The song now playing is "Wildflower" by Skylark.

The Next Chapter

She's faced the hardest times you could imagine
And many times her eyes fought back the tears
And when her youthful world was about to fall in
Each time her slender shoulders bore the weight of all her fears
And a sorrow no one hears still rings in midnight silence in her ears

Let her cry, for she's a lady
Let her dream, for she's a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She's a free and gentle flower growing wild

And if by chance I should hold her
Let me hold her for the time
But if allowed just one possession
I would pick her from the garden to be mine.

Be careful how you touch her for she'll awaken
And sleep's the only freedom that she knows
And when you walk into her eyes you won't believe
The way she's always paying for debts she never owes
And a silent wind still blows that only she can hear and so she goes

Let her cry, for she's a lady
Let her dream, for she's a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She's a free and gentle flower growing wild

Lyrics to "Wildflower". Lyrics by D. Richardson and D. Edwards. 1972 Capitol Records

I swear this song was written for P. OK, so Skylark hit the charts with it 3 years before she was born. But the song describes her to a "T". And it is a song I have loved from the first time I heard it. I like to think it was God's way of telling me I was gonna have P. in my life someday. *contented sigh*

In mid-July, P. came to my house for the second annual CBQ. (For those who don't know what a CBQ is, it's a "cyberque", a barbeque for online friends. I've had the pleasure of hosting both of them so far and may do it again next year too.) At the time she was here, we were not a couple. I have to digress here for a sec and tell an amusing (at least to me) story. P. was very nervous about flying 1500 miles and landing after midnight in a city she'd never been to before. I had promised her I would be there to meet her. Her flight was to land at 12:20 am. It's about an hour ride to the airport from my house, and I had my neighbor coming up to babysit my two boys, who were already in bed. She was supposed to be there at 11, but didn't show up till 11:30. Then I had to stop and pick up both M.'s daughter and a friend of ours who was also here for the CBQ. As I was heading down the highway, signs alerted me to the fact that the exit I take to the airport was closed and I would have to detour. Well, I figured I'd take a shortcut through the detour, only to find that the road was closed that way to. So I had to take all back roads until I was able to get back onto the highway about 8 miles down the road. I'm so glad there were no police patroling the same roads I was on. It was 12:10 when I got back on the highway, still more than 12 milles from the airport, and I had to park, and go through security, etc. Fortunately, her plane was delayed 15 minutes. I got to the terminal, completely breathless, a mere two minutes before the doors opened to allow passengers to deplane. It's definitely the fastest but longest trip to the airport I've ever had. But I WAS there to meet her as promised. When I first saw her, she was even more beautiful than her pictures showed. If there had been any doubt in my mind what my feelings for her were, the first time I hugged her, the feelings the coursed through me got rid of any of those doubts.

The duration of her stay was a turbulent one. There was a lot of tension because it was the first time that M. and P. met in person. The entire five days she was there all three of us were on an emotional rollercoaster. P. and I had very little time alone, but I guess that's to be expected when you have about 30-40 ppl to entertain for four days. The only day we really had to ourselves was the day she had to leave. We spent the day seeing the some of the sights of Pittsburgh before I took her back to the airport. We both cried like babies when she left. I had no idea when or if I'd ever see her again.

But then some things came to light about the other "lady" in her life. Details aren't important, but P. realized that she had been using this lady to get what she wanted to get from me. She decided she wanted us to get back together, and since that's what I wanted too, that's what we did. I was in seventh heaven. I finally had both my ladies...although one lived 1500 miles away. It wasn't long before we both decided that wasn't the way we wanted it to be for too much longer.

Because of the job she had at the time, the only time she could get off was during the first week of December. So we started planning a trip out here during which she would look for a job. So we started a long 13 weeks countdown. It had to be more than 13 weeks, cause I remember telling her when we finally decided on a day for her to arrive that it was 104 days away. We also planned on me going out to Denver for her birthday in January. Then we would both drive back to PA together.

As anyone who's ever planned anything, plans have a way of working themselves out. P. changed jobs, which meant she could get here almost a day early. As the day neared, it felt like time came to a stop. I was down to counting hours. Then the minutes. It was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I was at the airport almost two hours early I was so excited. As the people started deplaning, I kept looking for her. And then I saw her......*happy sigh of rememberence*

Well, she forgot her resume...and my puter wasn't working so we couldn't even type up another one for her. So we said to hell with the job hunting and just enjoyed spending our time together. We spent a great deal of it laughing like crazy. I'm sure if anyone had seen us, they'd have called for the guys in white jackets to come and lock us up. As with all good times, the time seemed to fly and it was all too soon the day she had to return to Denver. She almost decided not to go back. But we would have had to get back there somehow to get her things and her car and her cat. So with a heavy heart, we went back to the airport and she flew back to Denver. But this time, rather than not knowing if I'd ever see her again, I knew I'd be seeing her in just under seven weeks.

Once again, the plans have worked themselves out. I'm going to be heading out to Denver by bus, leaving very early in the morning the day after Christmas. And on Wednesday, December 30, 1998, Tresa and I will be married (or as close as this closed-minded society will let us get). The ceremony will be officiated by a spiritualist and instead of just the two of us and her three closest friends, as we'd first thought, it appears there will be about 60-75 invited guests. We'll start the long drive back to PA on Jan. 1. The beginning of a new life together starting on the first day of the new year. Fitting, don't you think?

For the past few days, I've been trying to write the vows I will take at our wedding. But I simply can't seem to find the words. I've written over 6000 pages of manuscripts for 26 different books, and I can't find the words to express the love I feel for P. It's something that goes beyond any words we as human beings have been able to come up. I know I'll manage to put together something...and I'm sure, being the hopeless romantic that I am...that I'll break down in tears trying to repeat them to her. And I'm getting nervouser and nervouser (yeah, I know that's not a sue me...heshe) as each day passes. And at the same time, I'm getting exciteder and exciteder (see disclaimer I feel...I can't describe it. Kinda like that first true love you had as a teen...that left you feeling all giddy and silly and yet at the same time so special and so beautiful and so wonderful. But there's also the knowledge that we're NOT kids on our first crush. That this is for the long haul. Till death do us part and beyond. There is a sense of security along with that lightheartedness of a first love.

I don't pretend to know what the future holds. I know that we, as any couple does, will have our problems. But I also know that we both have the sense of commitment and the deep love that will allow us to work through our problems...together. And that in doing so, that sense of commitment and that love will only deepen and grow stronger.

I'll be posting some wedding pics here as soon as we have some. But for now, we've come to the end of this chapter in the story. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

And hey, I love you, my Willow Lady.
Forever and a day.

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And the story continues...

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