Saturday, October 8, 2005

From the First Click of Romance...

Yesterday, I told you part one of Champ’s and my story. When I left off, Champs and I had just met. The next day, when I got home from church, Champs had sent me an email telling me how glad he was to have met me and asking me to meet him online in the chat room again at 4:00 that day. We met and spoke online for a couple of hours. Eventually, we decided to talk again on the phone. This quickly set the pattern for us; meet online and talk for a while then call one another on the phone. The more we talked, the more I learned how much we had in common. Our values and goals were the same. As we discussed our lives, we found that we had been through the same fires, trod some of the same emotional ground. Although my parents were married and Champ’s dad was on his third wife, we had the same intentions and values around fidelity and marriage.

Two weeks after we met, it was Valentine’s Day. I sent Champs a homemade valentine and a bunch of pictures of me. He sent me a package with a card and some photos of himself. If I thought I was infatuated before, I was gone when I saw his cute face. Those dimples got me!

In addition to the package, Champs also sent me 6 roses: 3 white and 3 red. Up until then, I had not yet told anyone other than my sister-in-law about him. However, I wasn’t home when the roses arrived. My dad took delivery of them and, as they say, the gig was up. My dad, who was the greatest stoic in the world, didn’t say anything to me about them, but I knew he would tell my mom, though, so I left them out where she could see them. When she got home that evening and saw the roses, I told her about Champs (I brought up the subject rather than wait for the inquisition). Understandably, she was thrilled. She had a 32-year-old single daughter, after all! She asked me, “does this mean that we’ll be hearing wedding bells soon?” “I don’t know, MOM! I’ve only known him for two weeks!” I replied. Thankfully, she let me off the hook for awhile, but continued to watch closely.

Two weeks later, my mom and dad went off on their yearly 6-week trip to Phoenix to see my sister. The day after they left, Champs arrived at our home. My co-workers, who had been hearing the story, were convinced that I was inviting an ax murderer to my home. One friend left me with strict instructions to contact her twice a day and let her know that I was still alive. I told her there was nothing to be worried about. We had spoken too many hours for him to be lying about who he was, Internet urban legends aside. I was so looking forward to meeting him! After nearly a month of talking 3 to 4 hours a day, I was pretty sure I loved the man; I just needed to meet him to confirm it. When he arrived, he was wearing a long leather jacket. As he walked around the corner of our house, I saw him for the first time: Tall, handsome, jacket swinging - I lost my heart right there. He came in and I (for the only time in my life) shyly greeted him and showed him around the house and then we hugged. Heaven. We went to dinner at TGI Friday’s and held hands for most of the evening. Since we had a phone courtship, based on conversation, I was a little surprised to find out that Champs was actually a pretty quiet guy. Even with his quiet and my talkative nature, we got along great! That weekend, Champs met my brother and his wife and kids, as well as a couple of my friends.

The best part of the weekend, though, was on Sunday. At one point, I looked at him and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t hold on to this any longer. I love you!” (How said is that?!? Apologizing for saying “I love you”…) He thanked me and said he wanted to say the same thing, but it would be a while. I told him that was fine with me. About 3 hours later, he stopped in mid sentence and said, “you know what? I love you!” I said, “I thought it was going to take awhile. I expected you to wait weeks.” He said, “So did I, but I realized just now that I love you!” That was February 28th.

Champs went back home and we continued to rack up the highest phone bill in history. Every morning before work I called him to say good morning and talk about our day. After work we would meet online and then Champs would call me before bed. Some nights we would fall asleep on the phone and suddenly wake up to a soft buzzing in our ear. Champs came back to visit me again at the end of March. This time he arrived with more fresh roses for me.

We began to discuss our future together. I wasn’t ready to leave Minnesota yet, but I didn’t talk much about it. Champs brought it up one day and told me that if our relationship were going to go anywhere, he would have to move to Minnesota. “Really?!?!” I asked. He agreed. By then, I knew we would be married; it was just a matter of time.

Mom and Dad came home from Phoenix and Mom got to meet Champs by phone. She grilled him as any protective mother would do and declared him good enough. Champs invited me to his Hometown City in Another State and I made plans to go in April. One Friday after work I got in the car and started driving the long 550-mile trip. I didn’t get there until about 2:00 a.m., but Champs was waiting up for me. That week was wonderful. On Saturday morning I went his soccer team’s game, where I got to meet one of his brothers (Tank, who at 13 was really a little cutie!) and his step-mom (Grand nee). He was such a good coach! If I remember correctly, they won their game.

On Sunday, April 19, Champs took me to a walled-off tulip garden at a private estate. While we were there, presented me with a giant Winnie-the-Pooh (my nickname for him was “poohbear”, and he called me “hunny”) and he recited the following poem to me:
The day I met you God said, take her and love her and never let her go
If you love her and me, that love will be returned to you one hundred fold.
I will love you through the good times and the bad
I will love you when you’re happy and when you’re sad
I will be your strength when you are weak.
I will love you for always, that promise I will keep
You are who I’ve always wanted and all I’ll ever need
I can’t believe there is a woman so perfect for me
I will love you until the very moment I pass away.
I have just one more thing to say, as here I am on bended knee
*blond girl (he said my name)*, will you marry me?

He had told me a week earlier that he was writing a poem for me, and when he started reciting, I paid attention to every word. I was so absorbed in what he was saying that I didn’t even realize at first that he was proposing! Believe it or not, he completely caught me by surprise! Well, what could I say to that? Of course, I said yes!

It was so hard to leave him at the end of the week and go home; it nearly broke my heart. During the first week of May, Champs came back to Minnesota to transfer his job and meet my parents. They loved him, of course, especially my mom! We continued to converse by Internet and phone each day until, finally on May 22, he moved permanently to Minnesota and we were together. We gave up talking on the Internet and the phone and concentrated on planning our wedding. He moved into another room in my parent’s home where we lived until we were married on October 9. We went 9 months from meet to marry and it was a wonderful, wild whirlwind.

Here's some comments from this post:

Carmi said...
What a lovely story. What strikes me is how it was all based on long conversations where you got to know each other.
It's a story I know well - it's how I came to realize the woman who would eventually become my wife was, in fact, my soul mate.
Visiting from Michele's tonight. Thanks for the sweet addition to our weekend.

Star said...
Great story so far. I am awaiting the next installment!

princssis said...
My brother is no axe murderer!!
I know you know that by now! :-)

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