Thirty-nine years ago today, something happened that would have a profound impact on my life.
Oblivious at the time due to my tender age of five months, my husband entered the world on January 31, 1974.
We were raised three hours apart from one another in cultures that were similar yet also so very different. Yes, there is a cultural difference between central and southern Indiana.
We both experienced sadness in our young lives.
We both walked through the divorce of parents, of childhood crushes, of rejection, of being cut from teams or just not making teams, of being made fun of by our peers, of streaks of rebellion.
Our stories were that of so many youth, the song sung by children, tweens, and teens even today—the times may change but the emotions really don’t.
And while our stories were similar in so many ways, they were separate. His story was his story and my story was, well . . . my story.
Our stories threatened to bump into one another many times. We both attended Indiana University at the same time but ran in very different circles on a campus of roughly 35,000 students.
I still daydream about us brushing shoulders in the bottleneck of Kilroy’s on Kirkwood or sharing a table with his friends for a while at Nick’s for Sink the Bismarck.
We both moved to Indianapolis following college graduation. And we both married other people shortly thereafter.
Those years were tough—years spent dancing to a dance we had not planned to ever choreograph. The waltz of the broken-hearted, the tango of pain, the tumult of the cha-cha.
Until one early spring evening in 2002, when our story began to flirt with one another.
Our stories sorta liked each other after that first date so they began to co-mingle a bit.
Then that bit turned into a lot and the inevitable began to stare us in the face: we were being asked to dance again.
He held out his hand and asked if I would care to give it another whirl.
I said yes.
And his story and my story became our story.
The dance continues. We waltz and we move forward. We move back. We forget essential steps here and there and we are pleasantly surprised at off-the-cuff, unexpected improvisations that pepper the expected.
We’ve added three new stories to complement our own. They dance with us, too.
We live. We parent. We laugh. We fight. We make-up. We cry.
We dance the dance of a life well-lived, of one that isn’t perfect but one that is abundantly blessed.
I take his hand and our story keeps going.
And we waltz.
Happy Birthday to a man who still takes my breath away, who can make me laugh on a dime, and who quickens my heartbeat at the sound of the door opening at the end of the day . . .