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Story ID:2183
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:Fort Lee New Jersey USA
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A man bumped my shoulder. “Sorry!” he called out and rushed on, pulling his
suitcase behind him.
“Would Mr. Hadwell please call the information desk?” A lady’s voice blared
from overhead speakers.
I ignored it all. My eyes focused on the arrival board. Flight CO3065 was on the
ground and approaching the gate. My heart pounded in my chest. My palms sweated.
“She’s finally here.” I whispered and checked my reflection in a nearby window – a little
overweight and balding. “Will she like what she sees? Will she accept me?”
I felt silly. A few days before, she’d emailed me:
How did this happen so fast? I don't know, and I can't answer that and don't want
to. Why question it? It happened; I love it; and I love you. All I know is that I now have
someone in my life who loves me for me, someone who makes me feel special, someone
who makes feel like I count, someone who wants nothing but to make me happy. I feel I
have found someone who will talk to me, share all things with me – good or bad, will
allow me to be the person I am, and be what I want to be. Still not clear on what I want to
be yet, but I do have a start.
You are so special. I love you for being you. Babe, I don't care if you gained 20
pounds, 30, 40......I love YOU Michael.( Do you care if I call you that? I love the name)
We all have our self doubts about ourselves. How we look. You say I'm beautiful, but you
haven't seen it all. I have stretch marks. When I sit, I see the beginnings of a spare tire
around my waist. (I keep it there in case I get a flat). I have lines on my face and around
my eyes that I cover with lots of makeup. I could go on, but I won't. Hon, when you come
to me on that morning, if you still want me, God Bless you. You will see me at my worst –
accept when my hair is wet. I look like a drowned rat then. I pray you can see around all
this and still see the person that I am.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read the last words. She didn’t understand. I
emailed her back.
“I love you for your heart and your humor. The marks we have are signs of life.
We all have scars. Some are external and some our internal. They signify our journey
and the ruts we bounced over. At my age, I know what I want in a mate. You are it. I want
someone to love me, someone to make me laugh, and someone I can talk endlessly with. I
want to hold a hand and take a walk. I want that hand to be yours.”
I looked at my reflection again. I had the same fears she did. It was silly of me.


