Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Engaged   Leave a comment

It is official.  We picked out my rings 2 weeks ago, but I am now officially proposed to, and engaged to be married.  He wanted to wait to find the right words to say before he gave me the ring.

My honey and I were getting ready to go out to do some errands a few days ago.  I was going down the list with him:

“Do you have your sunglasses?”

“Right here in my pocket”

“Ok – you have your cane – where is your tea?”

“Got it”

“Do you have the list?”

“Yes – in my wallet”

And then we were ready and all of a sudden he said, “No – we forgot something important!”

“What?”

“Something really important!”  and he started a frantic search in his pockets.

“What!?” I exclaimed, not understanding what could have been forgotten to be so important.  And then he pulled out the little box with the ring in it.

I won’t share what he said because it was pretty personal, but it was really sweet and sentimental and was heart-felt.  I also shared some very sentimental and heart-felt words with him, and I said “Yes”.

We haven’t set a date yet, but it will be sometime next year and we will be eloping.  I feel very blessed by God that He brought to me someone who I love and respect, who is truly my partner.  A man who is my cheerleader and my protector; a man who is not perfect but who loves me, who is also not very perfect at all.

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Posted November 18, 2014 by Maureen in Memories

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BLIND DATE   Leave a comment

Have you ever been on a blind date?  I’ve heard stories of people meeting on a blind date and ending up being happily married.

This is not one of those stories.

It happened way back when I had not yet trained all my family and friends to please, no thank fix me up with people.  I got a call one night from a good friend of mine.  She had a sister-in-law who had a friend who was lonely and wanted to date someone around his age.  Reluctantly, I was persuaded to give up my phone number to this guy.  Let’s call him “Lance”.

Lance called me and we talked and got to know each other a bit.  We talked on the phone a few times.  He was an apartment manager, never married, around my age.  He told me about a lady friend who he sometimes did things with, but they were just friends.  She was divorced with a small girl, and they all got along but were not in a dating relationship.

We decided on a Saturday night movie date.  I was pretty unsure about him, but I believe in giving people chances, and thought I needed to meet him in person before deciding.  And after all – once he met me he might decide I wasn’t what he was looking for, right?

Lance showed up promptly, and when I opened the door I noticed two things: He was about an inch and a half shorter than I (and I’m short) and his balding head was shining through his thin hair on the top of the head from the porch light.  Neither of those things are deal breakers for me – it just provided me a few moments of quiet amusement.

I invited him in and he was shy and nervous.  He wanted me to know that on a date he paid for everything and he drove, “That’s just the way I operate.”  Since I had no expectations of anything different, I just smiled and said that was fine with me.

We went out to his car and on the ride to the theater (he had picked a multi-plex about 30 minutes away) we talked about what movie to see.  “I like to see films that deal with issues, that make me think, that we can discuss afterwards”, he told me.  Uh oh I thought.  I HATE films like that.  I watch movies to be entertained, not so I can use my brain cells thinking.  Movies are an escape, and are firmly in the entertainment category for me.

I said something along the lines of “Oh – I usually go see a movie to be entertained.”  We got to the theater and looked at the queue and I picked out “Harry and the Hendersons”.  I don’t remember the name of the film he picked out, but it was a sub-titled film.  Ick.  Lance was a gentleman and agreed we should see “Harry”, adding “I think that film may bring up issues we can talk about.”  “I hope not!” I thought to myself.

He reiterated that he would pay for everything, and was all prepared to buy me candy, soda, and popcorn.  Now, whenever I see a movie in a theater I rarely buy anything to eat or drink.  No reason, really, I just don’t.  Besides – everything is so expensive.   He was visibly dismayed that I didn’t want anything to eat and drink, and I thought perhaps he was one of those folks who always had something to eat and drink while watching a movie.  I encouraged him to get something for himself, and he actually scuffed a foot on the carpet while looking down, mumbling, “No – that’s ok.”

So we watched the movie and he drove me back home.  And if you have ever seen that movie you know there were NO issues raised in it that we could discuss and pick apart at length on the ride home.  Nope – pure brain candy.  No synapses needed at all in watching that movie.

Lance parked the car and turned the engine off.  We chatted for a few minutes, and I invited him inside for a cup of coffee or tea, but he refused.  During our conversation he proudly told me that no drugs or alcohol had ever touched his lips (he was in his early 40’s).  He thought this recommended and commended himself to me, but it did the opposite.  I don’t have much use for people who are sanctimonious and proud of the fact that they have never drank alcohol or taken drugs.  If he was humble and thankful about it, I would have more attracted to him.  But to boast about it?  No, that was another red flag for him.

