A little gypsy history and finally, a date

Have you ever been destitute? Really in a place where there is not a lot of hope and you are not even sure where your next meal is coming from or how you are going to come in out of the rain at night? A lot of you have fallen on hard times at one point or another in life, just as I have. Many times I have had to scrape up or borrow money just to buy a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, or to put enough gas in my car to make it to work, not sure how I was going to make it home. I can remember my mother, even at the end of her life when she did not have to worry about money, rolling change at the kitchen table because she had done it all her life. Certainly many people who read this can relate. But I am talking about truly down and out, with no signs of things getting better.

Over the last 18 months, my blogs have come to you sparingly. I have been busy making a life with Tiffany. She changed my world when she walked into Tailgaters Bar and Grill for a blind date on April 4 of last year. I have only shared her back story with a few people who are close to me. But some of her experiences are pertinent to this post, and so I will crack that door so that you may catch a small glimpse of the person I was meant to find and make a life with.

Not long before that fateful spring day in 2011, Tiffany was living in California. Having moved out there to chase a memory, she found herself in failing health and relying heavily on people who saw her as a burden. In a relationship with a man who was consumed by his own demons, she was tossed out like yesterdays garbage with no one to help. Very ill and sleeping in a park bathroom, she found herself with nothing but a bag of clothes and pouch full of change. She was homeless and alone, 3000 miles away from home. After a week or so she finally reached her brother who advanced her money to travel back here. And while she was grateful for that Greyhound ticket, the trip would be rough and the other end didn't promise to be any better. For four days she sat in her seat with no food or drink, worried about facing the people she had left behind to go west in the first place.

She went to her family's restaurant, where she knew she would find friendly faces and understanding with her cousins. They took her in during the day time, making sure she ate. She spent the nights at her brothers, only using the bed and shower for several months. She came home late and left early to avoid conflict and not be seen as an intrusion. Still having next to nothing, her cousins would buy her the basic necessities and do her laundry as she tried to pick up the pieces. Her health finally gave in and she wound up in the hospital, broken and defeated from the difficult journey.

 I met her a few weeks later and would never have dreamed she had just hit rock bottom. Beautiful and confident, with a little bit of feisty mixed in, I was hooked. As you all know, I was in my own state of delusion at the time. And she saw through that. She saw past the failures and defeat and fell in love with me. A good thing she did, because I was already head over heals for her. We began building this life together and have never looked back. Baby steps have led to leaps, and we find ourselves on solid ground, providing a great home for the boys and each other. We love our life and thank each other every day for looking past our worst moments to find the love we share.

Remembering the moments when she didn't know where her next meal or even shower were coming from, it has become her life's mission to help those that are in need. Whether giving a dollar to a homeless vet on the corner or assembling care kits of toiletries, blankets, and coats to give to those who need them, she is always trying to share the good fortune we have found in the last year and a half. Recently, when a dry cleaner friend told me he had a ton of clothing and blankets that he wanted to give away, my first though was of her crusade. Today our basement looks like a thrift store threw up. Literally 3000 articles of clothing are stacked, sorted, and ready to go. We will start taking them to shelters and homeless camps in a matter of weeks. She is determined to donate all she can to help those in need. It is inspiring. Its one of the million of reason I love her so much. Its one of the million reasons I am going to marry her.

The date is set now. Though we have changed it a few times, pushed it back, even thought of eloping in Vegas, we have set March 2, 2013 as the day we say our vows. That gives us the time we need to plan the wedding we want in our time on our budget. But the wheels are in motion for that day. The DJ, preacher, photographer, and dress are all in place. And we will have the venue booked by the end of the week.

As we plan that day - day # 699 since everything changed- Tiffany and I are and will continue to be grateful for the help and support we have received from our family and friends as we build our life together. And we know that we are truly blessed to have found each other at exactly the right time.

As for today - well it is day 483 and it is still good to be me:)

Have a great Monday everyone!

Comments

  1. Congrats on everything Mike. It sounds as if you two definitely make a great couple and I am extremely happy for you both.

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