our view last night at Happy Hour at Mariposa restaurant
Greetings from Sedona where I sit on my bar stool perch, the same perch I sat on when I had the very first chat with my husband over Thanksgiving weekend 2014. It was late, my family had gone to bed and I was up distracting myself with Facebook.
I had recently been invited to join a small, private writing group via a friend who knew I was getting ready to head out soon on a writing sabbatical to start my book. I’d noticed this cute, younger than me (or so I thought), Psychologist in the group who had kind of the roll of “group cheerleader”. No matter what anyone wrote, he was quick with positive feedback and a word of encouragement. It was no different with me.
(yes, that’s him–his dance born from a typo where “congo” came out vs. “condo”)
It also came as no surprise that after a few exchanges, he sent me a friend request there.
One evening he made a comment on a poem I’d posted which turned in to a 70-something long comment exchange in the group that garnered a private message from my friend Renie, also in the group, “you were flirting with that Psychologist last night!”. I was.
He asked if we could chat privately on Facebook the next day, so we started. It went late in to the night, covering everything from spirituality to dream cars to past traumas. He shared he had been on a dating hiatus for 18 months, “celibate” he described himself.
“Are you a monk?” I asked, having noted his bald head.
“No, I just realized I’m kind of messed up in the woman department so I stopped for awhile.” Now this I could relate to. All of it. I’d had the same realization and done the same thing.
I had decided to let go of relationships and get a dog. In fact, I had my whole next few months mapped out, preparing for that next introduction to my life.
We chatted again the next night, this time more intimate and personal. We realized that something was happening here, between us. There was something about this man that was so familiar, so easy to relate to. We laughed and cried and both had a feeling.
“Where did you come from?” I asked.
“I don’t know, all I know is I was sent to you,” he replied.
I changed the subject fast.
For the last couple of years, dealing with my brother and my aging father and looking out at the landscape of my future handling this all alone, I would often speak to my sister in various ways asking her to send me some help.
“Cindy, you have to find me someone, someone to love who can handle all of this with me,” I begged. I had begged similarly to my mother as a child for help. Help dealing with the difficult family situation we’d found ourselves in after she’d passed.
During that late night chat with my new friend John, the Earth moved. I mean literally the Earth moved. I was downstairs in the quiet as my father and brother were fast asleep upstairs. A loud sound preceded a rippling feeling across the ceiling. I thought a tornado had swept by and did what any
stupid person would do in that moment–I ran outside to check. There was a stillness in the air I’d never heard or felt before.
I couldn’t figure it out. I ran upstairs thinking perhaps my very large brother had fallen out of bed. No, but he was awake.
“I think that was an earthquake, Kathy.”
I was still chatting with John who quickly consulted the Gods of Google and confirmed, in fact, there had been an earthquake in Sedona. A 4.3 level one in fact.
“If I were you, I’d be meditating right now,” he said.
The conversation continued late in to the night.
“Would you mind if I did a Tarot card reading on this encounter?” he asked. I already knew he played with Tarot cards pretty regularly so I consented. I felt easy and safe with him and noted the respect he offered just with his question.
We spoke the next day, both of us having gotten little sleep the night before.
“I did the reading and I know where this relationship is going,” he said. “Do you want to know?”.
“No” I answered. And I didn’t. This was kind of freaking me out honestly.
But he told me anyway, either that day or the next.
He’s an oversharer. So am I. I get it.
That would likely turn many people off. But me, coming from way too many situations and dynamics involving secrets and lies, it was the perfect constellation of personality traits to allow me to trust him, and I did. Then, and now. I have never had a moment of distrust over this man and that was/is a first for me. I’ve distrusted men, with good reason, my entire life. I’d been plagued with an inability to trust men, while simultaneously choosing untrustworthy men as a matter of course. It was basically the only game I knew for decades.
This was completely different, and I didn’t quite know how to maneuver in it, but I kept going anyway.
He told me that he’d done readings on every woman who had crossed his path who he had even a remote interest in and they had, every time, steered him away from getting involved.
Until this one.
“The final outcome card was The Lovers,” he said. “I know what this is going to be for us.”
I basically shut him down on that track, but kept talking to him.
Things led to things and, at the urging of my friend Rob who was already headed that direction in a few weeks, I traveled to the East to meet him. Rob later said when he walked me out of the airplane that day that he felt like he was walking me down the aisle.
John and I were engaged on that trip. He got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree at his rural Pennsylvania home, and proposed with his father’s wedding band on a gold chain. It was perfect.
We were married just about 6 months later in Niagara Falls and I’m still pinching myself. What started off fascinating and exciting has just become both more comfortable and deep and expanded in all ways since.
“I never thought I would find a love like this,” he said last night over a bottle of red wine.
We talked late in to the night on the couch, facing each other–the same couch I’d felt that earthquake on–about our good fortune. How easily compatible we are, the level of trust we share that has only deepened, the almost completely lack of power struggles, the sense of equality and respect we share, the love and passion and fun we have.
And, of course, his little daughter Lillian which has fulfilled a long abandoned dream in me.
Friday was Cindy’s birthday. She would have been 58 this year and she was born in 1958. It felt momentous. On arriving to Sedona, we went to the store and picked up all of the ingredients for her Chicken Cacciatore. I brought her hand written recipe card up with me.
You can read about this ritual here.
We opened a bottle of wine we’d brought back from Niagara Falls which we also used in the recipe and sipped it as we cooked, and dined, together. We listened to jazz and looked at car-porn, one of John’s favorite guilty pleasures.
“I never thought I’d have a woman who would look at car-porn with me,” he laughed showing me the Bentley he’d always dreamed of. I loved it too.
We served the perfect chicken over zucchini noodles. Cindy would have liked that.
We raised our glasses and toasted to her and my husband looked up to the Heavens, tears in his eyes, and quietly said “thank you for sending me.”
Happy Birthday Cindy.
Thank you for sending me the perfect man. You nailed it.