“He just dropped me off; no kiss, no ‘I’ll call you later,’ no nothing,” I sniffed. “He sounded pretty interesting on the phone but from the time we met, it was as if he were looking for a way to get out of the whole thing,” I sobbed as I described a recent date disaster to my two aunts. It was as if the rejection from the date only cemented my feeling of terminal singleness.
Changing the subject, Aunt Mary handed me a photo album that she and Aunt Margaret had been working on. I opened the album to find pictures of my grandparent’s wedding. As I turned the pages, I came to Aunt Margaret’s wedding picture. She and Uncle Dusty looked so young. Se was so pretty in her delicate lace dress. Lifting my head, I turned to her, “How did you meet Uncle Dusty?” I asked.
She settled back in the sofa and closed her eyes, as if watching that day play in her mind. A smile crossed her face exposing her laugh lines that were becoming more permanent wrinkles. She folded her lovingly creative, hands. “We met at a New Years Eve party December 31, 1964.
“I had met the hostess at the Cleveland Psychiatric Hospital and Institute where we both worked during our senior year of nursing school. After graduation we began working at OSU hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where we lived in the same apartment building. She invited me to celebrate the New Years with her and a few friends.
“The day of the party, I had worked the afternoon shift, and got off work at 11:35pm. I hurried home, and changed out of my nursing uniform. Then went downstairs to the party. I met another friend there who was there with her fiancé. Standing with them was a handsome, red-haired, young man.
“My friend called out over the loud music, ‘This is Daniel,’ introducing him to me.
‘Rusty,’ her fiancé chimed in.
‘Dusty?’ I yelled back.
‘That’s me!’ Daniel called,
“And the name stuck with him the rest of his life,” Aunt Margaret smiled.
“Tell her about your first date,” Aunt Mary chimed in.
Returning to her story, Aunt Margaret continued, “Well, we talked for quite a while. When I left at 1:30am, he asked for my phone number and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a good sign.’ I kind of liked him. A few days later he called to invite me to a drive-in movie, even though it was early January. I still remember the movie, ‘The Unmistakable Molly Brown’. That movie is still one of my favorites,” sighing, she leaned in to turn the page of the album.
We turned past my parent’s wedding picture, photos of cousins, my brothers and me. Turning the page again, Aunt Margaret said, “Do you remember Aunt Mary’s wedding?” I looked down at the picture and saw myself. I was about 7 years old, wearing a light blue flower girl dress, white gloves and carrying a blue and pink silk flower basket.
“I don’t remember the story of how you met Uncle Danny,” I said looking up at Aunt Mary.
Aunt Mary lifted her eyes to a picture of her and Uncle Danny on the mantel, “Danny and I met at a household auction. It was June 22, 1977, and I was looking for a good treasure. I did buy a teapot that I still have today.
“At the auction I ran into an old school friend, who I hadn’t seen for over 15 years. While we were talking, Danny walked up, and introduced himself. As it turns out, he was my friend’s uncle. I thought he was married, but found out later he was single. Our first date wasn’t until October 29, 1977 and we went to a Barbara Mandrel concert. We were engaged to be married within a month. I think I found more treasures than just the teapot that day,” she said, eyes glistening.
“Please don’t worry about when you will meet your husband,” Aunt Mary continued. “If God wants you to meet a person, he will ‘plant’ them in your path. He prepares us for them. We just have to be open to the possibilities,” her soft, caring hand patted my knee. I left that day with a new prayer that God would plant and prepare me for that special guy.
A couple years later, I did find my husband. God planted us in each other‘s paths, just like Aunt Mary said.
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