I was like a kid running into a toy story. I just couldn’t wait and was so excited! I had to wait until 10:00 at night, but it was definitely worth it. I pulled up, parked my car and waited at the bottom of the escalator. And I waited some more, wondering if I’d missed him.
And then there he was! First Lieutenant Milton Turner caught my eye, flashed me a smile and embraced me wearing his ACU uniform. He hasn’t been home since July 3rd and was only going to be home for 60 hours. It felt great to have him in our house and to sleep next to him in our bed. Although I won’t admit it to him, it even felt great to see his stinky socks on the floor.
We ate some of his favorite foods like Wick’s Pizza, Lonnie’s and Wild Eggs. He cooked one of his amazing meals. The rest of the time we just enjoyed each other, caught up on some of his missed television shows and just enjoyed being loved by the other person.
Although his abs are more chiseled (thank to Army PT every morning), he still has the same personality and tells the same goofy jokes. He still leaves the light on when he leaves a room and still rolls over every morning to give me a good morning kiss.
That’s my husband and as much as I knew I missed him, I didn’t realize how bad it was until he was here. I then realized it again once he was gone. After dropping him off at the airport and returning home, I felt something was missing. He was missing. It was no longer the same.
Unfortunately he won’t be back for good until December (it was originally beginning of November). Insert sad face. But, luckily thanks to Christopher Columbus I get to see him again this weekend. Insert a smile! If you love somebody, let him/her know. If you’re not spending quality time with him/her, take advantage of the minutes on the clock while they’re still there. None of us are perfect, but all of us deserve to be loved. Remember, love comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t limit your definition of love to someone of the opposite (or same) sex. Love can equally be experienced through family, friends, volunteering and following your passion. God loves you and so do I – just don’t try to crawl up in my bed in the middle of the night and snuggle with me!
Some people remember every little detail about your life. They’ve known you since before you knew yourself and take pride in all of your accomplishments. There is a man at my church that fits this description, I’ll call him Mr. FS. Whenever I see him out in public somewhere, he is quick to brag to people that he came to the hospital the day I was born. And ever since I can remember, he always gives me a big hug and kiss on the cheek every Sunday in church. Every Sunday.
Mr. FS is over the age of 80, although I don’t know his exact age. He is still married to his wife. He has shown me the meaning of true love and ’til death do us part. His wife’s health and memory have declined due to Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s gotten to the point where she needs full-time care. They moved her into a nursing home. And guess what? He moved there with her. She’s in one room and his room connects.
Although they’ve been there over a year, I just recently realized how deep his love is. In the nursing home, they stay in the Alzheimer’s wing. So Mr. FS literally spends all of his time around people that don’t remember much of what’s happening. Could you imagine living a life where you’re the only one that knows your name? Although they have church at the nursing home, he still brings his wife to church every Sunday. They sit in the same front pew and he still gives me a wide grin, hug and kiss.
I started to realize not only how dedicated Mr. FS was to his wife, but I also realized how sad he must be. So, I scheduled a dinner date with him at the nursing home. I HATE nursing homes with a passion, but felt it was the least I could do to make his day. And he was overjoyed! I was able to witness a man so in love with his wife that he never wants to leave her side – regardless of her condition. He pushed her down the hallways with such pride as if it were a first date. I also better understood the reason they kept coming to our church instead of the church offered at the nursing home. Their service had mostly people unable to care for themselves. Coming to our church was his one opportunity (with his wife) for a sense of normalcy.
I pray that we all find true, genuine love. Here’s to that person that will be there through thick or thin and is willing to protect us until the end. As much as I still hate nursing homes, I’ll keep having dates with Mr. and Mrs. FS. Although I’m not his wife, he has supported me in everything I’ve done so now it’s my turn. If I can bring even the smallest amount of normalcy or light to his day, I want to do it! Each time I see that twinkle in his eye, I know how much he appreciates it. Mr. FS thanks for being you!
