Today is my 18th wedding anniversary! It's hard to imagine that 18 years have passed, but they have.
Sometimes people ask us how we met, but I think the far more interesting story of our love is how I knew I would marry my husband.
Here's how it happened:
After we had started hanging out together (neither of us was calling it dating at this point) I needed to go downtown to meet a friend for dinner. This friend was a guy I went to high school with. When I mentioned it to Pete, he offered to drive me downtown. I thought he was just being nice, but an older friend pointed out to me that he was actually offering to come along to "check out the competition" even though my friend from high school really was just a friend.
Anyway, when we got downtown, I told him that since he'd driven all that way, he might as well tag along and join us for dinner. We parked and had a bit of a walk to the restaurant where I was meeting my friend. So we're walking up the street, which is crowded, as it's a trendy part of Vancouver and I'm chatting away with him as we go. Up ahead I notice this street person stumbling towards us, drunk and filthy, so I cut him a wide path.
Half a block later, I asked Pete something and didn't get a response. I look around and he's not beside me, but back down the street. I see him slapping the street person on the back and asking him how he's doing. They talk for a few minutes and then I see Pete empty his pockets to him. THAT was the moment in which I knew this was the man I was going to marry.
It turns out that the street person was Randy, a guy Pete went to elementary school with. Rather than seeing him and pretending he didn't know who he was, he stopped. Randy was a mess-drunk, filthy and homeless and Pete looked beyond all that and just saw his childhood friend. He saw a human being in need of help when so many people were avoiding him because they were scared or disgusted or both. He gave him all the money he had on him. I knew in that moment he was a man of great compassion.
There is a bittersweet epilogue to this story: Years later, my husband was at a job site. One of his coworkers called him over and told him there was someone he wanted him to meet. Turns out, his coworker was related by marriage to Randy's brother, who just happened to stop by.
They got talking and Pete asked about Randy. He found out that Randy had recently passed away, having never managed to shake his addiction. Pete told Randy's brother that Randy was the reason he got married. He shared our story about that day on the street and how we always referred to Randy as our raggedy angel.
Randy's brother was really touched to know that someone remembered Randy and that he had touched someone in such a positive way, given how his life turned out.
It's the seemingly small moments in our lives that become the pivotal points that change everything. This one small act of kindness and friendship changed both our lives and lead us to today, 18 years later. I am very blessed to be married to a man who has such a soft and kind heart. My husband is a sweet and gentle soul and I think it's his greatest strength.
Happy Anniversary Honey, you are my love and my light. xox