyone thought it was so neat how I'd pick up my phone after a workout and there would sometimes be a text waiting on me saying how proud he was of me.  One woman said she wished her husband was that sweet.  I knew I had a winner.


He came to visit and I met him June 19, 2013.  We met at a Burger King parking lot.  Actually getting a hug was so wonderful.   I will never forget the nerves from that night.  I'd already decided I loved this man.  You only meet a man you love like this once in your life, and this was the night I was going to actually be with him in person, so I was full of jitters.  Over the next few days we visited some tourist attractions in my area, ate at Annie's Country Kitchen Restaurant and started forming our inside jokes.  (If you ever meet us, and we say something about a cheese factory, that means you are rambling with your story.)  We decided at that time we were dating but didn't want to make it "Facebook official" until I met his family.


In July, he visited for my birthday, and again in August.  On August 26, I called him and could barely say, "I need you" as my mother was in the hospital and given a 10% chance of living.  I was told I would need to make the decision to take her off life support in 48 hours.  We talked about how and when for him to come for what seemed inevitable, and he came in on August 28.  As he pulled into the driveway, I received the call from the hospital and the doctor said, "There's nothing more we can do."  My heart dropped.  Thankfully the doctor continued, "We're transfering her to Pittsburgh."  I ran out the door, left a house key at the business next door so someone could take care of my guinea pig, and told him we were leaving in 15 minutes for Pittsburgh and didn't know when we'd be back.  We spent the next 8 days in a hotel in the Pittsburgh area.  I don't know how I would have made it through that time without him.  I'd look at my mother and think I was losing the most precious person on earth.  My life was turned upside down in a moment (my mother was doing well 48 hours prior to her being given 10% chance of living.)  He was a trooper.  He held me as I cried, found St. Ferdinand's near our hotel for us to attend to try to make life as normal as possible for me, and tried to hold me together.  My mother thankfully got better, and it was during this time I realized that this was no ordinary man, this man was someone very special since we had only met in person 2 months before.


I didn't know when I would be able to visit him and his family in Virginia, but because my mother needed to be in a rehab facility, I was able to get away sooner than I had expected.  My priority, of course, was to be around for my mother, but since I didn't need to take her to dialysis three times a week for a while, I was able to get away.  He had planned on coming in one weekend, but said he had a wedding to go to.  I asked him if he wanted a date and that weekend was the first I met his family.  I met his extended family at Christmas as my mother encouraged me to go to Alabama.  Thankfully they liked me, and I had a fantastic time with them.  We even had a The Settlers of Catan marathon until three in the morning so we could finish our game before his cousin had to leave to where he is stationed in the Navy.  (And yes, we made our relationship "Facebook Official" in September.)


I couldn't be happier.  He moved to this area at the end of November.  This is the first Valentine's Day of my life I'm not alone.  (I'm 40, and that's been a long time of waiting for the right man!)  He goes to RCIA with me every week, he loves to cook, clean, and I am so impressed with how much he cares for my mother.  I am not quite strong enough physically to help her without straining a muscle now and then, and him moving to this area was such a help because he has been able to do so much for my mother.  He is usually the one who takes her to dialysis and he shovels for us and it's not a worry about how we are going to get the driveway clear to get her to dialysis.   He's learning to list on eBay -- you can check out our items here. (You can also follow us so some of our items will show regularly on your eBay homepage!)   He has gotten into the shopping part of eBay with me, and we were planning on going to some second hand stores today, but the weather is too bad and I'm not feeling the best.  What a wonderful Valentine date, though!  He's extremely supportive of my eBay selling, entering contests, and blogging.  I met someone online before him who even though I had made more than this man, I was told that I needed a "real job".  I am thankful I am appreciated for who I am, what I do, and I appreciate the same about him!  It is hard to fathom that I only met him a year ago.  It's such a neat thing to be part of a couple on Valentine's Day.  I heard so many times over the years to quit looking and love will come to you when you least expect it, but I don't agree with that.  If you are single, hang in there.  I was 39 before I met my boyfriend.  This Valentine's Day feels so different -- I'm just very thankful there's my boyfriend!  :)

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  1. This is such a sweet story! Sounds like you found a winner.

  2. Such a lovely story Jenn - I hope to meet the 2 of you someday, perhaps at a sweeps convention!

  3. Caroline, I did! He's fantastic!
    Teresa -- I hope we can make it in Orlando. We're definitely aiming for Boston, but not sure if it will work this year or not!

    1. I am not attending Orlando but definitely going to Boston next year.