I'm better today. Last night I cried some and prayed more, and this morning I realized that I'm just having a fibro flare. That's it. I apologize that so much emoting was necessary before I came to that realization. It will eventually go away. I crunched the numbers again and found that, as my work hours return to normal, I will survive. Whether I want to is still a topic for debate, but it seems that I will anyway.
I saw this today, and got to thinking about the Sunday night we met. It was at the young adults' fellowship at church. I'd been in that church since high school and it was my second year in that group. You came with David, who lived on your floor in the dorm. David was an odd bird, but I will be forever grateful to him for that one act.
We'd eaten dinner and were settled in the church library for the actual meeting. I remember where we sat - you were in the wingback chair that was toward the south side of the room, and I was sitting on the floor in front of the big sofa. We were going around the room telling our names and what we were - what career, or what year and major in college. It came to you and you said who you were, that you were from Springfield, and that you were a freshman. And I - in my usual group function as the jack-in-the-box with the loose catch on the lid - said, "Oh, good! I'm not the youngest in the group anymore!"
You looked at me, smiled, and it was all over for both of us. You told me before you died that you'd fallen in love with me at that moment. And I fell in love with the way you looked at me. You looked so sweet and gentle, so accepting of me, so safe - does that make any sense? You looked like you. All of who you are was in your face at that moment.
When we got back to the dorm, Elizabeth scolded me for saying that. She really believed that I'd scared you away and we'd never see you again. I knew better - I knew that I had unintentionally captured your interest, not in a romantic way, or so I thought, but just in wanting to get to know me better. I thought I'd made a friend. And I had - the best one of my life.
Well, you did come back. The next Sunday morning you joined the group of us who went straight from church to the Student Center cafeteria so we could use our meal tickets for lunch. We ended up sitting in my dorm lobby for three hours discussing the theology of the Trinity. I never looked back.
I got a letter from you over Christmas break, telling me that they'd found your first cancer while you were home and you'd miss the next semester. The whole group thought my response was excessive, and I couldn't figure out why they didn't understand that your survival was the single most important issue in the history of the world. We wrote each other that semester and you came down to visit one weekend. When you came back the next fall we went to our first football game together - not as a date, but because we both wanted to go and didn't have anybody else to go with. By the end of it, everybody knew it was a date except you. It took you a while. As I've told your nephews' wives, Hockman men are slow as cold molasses and faithful for life.
See, I remember. It was a Sunday evening in September of 1974. It changed everything that came after it. It became the linchpin of my life. Thank you for coming with David that night. Thank you for wanting an independent, strong-minded, smart-mouthed woman. Thank you for liking the fact that the catch on my lid doesn't hold very well. You were everything I ever wanted; thank you for wanting what I am.
Love you, adore you, worship the ground you walk on,