In 2004, my real estate career had sky rocketed, so for Thanksgiving break I took my sons on a vacation to Mexico. Just the three of us.
We had a blast.
It was the very first time I have ever taken a vacation when money wasn’t an issue. Growing up poor in Michigan, and struggling financially all through my marriage, money was always an issue, even on vacations.
This time, we did anything and everything we wanted to do. My oldest son had graduated and through his persistence and tenacity, landed his dream job on a top fuel drag racing team. He was making good money, and had nowhere to spend it.
I remember getting to the hotel in Mexico, and he and I putting thousands of dollars in the safe, both feeling like we had “made it”. That vacation will go down as an all time favorite for all of us.
At work, I was getting recognized as a top producer and going to awards events with my colleagues. For one of them, we were even picked up in a limo and escorted to the hotel for the ceremony.
I was at the top of my game, living the dream and we were all feeling pretty good about life and our successes.
The only thing missing for me was companionship.
Almost all of my days and evenings were filled with work, and I was getting lonely. I remember a friend telling me, I wasn’t going to find a boyfriend at my desk or in my living room, and to ‘get out there’.
So I did.
I have always loved to dance, and in March of 2005, I found a Salsa dance class to join. Right from the moment I walked into the place, I was hooked. I didn’t need a partner to join, and even for those who had partners, they were rotated through so we were never dancing with the same person.
As usual, there were more women than men, and I even danced the lead at times. It was so much fun, and I learned more as the lead, which made me a better dancer. I was going two times a week to class, and then meeting up with other students a third night at a local club.
I was having the time of my life.
That’s how I met Rob. He was the best male dancer in the class and we would stay after class to practice. He was also the kindest, sweetest man I had ever met. Before I knew it we were dating.
Everything about it was like a dream.
After years in an abusive relationship, I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to be cherished, and loved. He treated me with such kindness and affection, I felt like I had hit the jackpot and life couldn’t get any better.
The dream continued when he asked me to marry him, just a few months after we met. I said, “yes”, without a second thought. There honestly wasn’t another answer to that question, in that moment.
Most of my family and friends said we needed to slow down, but a few didn’t. I think they were happy to see me happy. It’s contagious you know; happiness.
And before I knew it, it was May and I was getting married, to a man I barely knew.
…to be continued