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How Will You Know?
Amy was the lead soprano-singing waitress at la Casa Sena Cantina in Santa Fe. Often, I would go there to have a coffee and listen to her sing. So, it was no surprise when I showed up on May 11, 1989. But little did she know that there was a big surprise in
I had made arrangements with the music director, George Koumantaros, that I would propose marriage to Amy. He planned to have Amy, as Sarah, and Greg Grissom, as Sky Masterson, sing a duet from the musical Guys and Dolls. Greg would sing, ”How will you know when your true love comes along?” Amy would reply, ”I’ll know! I’ll know!” They would sing this back and forth until Greg would sing one final, emphatic, ”How will you know?” Amy would stomp her little feet, put her arms akimbo, and heartily respond, “I’ll know!” Then, Greg would normally step forward, embrace her, and kiss her. She would then slap him for his brashness.
This evening, however, Greg stepped back and I stepped forward. From behind the bar, I had retrieved a dozen long-stemmed, red roses in a clear plastic box with a red ribbon around it. I also had pink, heart-shaped balloons with the words, ”Amy, marry me” written on them. I embraced Amy, kissed her, and asked her “Will you marry me?” At this point, the very crowded Cantina exploded with patrons and restaurant staff loudly exhorting Amy to say yes!
Amy tilted her cute face sideways and asked, “Are you serious?” “Yes!” I said. Then, she smiled and said, “Yes!” Everybody was cheering and yelling congratulations to us. Amy was crying. I was crying. Even patrons in the restaurant were crying!
Needless to say, Amy was given more tips that night than she had ever previously received. One dollar bill had the exact moment of the marriage proposal written on it – May 11, 1989, 7:40 PM. Someone had taken a photo of the three of us just seconds before I proposed, and later sent it to us.
That photograph, the dollar bill, and a pressed red rose are part of a collage that hangs in our bedroom as a momento of that magical evening 25 years ago. How could we know that our true love came along? We knew!
A Prince in Paradise
Once upon a time in a secret city hidden deep in the mountains a young girl dreamed of her prince charming. He would be handsome, kind, intelligent and caring. He would be generous and his smile would light the darkness of her lonely life. As she grew into a young woman, she began to realize he was but a figment of her wild imagination, not real except in her dreams. She had relationships and children but never found happiness in her dream lover’s arms. She roamed the continent seeking his smile, and longing to hear his laughter.
On a cool autumn day, she dialed the number of a man she had known for her entire life, just to hear a friendly voice and talk to someone who expected nothing of her. She and he laughed and talked for an extended period of time. He made her smile. She hung up the phone. Just for a while she had not felt the pangs of loneliness that had plagued her adult life.
In a month, she boarded a plane and headed for a new start, in paradise, Hawaii. Her son lived there and she somehow knew she would find herself there. Alas, amidst the beauty and the lure of island life, she was still alone to face the last phase of her life. She longed for companionship, yet found none. Once again she dialed her phone and heard a familiar voice. They talked of the beauty of the islands and of the love missing in both their lives. Within weeks, she was waiting at the airport, lei in hand to greet her old friend. It would be a first date they would never forget.
He left to come home and weeks later she too boarded a plane back to the mainland. She had found her prince charming. They were married less than a year later. He is everything she dreamed in her youth. He is her constant companion and confidant. Three years later, she opens her eyes every morning to see his smile light the morning sky. His arms hold her and gently rock her to sleep. He is her rock, her shining star and their love eternal.