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      The flame


When I was 11 years old, there was this really hippy looking guy in the neighbourhood. He was the guy that all the girls wanted. I had a crush on him I thought he was gorgeous. He was dating a blonde girl that I didn't like very much.

They were both 16. She made it a point to let me know how ugly I was. Her exact words were "you are so ugly, you will never get anyone as good looking as my Eddie." Truthfully, I was. I knew it. All the boys in the neighbourhood made fun of me.

Those words stuck in my head. They will never go away.

Then, 10 years later... His Bother and sister-in-law with whom I was friends with, had asked me if I knew anyone who would want to go on a date with Ed. Well, it turned out that he and his second wife had split up and he was a single dad with one of his sons living at home with him. Of course I jumped at the opportunity (being a single mother myself) I didn't have much of social life. His sister-in-law echoed those infamous words regarding my looks.

One day after work, I showered, put on my tightest blue jeans and sexiest sweater and paid a visit to their house while Ed was there. He use to lift weights with his brother and some mutual friends. He came out of the basement, stopped at the top of the steps, said Hi to me and went back down. The friend, Curt, came up the steps and was talking to me and also went back down.

One week later, his sister-in-law ran into me at the store and asked if I was free to go out on a double date with her, her husband and Ed. Well, I found a babysitter and we went out. Nothing really romantic. Just went and shot a few games of pool and had a few drinks. Later we went back to my apartment. His brother and wife left. How I quietly prayed he would stay. He did. We started the night just talking. He was having pain in his back from lifting weights, so I told him to take off his shirt and lie down. He did, but he laid on the floor. I told him "No, lay across my bed." Well, needless to say it was an incredible night. There was no sleeping. The next thing we knew my phone rang, my girlfriend, who was babysitting for me, called to ask me to bring breakfast for her and the kids. It was 8:00 in the morning. He was embarrassed of what his brother was going to think when he would see his truck still parked in front of their house.

I still had a crush on him and figured that would be the only time I would ever get to be with him.

Two days later he called me. I had never given him my number. He looked in the phone book and called until he found me. Thank goodness my name begins with C. Two weeks later I moved into his house. My son really took to him. My son had never known his biological father, we had divorced when he was 6 months old.

Two years later for Christmas he gave an engagement ring. Neither one of us wanted to get married, after all we both had failed marriages behind us. He had always said he would never get married again unless his brain turned to mush. Eighteen months later, while getting into bed he kissed me goodnight. Taking a deep breathe he said to me, "you know, I have been thinking, my brain finally turned to mush.

In 1988 we were married. Now in 2001, we are still married. Having a total of five sons ranging in age 4 to 24, and two wonderful grandchildren whom we love deeply. We have been told by many that a lot of the things that life has thrown us would have broken any marriage, but it only seems to make ours stronger.

Our wedding song was The Flame by Cheap Trick. As the one line states "You weren't the first, but you'll be the last." We are very much in love. We are soul mates. Through to this day the words his first wife said to me so long ago still ring in my head. One day I will run into her. Then I want to know who was so ugly. She only had 5 months of marriage to him, I have 13 years and still counting.

I may have been ugly back then but as a fine wine, I improved with age.


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