13 February 2009

Our Love Story

February 14, 2002. I was sitting at Starbucks waiting for him to arrive. I was excited and nervous but mostly anxious to see him again. For the past week we had been on a "break." Time to think about our relationship and where we wanted to be. We hadn't seen or talked to each other in a week, a very long week. So I sat ready to see him. We had been dating for 11 months and I thought he was the one. We came from very different backgrounds but I didn't care. I was sure tonight was going to be the night that we would discuss taking the next step (not towards getting engaged, but maybe closer to that place).
I see him park and walk up. There was something different about the way he looked at me but I brushed it off. He got closer and sat down. No hug-hmm. We chatted for awhile about nothing in particular. Then he asked me to take a walk. We started up and he didn't hold my hand. Weird. We made it down to some benches and sat down. OK, this is it. Whatever he says, it's going to change our lives.
He starts talking but the words aren't what I think they are going to be.
Wait. Wait! Did he just say...no. Huh? Break up? No, no, no! Hold on. What is he saying? Really? Over? What is going on here?

The tears started. Full on sobbing. Could this really be happening? No. We were supposed to be talking about taking the next step in our lives, sealing our commitment to each other even more.
"But you were the one..."
It was over.
He walked me to my car but I couldn't even see through the tears. How was this possible? I was crushed. My heart hurt. Really, really badly. This wasn't supposed to happen, on Valentine's Day of all days.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Exactly one month and 13 days later I went on my last first date. Kinda funny how God see things. I had gotten a call from Stuart Doss of all people. He left me a message asking if I had someones number. I was at work and so I didn't get his call till after I was done. Funny. How did Stuart get my number? I checked my phone book but I didn't have the number that he wanted. I called him back and when he answered he quickly told me he was sorry for the message he left. Really? Why? He then proceeded to ask me out. Really? Why?
Stuart and I had known each other for about a year. We were both in the college class at church and both of our parents worked at church. Ever since he moved to San Antonio I had heard bits and pieces about him from my mom and dad.
"The Doss' youngest son moved back to town. I think he just got out of the military."
"The Doss' son is about your age."
"I really like the Doss'. They are such a good family."
"We're trying to set a date to have dinner with the Doss'. Their son is going to be there. Wanna come?"
"I have a boyfriend mom."
Little did they know...

March 27, 2002. Stuart picks me up at my house. I had to work that evening so we decided on a 9 pm time. He came to my door and said hi to my parents. Nice. He walked me out to his car and opened the door for me. Very nice. We went to TGI Fridays and talked and talked and talked. It was really nice. He dropped me off around 1 am (I know, kinda late) and simply said he had a good time and he would call me later. Nice.
I walked inside, went upstairs, poked my head in to my parent's room to let them know I was home safe and went to bed. The next morning I woke up and got ready for work. I walked into the office and was met by strange looks.
Well good morning to you too.
"Clarissa, why aren't you at the hospital?"
"Uh, why would I be at the hospital?"
More confused looks.
What was wrong with these women?
"Clarissa, do you not know?"
"Know what?" Now I'm starting to get a little perturbed.
"Clarissa, you need to call your mom right now."
Shock. What? Why?
I pull out my cell phone and hit 4, talk.
My mom answered and it was very clear that she was upset and crying. Somehow I was able to get the information-my dad had a stroke. My head was reeling. I didn't know what to do or think but I had to get to the hospital. Fast.
As I was driving I get a call from someone I didn't know. It was Stuart, calling to make sure I was ok. As many of you know word travels very fast in churches and the news about my dad's stroke was no different.

June 2002. Stuart and I have been dating for 2.5 months. It's been magical. My dad is healing, Stuart is wonderful and I am about to go to Hawaii for two weeks with the family that I was a nanny for. The two weeks in Hawaii go by in a blur. It was such a fantastic place. A place that would have been so much more incredible with Stuart. Before I leave I find out that the person that was going to take over for me for the remainder of the summer in Hawaii backed out. I was asked if I could come back and stay for the rest of the summer. Uh, yeah!
I came home for two weeks before I was to head back. I tried to spend every available second with Stuart. One night when Stuart was driving me back home, he turned to me and said, "I love you. I really do."

Get outta town! I sat there. Voiceless. Had this man just said that he loved me? Yes! Yes he did.
I returned the compliment the next day. I was too emotional from the initial testament that I couldn't function.
The rest of the summer was a dream. Stuart and I talked every single night. The $800 cell phone bill will testify to that. Sometime during those late night talks I realized that this relationship was different. Then I knew why. Stuart was the one. With all my heart I knew it.
Apparently he knew it to. He bought a ring. He made an appointment to talk to my dad. My dad made him wait for 30 minutes before he brought him back to his office. Then he made Stuart sign a contract stating that our first born would be named Angus Og. And Stuart signed it!

August 17, 2002. I was flying back from Hawaii by myself because the day we were to leave I came down with an ear infection. So I had to stay back an extra three day for the infection to heal. I was a mess. All I wanted to do was see, hug, kiss and smell Stuart. I. Could. Not. Wait.
The plane landed and he met me at baggage claim. He was wearing jeans and a green and white plaid button down shirt. He looked wonderful. We got my luggage and headed to his car. Since my flight was delayed he asked if we could drive to school so he could take a test. Ha!
We pulled into the parking lot and parked. He stopped and looked out the window for a minute. Then he turned to me. My heart was popping out of my chest. I'm pretty sure I was holding my breath. Something caught my eye and I realized he was holding a small velvet box in his hand. No way! For real?

December 28, 2002. One of the three best days of my life. Among our family and friends, I became Mrs. Stuart James Doss. My father married us. My sisters and my bff Laura were my bridesmaids. His brother, brother-in-law and bff Justin were his groomsmen. The girls wore black, non-matching dresses. Phil did my hair. :) Stuart wore a black tux with a white vest and bow tie. My dad wore his kilt. My dad's bag pipe band brought me down the aisle. My father brought out the contract to make sure everyone could validate Stuart's contract with him. He also casually implied that his stroke was due to Stuart. It was amazing.
When we left the church we jumped into his mom's white convertible. Everyone released white balloons.

February 2009.
We have been married for six, blissful years.
We have two incredible sons.
We have two large dogs.
We have our own house.
We moved to Las Vegas.
We moved back to Texas.
We moved six times.
We gained a brother-in-law.
We gained a niece and a nephew.
We sent my grandmother and his grandfather to heaven.
We watched and cried as God took Stuart's mother to be with Him.
We share a greater love every day of the year.
We have God.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
I love you with all my heart and soul. You are my better half. Thank you for giving me this love story to share.


Jennifer said...

This is beautiful! What an amazing story!!

Brittany Skloss said...

I posted a new deal you might like (and linked to your blog). I'm just hoping you have a Friday's near you!

Brooke said...

I think we lost touch before you got married, so I never knew the story. I made me a little teary-eyed, thanks for sharing!