“And that’s the thing. The day before your whole life changes, forever, it feels just like any other day.” – the character “Daphne Vasquez” on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.
Someone posted that quote in a Facebook group I belong to recently and asked, “How about you? What random unplanned, unexpected event changed the course of your life?”
I could have talked about the day my dad died or the day my husband died. Serious, surreal, unexpected and certainly life-altering. But what about the day I didn’t know was “the day” until it became another big day six years later?
As some know, I first met my boyfriend, Kurt, at a job in New Jersey over 30 years ago. I went to his “going away” party in February 1992, met my future husband at the same job later that year, and didn’t see Kurt again for 22 and a half years.
After we lost two of our former co-workers to cancer, one couple (there were a lot of couples that came out of that job), decided to host a reunion at their New Jersey home. Saturday, August 24, 2013 was the day. I marked it on my calendar. This was a very special job with very special people (read more about that here). I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.
I remember being annoyed that my husband didn’t wish to attend. “I don’t know why you’re even still in touch with those people.” He wasn’t on Facebook. “But they were our friends…they were there with us at the beginning.” Admittedly I took his attitude personally. “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.” So, I went alone.
Kurt came all the way from Chicago. I learned that the guy I most remembered standing outside the building smoking was now a runner. I probably talked to Kurt more the evening of the reunion than I had the entire time we worked together. Kurt was legendary. A very successful, smart, witty, and charismatic senior account executive. I was quite junior at the time and admired him from a far like a freshman with respect for the captain of the football team.
We parted company after the reunion (I had a long run on the schedule for the next morning) not knowing if either of us thought too much of it at the time. We lived 800 miles apart. We were both married. We connected on Facebook and shared our training plans and race stories and occasionally reminisced about work as life evolved.
And life did evolve for both of us. My husband died. Kurt separated. A Facebook friendship grew to be something more. We spent a few years navigating a long-distance relationship before I decided to move last summer with my daughter who would be attending college here (with no pushing from mom, I swear).
This week, instead of moving her into campus housing like I did last year, I am the one moving. Tomorrow – Saturday, August 24, 2019 – Kurt and I are taking a big step and moving in together. Domestic partners. Six years to the day from when we first reconnected.