He then proceeded to tell me in detail about the friendship he had with his lady friend and her young girl.  He called the lady his “running buddy” because they would do errands together, or she and the girl would tag along when he did errands, and sometimes they would stop and get something to eat, or an ice cream cone.  “She’s not my girlfriend!” he must have said a dozen times in the course of the … monologue I guess you could call it.

Truthfully, at first I didn’t know where he was going with all of this.  I wasn’t sure what point he was making, so I politely listened.  And listened.  Several times I suggested we go inside where it was warmer and we could relax, but he refused.  As I listened, my puzzlement grew.  After about 45 minutes I finally understood.  Lance had been seeing this woman, and let’s face it – he was dating her, no matter how he tried to characterize it differently – for two years and she was starting to pressure him into a more permanent arrangement, or at least an acknowledgement that they were exclusive and dating.  And he wasn’t having it.

When he kept going on and on about it and repeating himself, while ignoring my attempts to end the conversation and go inside by myself, I finally abruptly interrupted him, thanked him (again) and opened the car door and got out.  He trailed behind me to my front door, I said a short goodnight, and closed the door behind me.

“Never again,” I told myself.  “Never again am I going on a blind date.”  We had several phone conversations after that, and I did attempt to explain to him, from a women’s perspective, how his “running buddy” could view their relationship and that it was not unreasonable for her to expect more from him after two years.  He kept resisting the whole relationship idea with this lady.  At one point I invited him to church and lunch afterwards with a group of friends and he hurriedly said, “Oh!  No – I couldn’t do that.  My mom fixes me lunch after church every Sunday afternoon.”  Yeah.  Oooohhhhh Kaaaaayyyyy  He also told me couldn’t go on a camping weekend with a big group of singles I invited him to because he couldn’t possibly leave the apartment building he managed, in case someone had a problem and needed him.

What I came to understand about him was that he had gradually slid into a relationship with this woman and her little girl, telling himself it was nothing, it was just a friendship.  When he was forced to face that it was more than that – he panicked.  He decided to go out on a date with some other woman, to prove to everyone (and himself) that he wasn’t in a relationship with this “running buddy”.  I believe Lance was very well off, as I found out he was a manager of several apartment buildings that he owned, and he just did not want to share that with anyone.  His whole life was his mom and his job.

Which was fine, if that made him happy.  Lance was not anyone I could be happy with, nor was I attracted to him.  When it was clear I wasn’t going to agree to be his “proof” that he wasn’t in a relationship with his “running buddy”, the phone calls dropped off.

That’s my first blind date story.  I did go on one more blind date in my life… but that’s another story for another time.  Do you have any blind date stories to share?

Posted June 27, 2014 by Maureen in Memories, Randomness

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Lessons from Relationships   1 comment

I got married when I was 20 years old and he was 25.  Sadly, I was divorced by the time I was 25.  Before I got married I had ideas in my mind about what love was, and what being married was like. 

The reality was nothing like any of my ideas.  Here are some things I have learned about relationships 

  •  Relationships change over time.  You don’t establish a relationship then dust your hands together and say “Done!  Accomplished!”  Relationships are living organisms that need to be fed and nurtured
  • Relationships are nothing like what you read about in the romance novels, or what you (mostly) see in movies or on the TV.
  • Just because someone asks you to marry them does not mean you have to say “Yes”.
  • Just because you think (or even if you feel very very sure) you are in love with someone, it does not mean you have to marry that person. 
  • Relationships have ebbs and flows, high points and low points.  Just because you might be in an ebb or low point does not mean you have to toss the whole relationship.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other couples, or hold yourself to others standards.  Each relationship is a bit different.
  • Communication is key, and you need to find the kind of communication that will work for you as a couple.

Now maybe you knew all that.  But I can assure you – I had NO idea of any of this before I got married, or got involved in a long-term relationship.  I wish I had had someone to tell me these things.  Remember, I got married in the dark ages, before the internet was what it was today.  

What about you?  What relationship lessons have you learned that you wish you had known ahead of time?

 

Posted August 20, 2013 by Maureen in Being Single, Memories

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How To Be Remembered   1 comment

My good friend Anna Maria died on May 12th.  She had had cancer and the tumors and other stuff going on in her body were finally too much for her.  She died three days before she turned 80 years old.

I had been friends with Anna Maria for 30 years.  The 25+ year difference between our ages never made a difference in our friendship.  She was funny and gracious and intelligent and friendly and so easy to know and be friends with.

