I had been living in the Salt Lake City area for 4 years. My ex-husband and I had moved out there in 1999, shortly after we were married. The marriage didn’t last more than six months and I found myself single and alone and very far away from home.
I grew to love my job and the friends I made. I was beginning to get comfortable. My biggest hang up was men.
I was TERRIBLE at finding good guys. My dating life was one disasterous relationship after another. I was always the “fix it” girl. I’d find these adorable guys who had a knack for having some monstrosity of a glitch in their life. I always thought I could be that person to make them “want” to be better.
I would be their salvation.
Give me a break… I was young, naive and very, very stupid.
I was in the beginning stages of ending a very manipulative and dangerous relationship of 3 years when I got a crazy phone call. It was, literally, my oldest friend. My first childhood friend, Buck. He was in Salt Lake on business and wanted to get together to catch up. My jaw was on the floor! I couldn’t believe it.
I NEVER got visitors from out of town. Kansas isn’t exactly a hop, skip and jump from Salt Lake. A little piece of my childhood and hometown was HERE!
We went out and I was immediately reminded of what a gentleman was like.
Chivalry was NOT dead.
He paid for my dinner, he bought my drinks and he opened the doors for me. I was done for. I immediately finalized the breakup from the crappy boyfriend and started a whirlwind romance with Buck.
I was overwhelmed with this new relationship. He was everything I missed about home. I kept mentioning that I hadn’t been back to the Flint Hills in over 4 years. The next thing I knew he was flying me back to the midwest for a great vacation.
He wined. He dined. We talked about everything. I showed him what my city life was like and he reminded me of what life back home was all about. I missed that life.
That was it. I was moving home.
I turned in my resignation, gave them a month notice and started the journey of getting ready to move home.
I had never in my life made such a drastic decision. I wasn’t moving back to my familiar hometown where my parents were. I was moving back to my first childhood home. I was going to move in with my grandparents.
You heard me, I was going to be roomies with my grandparents, at least until I found a job and an apartment. I am here to say that Granny Jack and GrandPaul were the BEST roommates I have ever had! They were fun, caring and respectful of my time and space.
By August, I was back in Kansas and desperately searching for a job. I didn’t know anyone except Buck, his family and the few people I remember from my early childhood. Buck travelled 7 months out of the year for his job. He was gone for weeks at a time.
About 2 weeks after I got moved back he had to go out on a job. He had a friend who I’d met on my summer visit that he asked to check in on me. “Take her out to meet people,” were the instructions given to this friend.
You guessed it. The friend was Grady.
Now, before you start jumping to conclusions Grady NEVER overstepped his boundaries. He was quite the opposite.
Grady was the opitomy of polite, cordial, respectful and accomodating. Not ONCE did he even so much as touch me.
We spent almost every weekend together. He’d take me to parties and introduce me to new people. We went to the state fair and ate corn dogs. (I’d never been to a state fair.) We hung out with his family.
This guy was the best… the best friend I’d had in a very long time. We talked about everything and nothing. We talked all the time. He was my salvation on my hour commute to work every morning. He made sure I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel when I felt like my eyes couldn’t possibly get any heavier.
I knew this guy was a keeper for someone. I even tried to set him up with a co-worker. (She turned out not to be worthy.)
While Grady and I grew to become the best of friends, Buck and I were falling apart. It just wasn’t going to work. I had once again fallen for the cute guy who needed something I couldn’t give. My heart was broken that I had failed at yet another relationship.
I knew my relationship with Buck was over, but I was in denial. I called my best friend. I needed to know if I was delusional. I needed to know if I was foolish.
On the other end of the line was a man I hadn’t talked to before. It was a man who told me what I truly deserved, a man who had been hiding his heart from me for months, a man who was in love. With me.
As I said before, I KNEW that Grady was special. I KNEW that he was definitely a catch. I KNEW he would be an amazing husband and I KNEW he was a good father.
I just never let myself consider that he could be all of these things for me.
That night all of that changed. My eyes were open. My heart was full. I realized that this whole time I had been staring at the love of my life.
The best part… this guy didn’t need to be fixed. Oh, trust me, he has his flaws, but for the most part he had it together.
Grady and I officially started dating October 31, 2003.
Three weeks later Grady proposed.
April 3, 2004, I married my best friend.
These have been the best 7 years of my life. We’ve had a roller coaster of a ride together. We’ve laughed, cried, rejoiced, fought and loved intensely. Not every moment has been sunshiney, but there’s not anyone else I would ever want to ride the rough spots with other than this man.
He’s my everything.
I love you, Grady.
Peace, love and anniversaries.