Oh, such a sweet story shared at the breakfast table one morning by Kim and Billy, guests at The 1910 Inn in Tarpon Springs, Florida:
Thirty years ago Kim and Billy were in their early 20s and dated each other for awhile. Billy worked as a fire fighter. In time they went their separate ways. (As Billy kept mentioning, "She's the only girl who ever dumped me." And he would smile and chuckle at the phrase.)
Billy had always been best of friends with Kim's cousin, and through the years Billy always hoped he would encounter Kim at one of his friend's family gatherings. But life continued to take Kim to various moves and various states, and she was never able to return for the family events. Billy, who never married, continued to be hopeful.
Twenty years elapsed. 20 years.
One Tuesday morning . . . September 11, 2001. . .
life changed in America . . . people changed in America.
A few weeks after 9/11 Kim visited her parents, and on the last day of her visit she told her parents, "We should call Billy and see if he's doing okay." Kim knew Billy was still a fire fighter, who had ties to New York City and its fire fighters.
So, Kim left a phone message for Billy. And yes, Billy returned the phone call. However, Kim had already flown away again. But things were different this time.
Life was different. People were different.
Timing was right for Kim and Billy to reconnect, rebuild their friendship, and rekindle the spark that had never been extinguished.
Here is the sweetest part of the story . . .
Billy had never taken his photograph of Kim out of his locker at the fire station. For 20 years Billy saw Kim's sweet, smiling face each time he opened his locker.
Let that thought sink in . . . twenty years of an unfinished love story.
Through their telephone calls the love between Kim and Billy blossomed again. Billy even proposed marriange in a subtle, 'read between the lines' conversation. Kim, stunned, was silent and smiling. There was no need for a long courtship. The love was there. So a marriage occurred. And that was 10 years ago.
Life is precious. Time is precious. Love is precious.
Thank you, Kim and Billy, for sharing your story.