She had longed to be with Jesus and sit at his feet all her life.  I am so happy that she is no longer in any pain, and all her sorrows and sighings have faded.  But — I was not ready to let her go.  I will see her again, but in the meantime I have to live on this earth without her friendship.

Anna Maria was an example to me of someone who truly had a deep personal relationship with God.  Her prayer life was amazing, and the number of answered prayers were too many to count.  I can only hope to be half the good Christian woman she was.

Perhaps the best example of her relationship with God and how it shone out was an email all her friends got about 5 days after she passed.  Anna Maria came from a big family, most of whom are gone now, but one of her sisters in Florida had asked one her nephews to go visit Anna Maria.  She herself couldn’t make the trip, so since he lived nearby she asked him to visit.

He said he was surprised his aunt had a relative near him, he never had any idea there was family close by.  He went to Anna Maria about 5 weeks before she passed, expecting to find someone dying.  Instead he found a woman who welcomed him.  Someone who, while not real happy to be in an assisted living environment, nevertheless did not complain or talk about herself.  She was interested in him and his family and he was amazed by her graciousness.  He wanted to bring his wife and children to meet her as soon as possible.  He told us that Anna Maria was just as nice and polite to his wife and children, greeting and talking to each one.  She asked that each child play on the piano in the common room and bless everyone with their music.  He and his family enjoyed their visit so much and he said he thought God had brought Anna Maria into his life, even for a short period, because he needed the example of faith and gratitude.

I miss her still, and will always miss her.  When it comes time for me to go home and be with God I hope to be remembered half so well.   How do you think you will be remembered if God took you home to be with Him today?

 

Posted May 20, 2013 by Maureen in Christian, Memories

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Be Careful What You Pray For   Leave a comment

Do you have a prayer list?  People you pray for regularly? 

I have a group….. well, list of people I pray for to receive Jesus as their Savior.  Men I have dated.  Family.  Friends.  Coworkers.  Many of them I’ve prayed for many years now.

Lately, I have experienced spiritual attack by those I’ve been praying for.  I don’t mean they have been under spiritual attack — I mean I have.

I am a mature Christian who has experienced spiritual attacks (directed to me and to others) before, so I can say with confidence an attack is what is going on, without going into all the details and giving explanations. 

When you pray for people — do you mean it?  It may seem a strange question, but I think it needs to be asked.  Do you really want God to answer you prayer for those people?  If so, be prepared.

When I pray for salvation I really do mean it.  I’ve had a brother die and go to hell because he wasn’t a Christian, and I really don’t want anyone else I have been praying for to go to hell.  I want them to accept Jesus as their savior.  I want them to surrender their lives to God. 

So the spiritual attacks did not surprise me.  What was a bit surprising was that I have had to fight my normal, human reaction to the attacks.  If I forget these are people I’ve been praying for, I can start to really dislike them, and resent their treatment of me.  But I do get past that and ask God to help me to love them like He does.  I try to remember to put on my spiritual armor every day, and read the Bible every day. 

So, be careful what you pray for.  You may have unexpected consequences.  But don’t stop praying, and (I can’t say this often enough) read your Bible every day!!

Posted July 11, 2012 by Maureen in Being Single, Christian, Memories

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Thinking about the past….. and the future   Leave a comment

The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is almost here as I write this.  The 10 year mark is a good time to look back and remember and think about what your life is like since “It” happened.  Whatever “it” you are remembering or celebrating after 10 years.  I remember clearly that day of 9/11/01 and what happened.

Since I am in a relationship (2 months and still going strong!) I am also thinking of the future.  What will it hold?  What will it be like?  Should I invite him for Thanksgiving dinner at the house?  Is it too soon?   Will I still be with him this time next year, or will I look back and remember, as I seem to be doing way too often, who I was with at this time of year — last year? 

I don’t know.  And honestly, I don’t worry about it or think about it too much.  Because I don’t know what the future will bring.  But I do know who holds the future – God does.  And I can trust Him.

Posted September 9, 2011 by Maureen in Being Single, Christian, Memories, Musings

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Gardens   Leave a comment

What is it about municipal gardens?  I find them so peaceful and restful.  I come away feeling refreshed and relaxed.  Is it the sunshine?  The trees, the grass, the flowers?  The fountain(s)?  Walking around?  The people watching?

For me, yes.  All of those.  I went with my beau (hee hee – great word) to a municipal rose garden on Saturday and it was so enjoyable.  We both took our time; sat when we wanted and walked when we wanted.  It was quite a beautiful and stress-free break to take with someone I care about.  I hope you all can have the same experience, with someone(s) special or by yourself, soon.

Posted August 28, 2011 by Maureen in Being Single, Memories

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