GO READ FIRST HALF OF PART TWO BELOW....if you haven't already.
We talked a few times in the next few days and I shared with my friend, Becky, that Dave and I kissed in Tahoe and that it was awkward now. I decided that the next time we talked to address it. He actually had the same thing in mind and our conversation kind of started off the same way with, “Hey….we need to talk.” I continued on saying that we needed to talk about our kiss and he quickly let me know that he liked it. I told him that I did too, but that it got awkward afterwards and I didn’t want it awkward between us. I couldn’t have it be awkward, I needed him as a friend and we could either just stay friends or try taking it to the next level and see what happens. He quickly chimed in with trying out the next level and I was relieved. I liked kissing that Kennedy boy.
He came over two nights later and we made out and it was not awkward! He also called me one day at work and asked me if he could come pick me up for lunch. I was thrilled, but had curly hair that day and was worried that he might be looking for a no froo froo girl still, so apologized profusely that it wasn’t straight that day. Come to find out, he liked that I was different from the girls he had dated and thought my style was cute. Phew! We went to Pearl and I ordered salad and it was our first formal date.
The week before Christmas, Macy’s was having a sale and there was a small farmhouse table I wanted for my studio apartment. I wasn’t going to have enough cash until after I got my bonus and Dave offered to put it on his Macy’s account for me! I knew then that things were about to get serious. I mean….he offered his credit to me!
We also talked that week about possibly exchanging Christmas presents. At that time we weren’t calling each other boyfriend/girlfriend yet so neither of us knew how the other would feel if we bought each other a gift. We decided to go for it since no one else was going to be shopping for either of us and even though we played it cool, our gifts spoke much stronger about our feelings that we had for each other. Without knowing it, we both bought each other a heart shaped gift with the intention of that heart replacing the broken heart we both had. I even promised Dave with the heart stone that I gave him that if he trusted me with his heart I would promise never to hurt it. He gave me a heart ornament for my Christmas tree with the same sort of promise attached and it makes me all warm and fuzzy each year when I hang it on our tree.
We spent the whole Christmas week break together nearly inseparable. And on January 1, 1994 Dave told me he loved me while waiting in line for hot chocolate at The Napa Valley Roasting Company. I waited until we were outside and stopped him and said, “Guess what? I love you too”! It was an amazing feeling and I instantly knew it was going to be forever.
I do remember a funny story that happen a couple of days into that Christmas week break though before we exchanged ‘I love yous’. I had gone over to Dave’s house and we were hanging out. An old girlfriend that had gone off to college was home and wanted to hang out with him. (He actually had dated someone in between his ex-wife and me in those couple of months that it took for us to get the courage to talk to each other.) They had never officially broken up, but rarely talked while she was away. He told her he was “busy” and couldn’t meet up with her that night. I was a little perturbed that he was considering me “busy”, but at least he had chosen me that night. Well about 30 minutes later she called back again. He used the same term “busy” and when she pushed for more info (we were sitting close enough to each other that I could hear the whole conversation) he finally told her he was hanging out with his girlfriend! Girlfriend! He had finally said the word “girlfriend”….we now had titles. I kissed him good-bye and took off for home. I went to bed and had been asleep for about an hour when my phone rang. It was Dave and he wanted me to come pick him up at his house. I could tell he had been out and asked him where he had been. He told me he went to meet up with his ex-girlfriend, but was home and wanted me to come pick him up. I was furious. I jumped into my car, drove over to his house, pulled into his driveway and hit his truck! Oops. I drove in a little too fast and didn’t break equally as fast enough. Oh well. Luckily it didn’t do much damage, but he could tell I was pissed.
Come to find out I had nothing to worry about and only more to fall in love with. He felt like he owed his ex-girlfriend the decency of telling her that he had fallen in love with an amazing girl and he wanted to share with her face-to-face that he was happy and in love. His ex-girlfriend gave one valiant last try for a kiss, which he turned down and she said, “Tell April she is a lucky girl”. I was lucky and knew then that he was really mine.
Also in January Dave expressed an interest in attending church once again and asked if he could come with me the next Sunday. That was all it took…one Sunday…and Dave was back to being a fully active member of our church giving up bad habits and changing routine and schedules to be able to make it important in his life. That was one thing he missed in his first marriage….going to church, but didn’t realize it would be important to him until it was too late and he was married to someone who didn’t want to go to church.
The next three months went quickly and before we knew it the words “when we get married” were popping up everywhere in our conversations. We played together, laughed together, and just fit together. It was so nice to be respected and loved completely. About that same time Dave received orders for a transfer in the Air Force to the East Coast….Dover, Delaware in April of 1994. His divorce was not yet final and so we couldn’t get married before he left. The State of California requires a six month waiting period from the date of filing, and neither he nor his ex-wife had filled out all the necessary paperwork at the time of their separation. I helped him with that paperwork in December…the same month my divorce was final.
We knew we were going to get married…the question never needed to be asked. Family and friends were nervous that it was all happening so fast. We had only been dating for 3 months and were already talking marriage. But we just knew. We knew the second time around what we were looking for. We knew we had been looking for the same things the first time around and were let down by our spouses. And we knew how important fidelity was going to be in our next marriage. I was even so honest as to profess my absolute hatred for making lunches and the fact that I never cleaned out the refrigerator. He was OK with that….although he still needs reminding from time to time!
In April of 1994, Dave and I drove cross country together to Dover, Delaware to move him to his new base and pick out a house for him to rent, set up and get ready for me to move out there with him in a few months. His divorce was not going to be final until July 3rd so me staying there with him in April was out of the question. It was so hard saying goodbye as I got onto that airplane. I knew it would be 3 months until I saw him again and that would be one week before our wedding day. He gave me a promise ring to wear in the meantime. Even though his divorce wasn’t final, and my mom was not OK with us planning a wedding until he was divorced…we knew July 30th was going to be our wedding date. We had horrendous phone bills those three months as we spent every waking non-working moment talking and wrote beautiful letters to each other. He was attending church in Dover and growing in the gospel so much. He was making life changes that would make him a perfect eternal partner and wonderful father to his future children. And I was smiling. I knew he was capable and I knew we would be together forever despite everyone’s worry.
Dave flew home in July and I was nervous I wouldn’t recognize him getting off the airplane. We had been apart almost as long as we had been reunited! But the reunion was amazing. It felt wonderful to be in his loving arms again. And that whole month of July we had been planning a wedding over the phone and it was all going to take place in one week and our fairytale we both so badly wanted would be reality.
The day he came home we drove straight for the beach…the place he loved most and relished being in each other’s company again. He told me he had something very important to do the next day and for me to be ready at 9:00 am.
He picked me up that next morning and drove me back to a cliff on the beach. He blindfolded me and had me wait for a minute. He then walked me over and sat me down near the edge. He took off my blindfold and there we sat on a blanket with strawberries and sparkling cider and the most beautiful ocean view. He pulled out a ring and said there was something he still needed to do! He still needed to officially propose and replace that promise ring with a diamond ring. He professed his love so sincerely and asked if I would be his forever wife. I said, "Yes….the invitations were already sent out!"
We married on July 30, 1994 in a beautiful ceremony that was peaceful and right…filled to capacity with loved ones recognizing this marriage as equally as important as a first. As it was the first day of our new life together. Looking back at our wedding pictures you would never know it was a second wedding. I wore a traditional slightly off-white wedding dress and that Kennedy boy wore a black tuxedo. For us it was our first…..first time being loved as completely as we were both capable of loving. And on that day I officially belonged to the Kennedy boy and he belonged to me!