Summing up the ‘story of us’ into a blog post that is long enough to convey the journey and short enough to keep you captive is not going to be easy! Where to start…
It really is the hand of God that we are here, together, 11 years later! Steven didn’t want anything to do with me at first. He was working on finding himself again. He had recently rededicated his life and was having a time of his own, learning to shed his old ways of being and embracing the new life ahead of him. And then there was me.
I was unhealthy when I moved here: not in the ‘physically sick’ sense but more in the ‘not at all focused on one’s mental / emotional well-being’ sense. Unhealthy and oblivious to it. I was at a very unhealthy weight, I smoked like a civ and cussed like a sailor. I was not very good to myself and so far from the life I believe that the Good Lord wanted for me … but it took me a while to realize that.
We never dated. Not the ‘forge a mutual friendship, cultivate it into a relationship, pick me up on Friday for dinner & a movie and see how it blooms’ dating. Nope. Did I mention that he didn’t want anything to do with me? It took some serious ‘manipulating’ (read that as: conniving … that’s what hubby refers to it as, lol) to get him to even talk to me! Seriously!!
The short of the long is this: I lived in the hotel that year, and January – March of 2005, and the hotel didn’t have coin laundry. Steven was a single parent every other week and he worked from sun-up to sun-down. I needed a washer / dryer and he needed someone to help with dinner & homework. Wha-la … now we’re friends.
We would spend hours talking, but never dating, intimate in conversation but not physical in behavior. Every few months or so, Steven would tell me why we couldn’t be friends anymore. Primarily the conversation centered on how God had promised to give him back his life, blessed over. He believed I was holding God up from delivering that promise. Whenever he would tell me that we couldn’t be friends anymore, I always had a response. Never a ‘desperate plea to be my friend’ response but rather ‘the words were just there’ to respond to whatever he was saying at the time.
This went on for a year or so. And one weekend in March 2005, I took my dad to Ohio to see my Aunt Rhonda. On the way home, I remember I was excited that I would be able to stop by and see Steven Maverick before bed-time. Steven was very strict about Maverick’s 9pm bedtime. I got there at 8:45pm. Maverick was so excited to see me … and Steven didn’t even turn his head. It’s surreal, looking back. I remember turning on their road and just knowing that it was going to happen. I remember praying ‘Okay, God, just let me accept it with dignity and grace’
And when Steven told me that we couldn’t be friends anymore, I simply said ‘Okay’ … I think that floored him more than me. I remember him walking me to my truck with a box full of ‘stuff’ that I had managed to accumulate at his house over that previous year (which was ironic because he was so anal about me NOT leaving things there). I remember telling him that he didn’t get to watch me drive away, that I was fine and watching him walk back inside … and then crying all the way back to the hotel.
But it was time. He had invited me to church when he first decided to talk to me. I had been getting fed spiritually, had rededicated my life, started to focus on me, on my own health and well-being. I was in a much better place and, that Sunday in March, I knew that it was time to let him walk away. So I did.
Tomorrow: how we ended up here, 11 years later