Just the Right Spot
Our first date was on Valentine’s Day. It started out just relaxing at my place with both of us dressed in sweats. Once the evening came, we changed clothes to get ready for our night. I threw on a cute dress and some makeup and walked down to the basement to see if he was ready. Milton’s face lit up, our eyes locked and we shared our first kiss. The rest of the evening consisted of dinner and a Frankie Beverly and Maze concert. It was a Valentine’s Day that I will never forget.
Spring forward a couple of months. Milton calls at 1:30 in the morning. I am already asleep. I call him once I wake up and asked what is wrong. He says he needs to tell me something, but that he prefers to email it. I get nervous and think about all the negative things that he could tell me. As I opened the email, here is what I read, “I love you! I love you so much! I knew this since the first moment you stepped downstairs into your basement and we met eyes and kissed. I haven’t felt something so right before since I had shoes that fit. I have bottled my feelings up out of fear that I was moving too fast but now I’m going to let my heart take over for my fear. I need you! I knew this since our first conversation and you made me feel not only wanted, appreciated, and loved, but you make me feel like a king that you want to shine. I told you from the beginning that I could not promise the world overnight, and it may be scary that we both don’t know how the next few months or years of our lives might play out, but I know that the world is a lot less scarier place with you in it. The Lord never promised that life would be easy, in fact he promised that the road to glory would be hard; however, he always promised to be by our side in good and bad. I want to build a love with you that is unconditional and is strong no matter the weather”
And that was the beginning of our relationship. Milton helped comfort me through my low points (like not becoming a professional fitness competitor) and I tried to be equally supportive in his life (like studying for the Bar). I started working in the fitness industry and continue to build OnyxLouisville. He passed the Bar, was sworn in as a lawyer and already has a job. It seemed like regardless of what was happening in each of our lives, being there for each other was the overall constant that never disappeared.
Friday, October 22, 2010 was a regular day for me. Milton drove to Louisville and we went to the Bill Bellamy show at the Improv. We came back to my house and I took some of my clothes upstairs. As I walked back to the first floor, Milton was nowhere to be found. I called his name and he asked me to come in the basement. As I arrived on the bottom step, Milton stood in the same spot we had our first kiss. As he got on one knee, he talked about the difference I have made in his life and the future he wants us to have together. He asked me to marry him – OF COURSE I said yes…….
M.Y. October 2010
“My First Love”
My senior year of high school I went to UNC to visit. This guy took a group of us to observe a college class. He sent me a note asking which schools I had been accepted. I thought nothing else about him. Advance forward to my first week on campus my freshman year. The two large dorms, Morrison and Hinton James, had a party for the freshman. Same random guy was there as a counselor. After the party he volunteered to walk my friend and I back to the dorm. Sure, whatever.
Two days later I see him in the cafeteria, we lock eyes, and within hours become a couple. (Remember this is before I even started classes my freshman year.) Anthony and I stayed together for three years until he graduated. People often called us “The Happy Couple” because we were always together and also constantly smiling. He walked me to my classes and we always made sure our dorm rooms were placed next to each other. He became my best friend at UNC and I shared all of my hopes, dreams, experiences and fears with him. I was truly in love. But that love scared me at the age of 20. I thought about how college is the time you get to know various people, and he was the only man I ever met. I still had another year at Carolina so we broke up in 1997 and I decided to see what else was out there.
Anthony will tell you that I was the person he envisioned himself marrying. However while he was always ready to settle down, it wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I was honestly ready to consider marrying someone. By then he had moved on with his life and now has a wife and two kids. Recently we met for lunch in North Carolina. Although we’ve talked on the phone, this was our first time together alone since we broke up. I was nervous at first, but we had a blast. We spent three hours reliving the college days and both apologized for things done wrong. When I asked the waitress to take our picture, she said “You all are such a great couple!” (lol) I drove away with flashback memories of the strongest relationship I have been a part of. I realized that he loved me for the person I was and will always be there to protect me. He helped me remember the genuine qualities I need to look for in my next potential mate/relationship and that all people come into your life for a reason.
Who would have known that while I was sitting in the back of a UNC classroom, planning what I’d wear to prom, that a guy would be put into my life that would show me what true love really is?! I say this because you never know when the next “he/she” will be placed into your life.
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M.Y. January 2008