52 sundays; march 6, 2011

Musical pairing – Marry Me by Train

I’m breaking from my traditional 52 Sunday posts today as you’ll notice that (a) this post has music (it’s a beautiful piece, I hope you’ll listen!), and (b) I’m going to write a bit more than I usually do for these type of posts; but I have a good reason and if you stay with me for a moment you’ll understand why . . .

13 years ago today was a day I didn’t think would ever be possible for someone like me . . . a high-school drop-out, I had been a single mom for many years raising two sons; I had been married and divorced by the time I was 19 years old, and I was also someone who had been to hell and back on the road to discovering who she really was – someone with secret hopes and dreams that had been tucked away as if they were placed in a heart-shaped locket and hidden deep inside a well that had run dry.

Outwardly I spoke the words, ‘I’m not interested in getting married again’. . . but at the end of the day, when my bedroom door was closed and I was lying alone beneath a cloak of suffocating darkness, I would beg my God to not let me leave this earth having only known the violence of an ex-husband. I prayed that I would be a partner to someone who could share my secret hopes and dreams . . . someone who would value my opinions . . . someone I could trust my heart with . . . would there be someone to really loved me . . . would there ever be someone to cherish me . . .

I’ve mentioned before that the running joke in the family is that The Professor and I didn’t date . . . that being inseparable wasn’t defined as ‘dating’.  We had ‘the talk’ where we both expressed being perfectly fine being single, thank-you-very-much and that neither of us was interested in anything other than friendship. And we had meant those words. Yet somewhere in those two months, like the ground following an earthquake, my heart had shifted and suddenly I realized that I loved The Professor and I desperately, desperately wanted him to feel the same way.

Valentine’s Day, 1998, I decided to risk saying the words ‘I love you’ . . . my heart pounding loudly in my ears, my voice shaking, my legs about to buckle underneath me, I waited . . . deep breath . . . his arms gathered me into his and he said, ‘I love you too’ . . . then The Professor handed me an envelope. Inside was a CD with a song he had written and recorded for me titled, ‘I Dance In Your Arms.’ I played the song hundreds of times over and over again between Valentine’s Day and my birthday a week later; then February 24th, The Professor asked me to marry him . . . and 10 days later that song played through the speakers of the small little chapel as we both wept; I slipped a ring on his finger with ‘I Dance In Your Arms, 3-6-98 Love, Debra’ inscribed inside his plain silver band.  It was the last time that song has been played publicly . . . maybe someday, but right now it’s still too personal to share.

For my birthday this year, I received this necklace that he had ordered from Lisa Leonard Designs . . . yes, I sobbed . . . but I have a grateful, grateful heart because 13 years ago today, I married my best friend, my soul mate . . . Happy Anniversary Professor . . . I will dance in your arms forever . . .




  1. Pingback: THE PROFESSOR’S DRUNKEN NOODLES | Smith Bites

  2. Beautiful…simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing your love story. Gave me a lump in my gizzard. ; )

  3. Loved this post! What a wonderful story. I’m so glad you and the professor found each other!

  4. Congratulations to you both! Although, I have to say, this story should have come with a Warning: Grab the hankie! My story is similar and my knight in shining armor and I have been married almost 29 years. Love a great love story!

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  6. Some people wait a lifetime to find the happiness you and the professor share. Happy Anniversary!

  7. Such a lovely post… I have tears in my eyes reading it! Happy anniversary 🙂

  8. Happy anniversary, Debra and your prof, and thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Life never threw me the dingbats your received in your earlier years; instead, I’ve been lucky enough to be pelted only with the sort of roses that you’ve enjoyed over your last 18. I vividly recall that at age 16 my VERY firm plan was never to marry and to be a lifelong love ’em and leave ’em type. And? By 17, my now husband and I were deeply in love, and it has endured for the 41 years since then. So much for original expectations and plans.

  9. Debra,

    I was so touched by your story and am so HAPPY for you and the Professor!!!
    Just celebrated 22 years of marriage to my “best friend and soul mate” and your story reminded me again how truly blessed I am.

    Wishing you and the Professor many years of happiness and joy in each other!!!

  10. I have tears in my eyes, what a lovely story! 🙂 xo

  11. That is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing, and happy anniversary!!

  12. Absolutely heartwarming love story. Congrats on your anniversary!

  13. Dear Deb-I read this post the other night and now am leaving a comment. It’s just beautiful and a sweet love story. A real love story with a happy ending. I’m so sorry you had to suffer with your 1st marriage. The Professor seems like an amazing guy and you are both blessed to have found each other to cherish. I LOVE that necklace! xxoo Happy Anniversary, my friends!

  14. Okay you made me cry, tears of joy and immense happiness for you my friend!! I am so very glad that you met the Professor and that all of your dreams are coming true. XOXO

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