Saturday, March 22, 2008

How I Fell in Love

My true love and I met in the most unusual way. I was filling in for one of the guys at the taxi company where I worked. It was a sweltering evening in June, 1988.

At about 10 p.m., I received a request call. The address was unfamiliar. Feeling somewhat uneasy, I explained to the dispatcher that the call must be for the regular driver. Since we were short staffed, he asked me to take the call.

I pulled into the driveway of a neatly kept ranch style home. A man came out and got into the cab. He asked me where the regular driver was. I told him the driver had asked me to fill in for him, as he’d had to attend a family function.

“I’ve got a lot of errands,” the said, explaining that I’d be tied up for between two and three hours.

“Great,” I replied, thinking of the good fare. I was a single mother. The thought of the meter clicking for two or three hours thrilled me.

While taking Dwight on his round of errands, we talked a lot. I told him a bit about myself, but he divulged nothing about himself. Time passed quickly and I felt very comfortable with him. He was reserved, yet friendly. It seemed we had a lot in common.

Before I realized well over three hours had passed. The meter registered sixty dollars, and it was about ten miles back to the address where I’d picked Dwight up. I estimated the final fare to be approximately seventy five dollars. I was delighted. It had been a slow night and I knew by the two-way radio that if I hadn’t taken this fare, I would have gone home with little money in hand.

I pulled into Dwight’s driveway. Much to my surprise, he opened his wallet and handed me a hundred dollars. “Keep the change,” he said. “You were great company. I enjoyed talking to you.”

I sat in the car watching Dwight climb the porch stairs. What a nice man, I thought. Not like most of the dead beats I have for fares. Too bad he’s married.

I’d only driven about two blocks when the dispatcher called my car number. When I responded, he advised me to return to the address I’d just left. I was ecstatic. Maybe Dwight had more errands to run. I’d drive him around all night for the money he paid.

I pulled into the driveway and Dwight came down the walk to the side of the car. “How would you like to go out for coffee?” he asked.

“I’d love a coffee,” I answered, “but won’t your wife object?”

“What wife?” he asked totally bewildered.

I felt my face flush. “You’re so nice I just assumed you were married.”

He grinned, melting my heart. “Never assume,” he cautioned. “It can be embarrassing.”

At that moment, I knew he was the man I was going to marry. We went for coffee and talked long into the night. After that, whenever Dwight needed a cab, he requested mine. Weeks went by and we became close friends. Then, we started dating.

On December 17, 1988, exactly six months after we met, Dwight and I were married. We love each other more today than we did back then. Our relationship has had time to grow and bloom. No, it hasn’t been perfect – in fact, a long way from it. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Financial burdens, sorrow, acute illness, and family feuds have all been part of it. Instead of letting these things tear us apart; we’ve used them to bring us closer together and to make our marriage more solid.

Today, we have two lovely grandsons, ages nine and seven, children of my daughter from a former marriage. Dwight treats the boys well and our family is firmly bonded. Over the years, we have learned that material things aren’t important. Health, happiness and true love are all that matters. At some time each day, we take time out to count our blessings. It’s been a wonderful sixteen years.

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