Ten years ago, on Mother's Day (which was May 12 in 2002), I met the captain for the first time.
I was waitressing at Doolittles in Plymouth; working a double shift that day and it was so busy! Cory and his family came in for dinner. Because his mom and I worked together at Polaris back then, I paid a little more attention to the table than I might have. I remember that we were serving champagne and strawberries to the moms.
The very first thing my love ever said to me was, "I'll have a Captain Coke." It was meant to be. ;)
As I recall it, Cory left before the rest of his family. I didn't think about it much until a couple days later when a mutual friend at work told me his mom was going to call and bug me for some info. She did. I remember she asked if I was single and I told her to give Cory my number; I'd do anything once. I do not remember the date of our first date, but we went to dinner at Sunsets and then hung out at a beach near my house.
I liked him right away, but if I'm being fair, my love life was pretty complicated then. I was healing from a difficult long relationship I had only been out of for a couple months, and I had met a guy in New York that I planned on seeing in the beginning of June, when I went there for a motorcycle rally. Cory told me to call him when I was in New York, but I told him not to be surprised if I didn't. He was sure he'd never hear from me again. He was wrong.
I went to New York, and the other guy never showed up. Providence. When I got home, it was a Sunday. I called Cory's home phone and left a message. He called me from his parents that afternoon, not knowing that I had called him first. We must have made a decision to meet again. Things moved pretty quickly from there: I went with him for a fire department interview in Sioux Falls, SD in the beginning of July. By the end of that month, we know it was a solid relationship, and were madly in love.
We got engaged that December, and married the following May, one year from the first time we met. We had both been in unsustainable relationships and we knew that this one was. At the time we met, Cory was applying for full-time fire jobs all over the midwest. He swears he knew he loved me when we were talking about the possibility of him getting a job elsewhere and I said, "I'm mobile."
I knew I loved him early on. He has always been so incredibly stable, and strong, and patient with me. In the beginning, I was still healing from my past, and I had some wounds that he had to wait out. And he never made me feel bad about it. He was ten times the man I had always wanted, effortlessly.
I have a thousand wonderful memories of this past decade. He has supported me through three pregnancies, and my journey as a step-mom and a mother. He supports me as a working mom. And maybe most importantly and endearingly, he supports me as a woman. He repects my ideals and my expression of them, and encourages me to be who I am.
So on this Mother's Day, a decade later, I want to thank the captain. For giving me the chance to be a mom and for being my partner. I couldn't do it without him and I am forever grateful for that moment he ordered a drink from me. Here's to many more, Cory. I love you!