It goes a little something like this:
Dennis and I met after the sudden, unexpected loss of my brother John last summer. Dennis went to auto mechanics school with my brother and now lived just a few miles from my Dad’s farm. In the week’s after John’s death, while I stayed with my Dad, Dennis and I became acquainted. It was a time of grief and adjustment. When Dennis asked me out for dinner, I told him I didn’t know, I just wasn’t myself. No pressure, he said, we could just eat dinner and be friends.
I soon started a new job and spent most of my weekends up at the farm with my elderly Dad who was in failing health. Once I called Dennis and he came over and fixed the tractor. Sometimes we would drive into town for Sonic happy hour. Some evenings we just sat in the living room and watched TV while Dad slept.
It wasn’t when Dennis pulled the car up the door in the rain and helped my dad get in. Nor was it when he was right at home in the kitchen helping my sister cook a huge pot of spaghetti. I don’t think it was when he stayed up til midnight working on his daughter’s car so she could get to work the next morning. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t when he held my hand walking through the tool store, not at all self conscious. Not in church when he could sing all the words without looking at the hymnal, or when he opened his well-worn Bible. It wasn’t even when we were riding down the highway in his truck and he looked over and said, “You sure are pretty.”
No, it happened while we sat on the couch and I could feel the rumble of his chest as he talked about fixing the carburetor on a John Deere tractor. That was when my head figured out what my heart – and Dennis – already knew. That this very strong, very gentle man was the answer to all those years of fervent prayers.
On October 1, when summer gives way to autumn, a season of harvest and thanksgiving, we’ll get married. I’m so excited about it I can’t sleep. My heart is so full of blessings, for steady, kind Dennis and the beginning of our new life together.
The best of the story is yet to come.