Inspired by a true evening.
What a lovely evening I had tonight! Let me paint you the picture. It was an unusually warm winter evening in New York and fog and mist seemed to be everywhere. My parents and my goddaughter. My brother, his wife. Family in from Sydney and Rome. Laughing, squealing babies. So many of us gathered for my goddaughter’s baptism.
Early in the evening, my parents and I hopped out of our cab and walked into the Church of Our Savior in midtown. Just as we walked through the doors and peered around, a funny, spunky woman was on her way out the door. She talked to us.
Beautiful church, isn’t it? I was married here and had my reception just across the street on the rooftop.
She pointed at a gorgeous building across Park Avenue. She continued on.
It was a beautiful day. 75 people. Just the people I love the most. That’s all you need. Nobody needs a date you’re never going to see again. Remember that. Just the people you love. I waited a long time to get married. But I wanted to marry the right person. I watched all my friends get married to people they weren’t quite right for and they either ended up divorced or I watch them now, just going through the motions.... and what I have is passion. Real love. And my husband is amazing. I sometimes wake up and look at him and wonder how I found him and how he found me. I couldn’t have asked for a better man.
She pointed right at me.
Wait for the right one. It will be so worth it.
And with that she dipped her hands in holy water, crossed herself, and marched out the door. Her words haunted me the rest of the evening, and I wondered about you.
As I held my goddaughter during her baptism, I wondered about us and our first little peanut. What would it be like with you standing there with me? I wondered about your faith, your optimism, your hope. I wondered how we would encourage each other, and encourage that precious peanut when (s)he arrives.
At dinner, I looked around and saw candles, flowers, white French cabinet doors; my dad holding my pea of a niece and my cheeks warm from the Pinot noir. I sat there, full from the deliciousness of the night and hoping it could last forever.
I thought of you then. I imagined you smiling at me smiling at the beauty of the event.
A cab ride later, I'm walking to down Broadway to Park Bar just off Union Square. My friends have all gathered to wish a dear friend Bon voyage on her new life in Spain. So much warmth, noise and laughter.
You cross my mind again. I imagine what your laugh must sound like, certain it will soon be my favorite noise.
I steal away from the crowds and the wine and start to walk home. It is late in the evening and 5th avenue is so still and so quiet. The sidewalks glisten from rain, and steam rises up from the pavement. I look up and see misty clouds encircling the tip of the bright Empire State Building. Fairy lights drape over the trees that line the avenue.
I reflect on the gorgeous moment, the gorgeous New York evening. Every breath was beautiful. Every second so precious and suspended in time.
I think of you one more time. You were the only one missing. Your hand squeezing my shoulder at dinner. Your laughter filling the bar. Your hand in mine strolling the avenues at midnight. You would have been perfection.
Hurry up and get here. I don't want you missing another moment so perfect, so beautiful, so breathtaking. My secret prayer is that we will have a million more nights like this one... just together. Except the picture will change a little. I’ll be like the spunky lady at the church, telling a random young girl and her parents about the once in a lifetime love I’ve found in you. But until then, I’ll just wait. And it will be worth it.
All my love, Jenna