We met in a support group for young widows and widowers. The group had a
chat room, where we gathered to support each other in our grief. Surprisingly, there was
a lot of laugher. It was a chance for us to forget our loss, restore our sense of humor, and
attempt to bring order into our lives again.
One lady in the group made me laugh more than any other member. She and I
bantered back-and-forth, trying to outdo the other. My son thought I was strange. “Dad,
what are you laughing at?”
“My group!”
“Dad, you need to get out and meet some friends.” He walked up the stairs.
“These are my friends!” I yelled at him.
One night a member posted, “I had a bad day. The tears wouldn’t stop flowing.
I miss him so much!”
My friend posted her phone number. “If you need to talk, call me.”
I stared at her number. Would she let me call her? I sent her a private message.
“Is that your real number?”
“Can I call you sometime?”
It was the beginning of a wonderful thing. We talked every free moment we had.
Two months later, I stood at the arrival gate in the Newark airport. The woman I knew
by heart and through pictures approached me. “Michael?”
We stepped into each others arms. I held her tight. “I finally get to hold you.” I
whispered in her ear.
We collected her bags. In the car I leaned to her. “Ginny, I’ve dreamed of this
moment for a long time.” I pulled her in my arms, placed my lips on hers, and kissed her deeply. Her body melted into mine, as she returned my love.
On the drive to my home, I held her hand. At every stop light, I kissed her.
Ginny later wrote:
He was nervous and I wasn't. No one could believe that I was flying from North
Carolina to New Jersey to meet someone I met over the internet. I knew I wasn't flying to
just "meet someone". I knew I was flying to my future. As I walked through the gate, I
knew him immediately. During that first hug, I knew that I had come home. It felt so
It still is. We counted the days we had actually been together before we got
married. 30 days. That's it. There are a lot of people who can't believe we got married so
soon and they just don't understand.
I asked God to bring someone into my life. Someone to love me completely and I
could love completely...no holds barred. My prayers were answered.
My prayers were answered too. Four months later, on May 27, 2004, we drove
to Jersey City with two friends, jumped on the subway, and walked a few blocks to City
Hall. At the door, a guard informed us, “I’m sorry. We’re closed for a terrorist drill. If
you want, you can take the train to the City Hall in Brooklyn.
The four of us took off. A terrorist drill would not alter our plans. We were on a
mission. The train was crowded. The four of us clung to the handrails. People pushed
against us. Everyone sweated in the heat. I put my arm around Ginny, as a voice rose
above the clatter of the rails. It drifted through the car like the scent of a rose and filled our ears with a touch of heaven.
At the next stop, the crowd thinned, and revealed an old, grey-haired, black man.
His frail body and tattered clothes, contradicted his angelic voice. He stood in the rear
corner and treated us with his songs. He didn’t beg, like others who sang in the subway.
He just sang for the joy of singing.
He got off at the same stop we did and began to walk in the opposite direction of
us. I stopped Ginny. “One second.” I said. I rushed after the old man. “Sir!” He didn’t
hear me. I reached his side and touched his shoulder. “Sir?” I repeated. He turned and
smiled at me. “Sir, thank you. Your singing was wonderful.” I pressed five dollars into
his hand.
He gripped my hand firmly. “Thank you.” He looked me in the eye. I saw love
and compassion in those dark pools.
“No, I thank you. My friend and I are going to be married in a few hours. Your
singing was a sign from heaven. Through you, God gave us his blessing.”
“It was my pleasure.” He looked at the money. “And thank you too.” He smiled
one more time, turned and walked away.
A few minutes later, we were in the court house. A line of couples stretched in
front of us. A great number of them looked like they were marrying on a whim.
After a long wait, we reached the counter, were handed papers, told to fill
them out, and wait to be called.
Forty-five minutes later we heard our names called. They took our information and handed us more documents and sent us back to the end of the first line. We got to the
end, where told they gave us the wrong paperwork and were directed back to the last line
we were in.
One lady passed in-and-out of the doors to the chapel many times. On our
third attempt to get all the paperwork she walked up to us. “I’ve been watching you two.
I can tell you are sincere. Don’t worry. I’ll see that you’re married today.”
A few minutes later we were told to enter the chapel. The lady who said she’d
see us married that day, turned out to be our minister. We stood in front of her, said our vows and were pronounced man and wife.
Michael T. Smith

If you want to view a short video of our wedding, go to:


Ginny has a favorite song. She used the words on a card she gave me on our third
anniversary. It’s sung by Diamond Rio and is called, “Completely.”
You can read the words below.
You can listen to a clip here from the song at this link:
Scroll down to the song, “Completely.”
Here are the words:
Completely, wanna give my love completely
Id rather be alone than be in love just half the way
I want to find someone that I can trust
Completely, wanna give my heart completely
To someone who’ll completely give their heart to only me
And when I find that one
That’s when I’ll fall in love

Not half but whole
With heart and soul
Not in between
But everything
That’s the way its gotta be
The way I want someone to fall in love with me

Forever wanna feel the word forever
And know there’ll be somebody there forever by my side
And when that feeling comes
That’s when Ill give my love

Repeat chorus

It’s all or nothing at all for this heart of mine
And I wont give up this heart till the day I find
Someone who needs me

Repeat chorus
The way I need someone to fall in love with me

Inside the card she wrote:
Not only did I find someone who is COMPLETELY in love with me as I am with
them, but someone who COMPLETES me. I love you with every inch of my being.
Thank you for loving me.
Always and Forever

The card I gave her has a picture of a couple embracing on a park bench. The
words are simple and tell exactly how I feel:
and Tomorrow…

So many beautiful reasons to love you.

Happy Anniversary

If you want to see the video of our wedding, go to: