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Denise M. Michaels
Brown, shapely, masculine legs. That’s the first I saw of the man who became my husband years later. That and a cheery voice with an unrecognizable accent everyone seemed to know and like.
An hour earlier I arrived at Dana Point State Beach in southern California on a glorious Saturday afternoon in August, 1997 for a singles beach picnic. As I drove 45 minutes up the I-5 freeway I felt an unusual sense of heightened, positive anticipation. I was even breathing differently, taking in air in big gulps. Yet I was calm and harbored no strong expectations. Even if I met a new friend to hang with, that would be okay.
As often happens at singles events there were more women than men so I stood up and noticed a ring of women next to the man with the cheerful voice and sexy, brown legs. I walked up to the circle and nudged the woman next to me, “Introduce me, would you?” I whispered.
“This is Ernie,” she said. “Ernie, this is Denise.”
Our eyes locked onto each other like magnets. I was suddenly and unmistakably drawn to this man whose accent I didn’t recognize but the warmth in his eyes and smile felt immediately like home. I had to get him apart from this gaggle of other women so I could get to know him better.
Immediately my mind began strategizing. If I suggested going for a swim the other women would fall away because they wouldn’t want to get their hair wet, I figured. I have good hair and didn’t care if it became wet in the salty water.
“Who wants to go for a swim?” I asked.
He didn’t miss a beat and piped up, “I’ll go,” he replied. As if on cue, the rest of the women fell away forming new clusters or sitting on the beach blanket nearby.
We walked down the soft, sandy beach into the water and stood awkwardly at knee depth as wave after wave crashed over us. He asked questions and so did I in the getting to know you dance that sometimes feels more like a job interview. Except his smile made me slightly weak in the knees. I learned he’s from India but he’d been in the US many years and raised his two grown sons in southern California. I wanted to know everything about him. He seemed equally curious.
We’d been in the water about thirty minutes so I suggested walking down along the waters edge. There was so much to talk about, so much to learn. Thousands of other people on the beach that day seemed to fall away and it was just us and the late afternoon sun slowly descending toward the horizon. We continued talking, exploring the powerful bond we both felt from the moment our eyes first met just an hour ago.
As we turned around to walk back he took my hand. It was the way I always wanted to feel when a man held my hand. Sparks flew between us but his touch was also calm and reassuring. I wanted to hold his hand forever, but I also wanted more.
We returned to the group as the sun was setting and the men were building a fire on the beach. We sat close to each other on a towel spread on the sand, knees touching, eyes meeting then glancing away to join the conversation with others. The sun dropped below the ocean as we enjoyed beach fare and conversation, laughing and just hanging out.
“Um, I…” I said, my voice trailing off.
“Yes, dear …” he replied his hand lightly touching my back.
“Um, I want to walk down to the water for a minute. I’ll be right back,” I said standing.
The sky was deep indigo. A sliver of moon and a million stars seemed to twinkle above as the water gently lapped the shore.
I looked heavenward and said, “Thank you, God. He’s the one.” I knew my search for love and all my mistakes and hurts had finally come to an end. This was the one I would open my heart to and be with forever. This was the man who would be by my side from now on.
A minute later as I finished my prayer he came up behind me wrapping his arms around my waist and burrowing his chin into the bend of my neck. “Everything okay?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “Just grateful,” I said, my heart thankful that somehow things aligned beautifully for me to meet Ernie.
“Me too,” he whispered.
We met and fell in love all on the same day. It was probably the most magical day of my life. It’s been 19 years and we’re still together, still in love. Like any married couple we’ve had challenges along the way, but we’ve never doubted our love for each other and the power of our connection. His smile still melts my heart. Every time we hold hands it still feels right.
Yes, this isn’t what I normally write on my blog, but I wanted to share a different type of writing, more personal and emotional. Because perhaps that’s exactly what you need for your book. Let me know if I can help you. (By the way, the picture above is a selfie taken August 7, 2017 – on the beach.)
Denise M. Michaels is a ghostwriter and book coach. She helps CEOs, entrepreneurs, consultants, therapists, speakers and aspiring book authors become more recognizable, influential and in-demand. Using the leverage a book provides – you can become the go-to expert in your niche. To contact Denise click here now.