Things were going along quite smoothly. We spent almost every moment we could together, and we were lovin' every minute of it.
A couple weeks into November, we made a decision (helped quite a bit by super-low airfare). We would go to my house for Thanksgiving to meet the family.
I think we were both a little nervous about this big step forward (although Mr. TD&H had already run the gauntlet in meeting my mom). However, he wins the prize for stress-induced illness. He had a mouth full of canker sores. Really bad! When we flew in on Thanksgiving morning (see how smart I am? I didn't have to help with the cleaning, cooking, or anything else!), he was starting to feel the pain. To make a long story short (I know, too late), he couldn't eat a single thing. Not one thing. I think he may have drank some milk. And it was skim milk. If you know Mr. TD&H, he does not do skim milk. Nice Thanksgiving for him!
To add insult to injury, it was one of the coldest Thanksgivings in my hometown. Which isn't a big deal to Mr. TD&H (who is from Canada). But you have to understand something about my family. Growing up, the rule was that if you were cold, you put on more clothes. Turn up the heat? Perish the thought! Even now, all these years later, when my parents are getting on in years (no offense, Mama J!), I think they set their thermostat at 62 degrees or something absolutely crazy.
So there we were, the day after Thanksgiving, and Mr. TD&H says to me, "I am freezing!" I thought: What? Aren't you from "the frozen north"? This is California, for cryin' out loud! He told me that he had never been so cold as he was in my parent's house. Nice. I'd find out later why. (keep your eye out for the Christmas post coming up...)
That evening we went to see my sister. She was graduated from BYU and living in my Grandma's house. My grandma had passed away many years before, and the kids were trying to figure out whether to rent or sell it. So my sister was "renting" with a couple of roommates. I had so many wonderful memories in that house. Mr. TD&H and I drove the 30 minutes to Grandma's house, and we visited with my big sis. She was absolutely wonderful and so excited to me this handsome guy of mine. She drew us in to her warm, conversational embrace, and I could see Mr. TD&H thawing out--on many different levels. He is so much more comfortable one on one with conversations.
We talked until late in the evening, and then my dear sister left us to say our good nights. Not so fast. We weren't done talking. I think we spent the next few hours opening our hearts to each other. Sharing our pasts, talking about the present, and painting beautiful pictures of our dreams for the future. As we sat in my Grandma's old room, so full of loving memories of that amazing woman, with a gentle breeze blowing in through the barely curtained windows, Mr. TD&H said,
"I love you."
There it was. Out there. Un-take-back-able. But I could see that he didn't want to take it back. He meant it. And I wasn't afraid. I loved this man. A man who was fearless in sharing who he was, warts and all. I felt so safe. He loved me. He was aware of some of my warts also. And he still loved me. Gratitude surged through my whole body. I loved him. I wanted to be with him.
"I love you, too."
to be continued...