The Act of Falling in Love

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 30, 2008 0 Comments


I have very clear memories of the day I fell in love with the woman who has been my wife for over 40 years.  It wasn't love at first sight but—well, sit down and I'll tell you about it.

Anyhow, one day, probably a couple days after Kennedy won the election, which would make it Nov 9 1960,  I was walking to an early class at college.  It was a dreary morning and a light rain was falling.  I was walking into the rain so I walked with my head down.  The walk was about a mile and maybe half way along there was a stairway going up to a parking lot.  As I got to the top of the stairs someone stepped towards me.  It was her.

I knew she didn't have a class now.  I said something clever like, "Uh, — what—uh-why?" 

She replied, "I just wanted to walk with you."  And she smiled.

She was wearing a green corduroy coat with a fleece lining.  The hood was pulled back.  Every single fleece tip on the hood and lining had a drop of water on it.  Also her hair had a crown of water drops, as did her eyelashes.  All the drops seemed to shimmer.  I don't think I'd ever seen her eyes so blue.  She was simply the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen, or imagined. 

It had to have lasted only a second or two, but I remember it as moving in slow motion.  All those arrows Cupid had been shooting at me exploded at once.  I knew right then, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this was the only girl in the world for me and that we would be married.  I've never changed my mind about that to this day.  

We walked together to my class, not talking, just being together.  If there were some way to relive a single incident in my entire life I think I'd pick that meeting and walk.  I can still see in my mind's eye those water drops and that smile.  I hope it's my last memory when I die.

I think I walked around in a trance the next couple days.   On Monday she and I, as usual, had breakfast together.  After we finished eating we always had a cup of coffee and talked.  This time we just sat sipping our coffee and looking at one another.  Finally I said, "I'm falling in love with you."

She nodded and replied, "I know."  Then, after a short pause, she said, "Me too."  Literally that is silly, but I knew what she meant and a wonderful chill went through my whole body.  We didn't say anything more right then.  However that night, as we were kissing goodnight, I told her I loved her and she told me she loved me.  I floated all the way back to my dorm. It was November 13, 1960.

 And that my children, is how you  fall in love.

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Retired and relaxing

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