Bill in Love
I used to stress about who to love, but now I know I simply have to attend the party.
One day I got a phone call from Bill. “How can I help you?”
“Well, I live three hours away and I really want to love my partner. We’ve been having a tough time with the kids and I really want to bring my partner to your Date Night but we’re vegans and the menu isn’t vegan. Is there any way you could help me out because we don’t have anyone to look after the kids and I want to give her a night out?”
I started to giggle, “Bill, that sounds like a fantastic plan. Let’s make it happen. What’s your partner’s favourite vegan meal and I’ll make sure chef cooks it.”
Bill started to smile over the phone (yes, you can hear smiles on the phone) and I think when he hung up he was floating on air. He was going to date his girl.
A few days later he rings up with her favourite dishes and then there is a pregnant pause. “Sharon is there any way you could arrange for some flowers for my girl. I would love to be able to give her some roses on the night, but they will wilt in the car.”
“Of course, we can arrange the flowers is there anything else you want do?”
“No, I think that about covers it.”
Date Night is here, and Bill arrives with his girl. The air is buzzing with hope and anticipation. He arrives with his best suit on, she arrives in this amazing dress straight from the Great Gatsby. Love is in the air.
After a three-hour stint in the car, the toddlers were well and truly ready for a play and some fun.
I watch chivalry at its best as he pulls out her chair for her and helps seats her, then on bended knee he gives her the roses, holds her hands, looks her in the eye and tells her how much he loves her. They spend the night sitting in silence, eating their meal, holding hands and breathing. Having some space from parenthood, from chores and routine.
A few months later I receive another phone call from Bill. “Sharon, I want to propose at the next date night. What do you think? Do you think we can make it happen?”
“I said, ‘I’m sure we can make it happen.’
This time when they arrive, something seems off. She’s pale and wane, he’s trying so hard to be upbeat and positive. The kids are clingy and restless.
They’re here; determined to seize love, to fan it into flame.
They had just started entrée when one of the kids vomited all over the floor. After a hurried clean up, Bill packs his family and drives three hours home. I can’t imagine the drive, the family unwell.
We offered to put the family up in accommodation across the road, but Bill was adamant that he needed to take his family home and care for them.
Before going home, he asks for a moment with his girl. We’re holding the kids. He gets down on bended knees and asks the question, “Will you marry me!”
It wasn’t how he had planned the proposal, but he was determined to seize the moment and love as best he could.
Her dress soggy with vomit, she bursts into tears and says, “Yes!”
I loved this young man’s brand of love. It was contagious. Nothing was going to stop him loving his girl.
A few months later I get another phone call. “Sharon can we get married at the centre, a simple ceremony and a small reception. We don’t’ have a lot of family or support.” He paused for a moment. “I don’t’ have a lot of money but I want the day really special. Can you…” and he was off planning a day of commitment and love for his girl.
Six months later on a beautiful Saturday, Bill married his sweetheart.
It was a day filled with bubbles and laughter, the chaos of kids playing and living life to the full. A day of good food, tender speeches and a surprise night away without the kids.
Bill’s devotion to his girl was so contagious. He was engaged with love and life. A six-hour return drive wasn’t going to stop him. Asking for a unique menu wasn’t going to stop him. Sick kids and lack of support wasn’t going to block his declarations. Bill was determined to lose himself in love, to love unimpeded, and I loved being a conspirator in his journey.
I think God in heaven was belly laughing as he watched people enjoying the life and love he gives.