Every good love story starts with an interesting meeting. A smile from across a crowded room, a blind date, etc. My relationship with John began in the office of a Mormon bishop.
It was the summer before my freshman year in college. Mom and I had traveled to a 3-day orientation weekend for me to get better acquainted with UCI. I’d had a miserable time at the orientation. It was all rah-rah college and team-building activities. At the time I was having some problems with my hip and every step was painful. UCI’s sprawling hilly campus was daunting, a real turn-off. By the end of the weekend I was quite convinced that I would attend a junior college and live at my parent’s house. The UC experience was way too intimidating.
Before we left town Mom suggested that we drop by the local Mormon chapel. It was Sunday afternoon and we knew that church was already over, but she thought we might just drop by and see the building, maybe see if my bishop was around. So we did. Which brought me to the closed door of a bishop’s office. Not sure what to do, I timidly knocked. “It’s open” said a male voice from inside. So I swung open the door and saw the Bishop sitting at his desk speaking with a young man sitting across from him. From where I was standing I couldn’t see the young man’s face, only the back of his head. I told the Bishop why I was knocking on his door (I was an incoming UCI freshman) and he told me that he’d be done with his interview in a moment and suggested that we could meet afterwards.
Long story short…that image of the back of John’s head was burned on my mind and inspired me to actually follow-thru with my plan to attend UCI. I met John within days of starting college. But we weren’t really close friends until I was hospitalized for a mystery illness around Thanksgiving time. John showed up at my bedside with some LDS friends to give me a healing blessing. He also witnessed a botched attempt at an IV that spewed enough blood from my wrist to soak my sheets. I suspect that his kindness towards me in that first phase of our relationship had much to do with the drama of those first moments that we spent together while I was in the hospital. And when I was released a few days later John stayed with me in my empty dorm to make sure that I was okay (most folks, including my roommate, had already headed home for T-Day). He also washed my hair for me–a much needed service after my stay in the hospital [Note: I couldn’t wash my own hair because of the botched IV and other open sores on my hands]. Oh, and can I tell you what a thrill it was for me to have this dark & handsome near-stranger wash my hair?? Whoa! Definitely the stuff of romance novels (the ‘clean’ kind, of course, as he did the washing in the bathroom sink)
So…a view of the back of John’s head, some blood-sodden sheets, and clean hair. An auspicious beginning for a relationship? I think so :)