A Crazy Beginning To A Beautiful Ending

by Mandi

I started working at Sauder Woodworking in Archbold ,Ohio in the summer of 2007. I was dating someone else (Josh) at the time, and didn't think much of dating anyone else. I thought that he was the one. I was sent to work in another building one day, and as I walked in to start my shift, I saw him. I didn't know his name or where he was from. I didn't know anything about this mystery guy, but holy cow was he a good-looking man! He kept staring at me. I didn't mind that at all! As time went by, it took Eric two weeks to actually come up to me and talk to me. I eventually gave him my phone number thinking "hey, we can at least just get to know each other and br friends." I wasn't looking to cheat, that't not me. And I wasn't looking for a new relationship. He was also in a relationship with someone. He had left Sauder's in 2008, and i hadn't spoke to him for a long time after that. Before he left, he asked me to make a deal with him. He said, "Ok, if we're both single at the same time, how about we make a deal that we will date and see how things work?" I thought he was crazy, and after I hadn't seen or talked to him, I kind of forgot about him!

My mother was sick at the time. She was battling cancer since about 2005. Things had been awful between me and my family because they didn't like Josh at all. Eventually, i realized that Josh wasn't the one for me. He never treated me the way I felt I deserved to be treated, so things ended in April 2008. It was a very hard time for me. I had been with Josh for two years and had given EVERYTHING for him. Then, my mother passed away that June. My whole world turned upside down. I continued to have four more funerals from then on of family members. Fall came around, and out of the blue I recieved a phone call from Eric. I hadn't talked to him since he left Sauder's, and I was a bit surprised because he wasn't the nicest person the last time I had talked to him. We chit-chatted for about an hour and that was that. I hadn't talked to him for about four or five months after that, and he started calling and texting me more often. We got to know a lot about each other and eventually we started dating in April this year.

He never met my mom, but showed that he cared about what I was going through. Josh waited a year and a half to meet my mom even though he knew she was sick..and I still live at home. Whenever I would talk about her, he would change the subject. Eric has never done anything but listen and comfort me when I needed it. He always talks about wishing he had been able to meet her because she was always the most important person in my life. He told me once that he feels she brought us together. She was always trying to get me to date the guys she wanted me to! Haha.

September came around, and Eric had taken me to Oak Openings in Swanton, Ohio. It's a large park with trails and bike paths. There's a pond there which happened to be where my mother and step-father got married. I go there every now and then to relax, clear my mind, and think of her. We were walking around and I had found 3 four-leaf clovers. Before we left, we went onto the dock where they had exchanged vows. This was nothing new for me since he and I had gone there many times before and went onto the dock before we left. It was cloudy and a little rainy that whole time. I was standing in the exact spot where my mom had stood. We were looking into the water when he took my arm and turned me toward him. He took out the box and got on one knee and said, "I am so completely in love with you. I have never met anyone like you before, and I just know in my heart that you're the one for me..." (I can't remember all of it and I wish I had! But I was so caught in the moment! Haha! I rememebr that it was beautiful and made me tear up.) "I wanted your mom to be a part of this as much as she could be, so I thought this would be the perfect spot. Will you marry me?" I, of course, said yes. At that moment, the sun peeked through the clouds onto the water, and I knew that we had my mom's approval.

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