‘Tis the week before Christmas, and I bet you are wondering what I bought for you. (Well, actually it’s more of a “re-gift.”)
Last Saturday, a friend of mine gave me a love story. I asked and received her permission to send it out to all of you, figuring that we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, and “Once upon a time” coupled with “happily ever after” is welcome in my world, regardless of the season.
So here it goes:
Once upon a time there was an Alamedan (I’ll call her “Sunshine”) who lived with her husband on a 60-foot Stephens powerboat moored in Ballena Bay. She loved him very much and they were happily married for 23 years.
(This isn’t the happily ever after part yet. Hold on…)
For five long years, Sunshine’s husband was very sick and then suffered a massive stroke that stole his ability to speak and function. She cared for him on that boat for the next four years. Every time I saw her, Sunshine’s dimpled smile was contagious. (I kid you not. If Patch had a survey, Sunshine would be crowned “Best Dimples in Alameda.”) Sunshine’s good care allowed her husband to die at home, in her arms and the arms of his son.
Time passed and Sunshine continued her day-to-day routine of work, weekly Weight Watcher meetings, an occasional ‘Zumba’ class, etc. Then early one Friday morning she announced that she met a guy. She said she had known him for years, but had never “seen” him. She described it an “intergalactic collision.”
The fellow turned out to be pretty bright, with more than one advanced degree. Sunshine’s favorite was ‘Space and Electrical Engineering’ because it allowed her to call him a rocket scientist.
Within the first month, Rocket Scientist (‘Rocky’) replaced three sink faucets on Sunshine’s boat. She had to stop pointing out problems or he would immediately fix them. Rocky can cook and do dishes. He sings old cowboy songs, does a “happy dance” when the spirit moves him, and makes her laugh by making up words that somehow exactly fit the situation. On top of everything, he has a 100-ton captain’s license and she has a 60-foot classic powerboat that she adores. A match made in heaven…
For her birthday this past summer, Rocky took out a classified “Personals” ad with instructions for Sunshine to go to 5672 Bay Street in Emeryville and ask for the manager.
It said, “Dress sharp. I love you.”
Sunshine pulled up in front of what turned out to be Victoria’s Secret. The manager smiled widely and said to the crew, “Sunshine is here!” They handed her a pink Victoria’s Secret bag, stapled shut, and instructions so go to 5676 Shafter in Oakland.
She wound up at “Bloomie’s” — a flower shop where she received a tropical bouquet and a card that said, “Sunshine - Your final destination is 41 Tunnel Rd in Oakland. When you arrive, ask for Mr. Peter Longfellow.”
Sunshine said there was no way she could have asked anybody for Mr. Peter Longfellow, but fortunately the line to the reception desk was long and Rocky, lurking nearby, called her cell phone and let her off the hook! They had a romantic brunch at the Claremont, followed by massages. And then he bought her a beautiful amber necklace from the hotel gift shop - the only thing she asked to see. He and the clerks burst out laughing. (He scoped the place out earlier and chose the same one, knowing her tastes.)
Eight months passed since their “intergalactic collision,” and then last Monday, Rocky arrived at Sunshine’s office with a baggie of mini marshmallows identified as “Snowman Poop.”
This is where I come into the story.
Because I missed my regular Friday morning Weight Watchers meeting, I went on Saturday instead. Sunshine approached me from the opposite direction. We were glad to see each other’s familiar face at the unaccustomed time.
She held out her hands to me, showing off her lovely French manicure. I was oblivious, thinking, “Is there a nail place at South Shore open that early?” Then she started wiggling the fingers on her left hand vigorously. When I finally caught a clue, I started to cry.
She told me she found the ring in the baggie amidst the tiny white marshmallow poops and when she thrust it on her finger at warp speed, Rocky said, “I guess that means yes!”
They are wasting no time. Sunshine and Rocky will marry at a Christmas family gathering at her sister’s home in Washington State, surrounded by her family and Rocky’s grown son. I will be right by her side in spirit as I picture the newlyweds — Mr. and Mrs. Rocket Scientist — launch toward happily ever after, which is no longer light years away.
Merry Christmas, Patch readers! May it find you beneath the mistletoe in the arms of the one that you love.