February 3, 2017

Our Story Chapter 2 -- Dating

Okay, I'll pick up where I left off.....

We talked on the phone often & for long periods of time. About a month after our online connection, we decided it was time for a first date. He asked if I wanted to go out on a date on Saturday, October 27th. I was kind of bummed because I had to work until 5pm that day. But he figured out a solution. He would pick me up & give me a ride to work & then pick me up after work. Okay.....I know it sounds crazy. I was willing to get into a car, alone, with a guy I had never met in person, in 2001. But, I felt like we had a real connection (& I didn't want to take the bus to work again). I was nervous about it, to be completely honest. But I could tell God had something in mind through all of this.

So Saturday rolled around & I got ready for work. I'm pretty sure I dressed up a little more then usual (I worked at a Christian bookstore & had to dress in business casual). Then I watched for him to drive up. I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't even know what he would look like. Since dial-up was so slow back then we didn't send each other a picture of ourselves. We just did the best we could to describe ourselves. His description was pretty good. He had a military style haircut & a lean build. He was wearing jeans, his black work jacket & sunglasses. He had two earrings in his ear & one in his tongue. When I saw him, I had to remind myself that he said he was 29 years old because he looked younger. He picked me up on time & even got out to open the car door for me. I was impressed & I thought he was just trying to show off a little.

Anyway, the ride to my work was a little awkward. Even though we had connected online, it was still first date jitters. We just chatted & carried on a small conversation. We talked about what we would want to do that evening - we decided on pizza & a movie. When he dropped me off he said he would be back at 5pm & I said okay. Honestly, I didn't think he would be back. I made sure I had money for the bus just in case. When 5pm rolled around I looked outside & he was there waiting for me. I was kind of surprised. We decided to get Hungry Howie's (Hawaiian pizza) & rent the movie 'The Mummy'. We went back to his apartment & started to watch the movie. I think we had to watch it again at a later time because we spent the night talking instead. Next thing we knew it was 7am & I needed to get home to get ready for church. We made plans to hang out again that afternoon. It was during this second date that I found out his had Multiple Sclerosis. An alarm went off & he had to excuse himself to take his meds. I asked what the meds were for & he told me. He apologized for not telling me sooner. He didn't want that to scare me off. After that first date, we spent time together as much as we could. He started coming to church with me on a weekly basis & getting to know my friends & family.

He was a really nice guy with a caring heart. He didn't want me to have to take the bus, so he helped me take my road test for my drivers license & he even bought me my first car (3 actually)

Here's a side story to explain the three car purchases. 
He as a mechanic & worked for Grand Auto at the time. When I got my license I found out he had been making a deal with the scrap guy he worked with. He was able to get a decent car for cheap & so he bought it. It needed some work & he did that himself on the side. That car lasted about a month I think. So he talked to another coworker & was able to get another decent car for a good price & sold the first car back to the scrap guy. It didn't need as much work, but again it only lasted about a month. Finally he found a third car that was in the best shape of all three & he was able to make a deal (he also sold the second car to the scrap guy). This car lasted a good long time.

Okay, back to the main story....
I invited Daron to spend Christmas Eve with my extended family & then he invited me to go to his parents with him. We spent the evening at their house & then had our own little Christmas back at his place the day after Christmas. He gave me a promise ring for our first Christmas together & I gave him some Christian music CD's. We spent New Years Eve with the college group from my church & had a fun time. We just really enjoyed spending time together. It didn't matter what we did, we just wanted to be together.

In March 2002 we decided to move in together. most people don't know that part of our story. I don't regret any of the choices I made, but I might reconsider this choice. Living together was tough. I think we almost broke up five times between March & October of 2002. We really got to know each other & I do think it gave us a steady foundation. I was there when Daron had a flare up in April & spent an hour of each morning giving him his IV meds for a week. It was at that point that I realized I was either in it for the long haul, or I needed to get out right away. We started talking about getting married around this time. I think going through that brought us together in a way neither of us could have imagined. The months between moving in together & getting married were crazy, stressful, fun, annoying, irritating, full of laughter, full of love, best times of our lives. We really learned who each other was & what made them tick. We also learned what drove the other person completely crazy during that time. Looking back, it was nice to have that time together before getting married because we would need that foundation later on. It was like we got to have our first few months of marriage without being married. Once we got married, life took a few surprising turns & I think our marriage would have ended if we had not lived together first. Please Note that I am not encouraging couples to live together before marriage. Like I said, God had a plan in all of this & I didn't see that part until I could look back at it.

Time to take another break from the story. I can only handle so much reminiscing at a time. It's fun to look back & it is healing. But at the same time the memories are making me miss Daron more then I have been lately. I promise, it is going to get interesting in the posts to come.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks again for sharing. Was that church Good News? I have such a bad memory. You glossed over how he proposed to you. Was he quite the romantic or a klutz like me? Had you known of his other children before you met or did he keep that until you met face to face?

    Thanks again for sharing. Darin was a hard worker at Good News until the MS slowed down his ability to be a Deacon.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mike. I'll answer those questions in the next post - our engagement story. Daron loved being a Trustee at Good News & being the Awana Boys Director. It broke his heart when he had to step down because of his MS.

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