Ah… The Drake is my one, true love despite the fact that I was married once before (story for another time). This is him with our son, Gabriel, two days after his birth~3/06/06. Ours is one part ordinary and one part stuff for the screen, well, maybe a scene or two. Still, it takes my breath away.
We got together kind of old in life; he was 46 and I was 40 when we met. Prior I was married for 8 years, then single for 8 more; and he was never married. Though I was “looking”, I really didn’t think that I’d find someone, let alone the almost perfect guy. I won’t go into the details on how we met because I’ve already covered that in Dragon or Fossil? .
In that post, I posed a question that I was thinking when the drake wrote to me, and I quote, “Why was this guy writing to someone out of state?” I will answer this here. He told me he wasn’t interested in any of the women in NJ because all of the women he met were in bars and he could not click with them. He wanted more of a “city girl” because he loves New York City, loves to go there and could not find anyone to go into the city with him. He thought that if he could find a girl from the NYC area, she would share that interest. What he didn’t know was that “this” girl, though from NYC, never really spent a significant amount of time in the city. I did go there for specific events, like restaurants and I did like to go down to the Village. I was also active with the Hearts and Voices program of Lifebeat, an organization that works with people living with HIV/AIDS. But other than these, I never really explored the city. I don’t know, I had plenty of time to do it, but was awkward in attempting to do it on my own, via subway. I always felt that I didn’t know the city well enough to get myself to places; which is kind of contradictory because I am great with driving directions and I really CAN find my way around, wherever I am. What it boiled down to was a remnant of personal fear which was carried over from my childhood (WAY too long of a story to write now).
What a pair! This guy from NJ knew the city, and its subway system, better than this native of Brooklynite. What a disgrace! He brought me to places that I never knew existed, wow. We had so much fun, though. I did, however, show him parts of Brooklyn to hold up my end. My lovely Drake came into Brooklyn, almost every weekend, both on Saturday and Sunday, via TRAIN, for the summer and up to around the end of the year when he realized that he had to stop because stuff at home was being neglected. He came to my mother’s hospital bed, then wake and funeral, via train, dressed in his suit.
I must insert here that another aspect of our relationship that is vital is that God is present in it. Without God, we probably could not survive as a couple. This I will have to expand in another post as there will be copious amounts of writing done on the subject. What I will go on to say is that one of our first dates was actually going to confession at St. John, the Divine in Manhattan. There was a monk listening to confessions and not a priest, which was different for me. During that confession, I told him that I was divorced, seeing the drake, and that we were serious minded about each other. We spoke about the fact that I never sought to get an annulment and my reasons for not doing it. I had felt that I was content in my first marriage, I never would have divorced my first husband; and therefore, I felt that I, could not in good conscience, seek an annulment. The monk told me that presently the church grants annulments for more reasons other than the ones I was familiar with, namely the refusal to have a child, being lied to regarding prior marital and religious status. The bottom line was that he could not grant absolution (and advised me not to pursue the drake) without a promise from me that I would, at least, look into it. So I promised that I would.
I did set up an appointment for an interview and was told that they would pursue my case. The whole process is very much like a hearing, or even a court trial if need be, using lawyers and judges of the Catholic church. I learned a lot during this process. I learned that what makes the case is the level of maturity and state of mind BEFORE consenting to marriage; AND if I made that decision freely and without being coerced. They only look at the state of affairs before marriage and not after. So, I could have been physically abused after being married and the church does not consider that at all. Interesting. I would just have to assume that behavior and characteristics of an abuser would have to be evident before marriage as well, and could be considered from that perspective. After a considerable amount of work, getting my statement together, getting witness statements of people who knew the both of us before marriage, I finally got my annulment…. Wow. I must state here, that all this started just after my mom’s death, so it was difficult getting my sister and brother to focus on their statements. They were the only ones I could turn to because, as a couple, we had no friends outside the family and I could not go to his family. He was given ample opportunity to get involved and to make a statement of his own, but he never responded. By law, he must be apprised of what was going on at every step of the process. He made a couple of appointments, but never showed up, nor sent in a statement. What he may or may not have known is that if he was involved, he was entitled to get remarried in the church; but as it stands now, he will have to initiate and go through the process all over again should he wish to marry in the church.
With this behind us, we could move forward with our plans for a church wedding. The Drake and I were married on February 14th, 2004. We had a simple reception at the VFW in Clark, NJ, the Drake’s hometown. Our family wedding pictures were taken underneath a mounted fighter helicopter used in, I believe, Vietnam. So cool and unique, just a little bit….us.
The Drake has and always will be an inspiration for me. He inspires me to be more than I am. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who is intelligent, highly observant, witty, etc. The Drake is all of those things, yet in a subtle way. I am more of a “in your face” kind of person, though, I can be quiet when I want to be. The Drake embodies everything a Christian is. Very rarely have I seen him lose his cool; and THAT was only after the stress we both were under after the little drake was hatched. He puts himself last, as is quoted from the bible, “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” He is always looking out for the other guy, even when I am criticizing the same person. He is very generous with strangers as well as with family and those he knows. If he can help, he is there. Though this very aspect can be frustrating for me at times, I love and admire him for it.
God is also with the Drake. I am sure of it. Everything he does turns out good, or better than we expected. When he suggests something and I don’t agree (and for very logical, practical reasons), he is always proved right. Where I would think it would turn out to be a disaster, it’s proven to turn out to our advantage….so weird. Oh, like when we drove down to Hilton Head, SC for a reunion with his family. The trip was planned from January for July. He waits till almost the last minute to make reservations. Everyone tells him that he will not get anything because of his lateness, but it worked out and he got us a nice unit. Then I kept reminding him to plan the route and decide where he wanted to stop along the way and for overnight because we didn’t know where there would be a hotel/motel. He kept “yes-ing” me to death, and then I find out that he wants to “wing it” on the way down there. That would have been all well and good if we were alone, but we had the baby and his 80’s-ish mother in the car with us. Well, to make a long story short, we had a great time (excluding Gabriel throwing up in the car the first day out); and we found a good place to stay, right off the highway, with shopping and laundry facilities near by. Who would have thought? He just smiles to himself. Ya gotta just love ‘im!