"Would you believe in a love at first sight? Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time" The Beatles.
The reason I am sitting here today, in this nice little Lindenwald home is because of the love of my life Sandra. Truer words were never spoken or, in this case, bloggen.
Back in 2001 I was on a fast train to nowhere. My life was a complete mess. I was drinking heavily and spending all my time basically throwing my life away. I had lost my job and not doing anything constructive to turn my life in the right direction. I won't say I was worthless because there were lots of people who cared enough to offer their help, I just wouldn't listen. Nobody really knows just how desperate I really was. A dear friend who has since passed seen me at my favorite hang out and took me aside and reminded me I had been wearing the same clothes for several days and that I didn't look well and should consider the way I was living if I wished to live much longer. I love you Gerry. Thank you.
Long story short I got a job and started to rebuild my life. I went to work for a small paper products company as a shipping clerk and things were looking up. One day while turning a corner on my forklift I nearly ran over a group of people taking a pre-employment tour of the factory. In this group one person stood out from the rest. She was a petite young lady with dark hair and eyes and the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I prayed from my heart that she would be hired just so I could meet her. I have never been so stricken. She was hired and a few days later I met Sandra. Sandra is from Lima, Peru and had only come to Honeymoon to interpret for her friends who did not speak English. The human resource manager offered Sandra a job because he knew he could use her assistance when training and explaining the job duties to the other Spanish speaking employees. Thank you Randy!
As the days progressed I spent a lot of time talking with Sandra and learning about her and her culture. She told all about Peru, that she had one sister and one brother her parents and a couple of nieces there. She also told me she was in a long distance relationship and had two children. DAMMIT!!! Not about the kids but the the relationship. I too was in a relationship at that time but I didn't feel the way the other person did. I know this is terrible but it was a relationship of convenience. Bad Tim. I know.
One day Sandra came to me and told me she had something to say. "Tim I like you" I was floored. My mind was racing. I couldn't believe this was actually happening. "I like you too Sandra." She looked confused. "NO.. I lied you." "Oh" I said. Really embarrassed by my mistake. "What do you mean?" " I don't have any children or a boyfriend." I don't think I danced but I know in my mind I was cutting a rug. She explained that the reason she told people she had kids and a man in Peru is so she wouldn't be bothered by them following her around like little puppy dogs or hounding her for dates. All of the things I was doing anyway.
Sandra agreed to go on a date with me that Friday. So she told me her phone number and I wrote it down when I got back to the office and gave her a call that Friday. The phone call went something like this. "Hello?"
"Hello. May I speak with Sandra please?" "There's nobody here by that name." "Sorry." CLICK. That's me hanging up the phone in disgust. Ok. Maybe I dialed it wrong. "hello?" CLICK. Wow. I was soooooo disappointed.I spent the rest of the weekend wondering if she gave me the wrong number purposely or if it was a mistake on my part.
When I seen Sandra Monday afternoon at work she walked right by and didn't say anything. She only gave me a glance that let me know immediately that she had been stood up. I explained that I must have written the number down wrong and even showed her the paper. "You should be more organized, Tim." That was the first time of thousands that those words would be directed at me. I apologized and promised to make it up to her and asked her if I could take her to lunch on the following afternoon. She agreed and said she would like to find a place to get some books for her English studies. That day I came to her apartment and picked her up and she and I went to the library where she got her first library card and after the library we went for some Chinese food. If I wasn't stricken before (and I was) by now I was head over heels and I thought that maybe, just maybe I was starting to win her over. I started to bring her lunch to work everyday. I would help her on her job. I spent many nights on the closest pay phone to my apartment talking to her for hours on end. She possessed every thought of mine and I couldn't believe what was happening. My life was changing and I wanted to change with it.
Our First Date;
On Friday nights at the bar I frequented had a band called Swank who I often sat in with for a few songs so I invited Sandra to come with me after work and watch the band play and have some drinks and she agreed as long as her friend Mariella could come along. Sandra being the smart young lady she was and is would never go with me alone. She would bring her friend Genny or Mariella whenever we went some where at night. That was also the hangout of my current girlfriend so I told her that Sandra was coming with me and that maybe she shouldn't be there if this was going to be a problem for her. So we got there. I was smiling from ear to ear ready to walk in with the most beautiful lady to grace this whole in the wall with her presence and who was waiting at the door. My girlfriend. We just walked on by which, understandably, really pissed her off. So there I was at the bar with a couple of friends and someone grabbed me by the ear. Oh shit. This is not good. She continued to pull me outside and smack me around some, which I deserved, and let me know what I already knew, that I was wrong for doing this and I was basically a selfish and shitty person. Love can be like war in that there are sometimes undeserving casualties.
Anyway back inside I'm sure my date was wondering what just happened and I had some explaining to do but it was loud and we were having fun so i would explain another day. I joined the band for a short set and put on a hell of a show bringing the crowd to their feet and putting a smile a mile wide on my new friend's face. It was actually a pretty good night. We finished the night at a late night restaurant where Sandra informed me she only wanted friendship from me and wasn't interested in a romantic relationship. I lied and said I was fine with that but in reality I was disappointed to say the least.
We continued talking on the phone and I would bring her lunch or buy something for the two of us to share and we went to the drive-in. She came to the drive-in with me by herself and I was a complete gentleman and I think that's when she knew she could trust me. Now I don't know what it's like to be thousands of miles from home with no family or lifelong friends but I would imagine that finding a friend that you can trust is a big part of making this new place more like home. I helped Sandra in many ways. We worked on her English skills. We went to malls and shopping together. I wanted to show her everything. She also helped me in many ways. I felt alive when I was with her. Like my life had more purpose. I was and still am head over heals in love with this beautiful person and she could feel that it was genuine and started to feel the same way about me. As the months went by our friendship grew into love and a mutual respect for each other. I would try to sneak a kiss but she would only give me the Peruvian greeting and goodbye kisses. That just made me want her more.She met my children and family. I would talk with my Mom about her and she spoke with hers about me.
One night I was at the pay phone talking to Sandra late at night when she informed me that she and her friend Mariella were seriously considering going back to Peru. I was very saddened by this news knowing that if I let her get away I would lose something that could never be replaced. I told Sandra that she should do what is best for her but I hoped she would never leave me because i was crazy in love with her and wanted to be with her for the rest of my days. She stayed. A couple of weeks later I took her to the library where we had gone on our first afternoon together. I produced a small diamond ring and asked Sandra to be my wife. She agreed. I called my brother and he said I was CRAZY. As if that was some kind of revelation. She called her mom and she told her if she is sure about me and loves me then it's the right thing to do.
I first seen Sandra on the 4th day of January in 2001. We married on the 27th day of april 2001. It is the 2nd day of august 2011 and we are still together. It hasn't always been smooth sailing and it hasn't always been rough. We have ups and downs, peaks and valleys. We are not the perfect couple but we are perfect for each other because we know that. She is what I refer to as Gucci and I am what she refers to as cheap . That's ok though because it works. Do I believe in love at first sight? Yes I'm certain it happens all the time. Stay dialed in my friends.