Friday, May 25, 2012

When Kari Met Jeff. Literally....

I once wrote that my husband and I first met online and slowly
over the last few months I've been sharing our story with you. As I eluded to yesterday today we are celebrating yet another anniversary--the day we first met.  You see, it was six years ago today that after e-mailing and phoning everyday for two months that Jeff flew to Alabama to meet me in person.  I can't even begin to describe how nervous I was for our first meeting. Below is an account of this momentous and life-changing event...
Five many times in the last ten seconds had I looked at my watch, torn between wanting the minute hand to move forward or to stay exactly as it was. Inevitably the seconds continued to tick by oblivious to my fervent pacing, then sitting, then standing to pace again. In just five more minutes my life would change and that is what scared me. No, terrified was a better way to describe exactly how I was feeling. It was the unknown, the not knowing that quickened my pace. I was waiting here Mom, no Dad, no sister, no friends to speak words of assurance that what I was doing was the right thing. No, my friend and my Mom were waiting downstairs at Baggage Claim presumably unaware of the life-altering event about to take place just over their heads.

Oh, why had I agreed to do this? Why had I spent the last three months falling in love with someone I had never actually met in person? I considered myself a sensible woman but this...this was outside the bounds of sensibility! Why ruin two glorious months of e-mailing and talking on the phone by meeting face to face? Would everything be different in person? Would he even like me once he saw me?

Movement out of the corner of my eye drew my attention back to the security gate and away from my panic stricken thoughts. The swarm of people exiting was a sure sign a plane had arrived. Was it HIS plane? I glanced once more at my watch, before rubbing my sweaty palms down the sides of my skirt hoping to somehow calm the shaking that was slowly taking claim to my fingers. Then HE appeared wearing tan slacks, dark blue dress shirt, and lightly patterned sport coat. Oh boy! He was way better looking than his picture. 

The shaking in my hands intensified: I hope he liked what he saw.

He was grinning...that was a good sign. But wait--his grin was...funny looking.

He really DOES have one tooth! I thought, panic stricken. I recalled the e-mails where he had teased about having one tooth that we laughingly named Herbert during one of our phone conversations:

April 18, 2006:
I have been doing some thinking and it would behoove us to pray for God to open a door for me to get a flight to come meet you and your family on the 26th through the morning of the 28th of May…This gives me a good month to get…presentable (dentures and a toupee) [lose] 100 pounds…What a month this is going to be!

I replied:
…Please get some dentures--I don't think I could handle you with one tooth…

April 24, 2006:
Herbert and I are doing well. He has been worried you won't like him and it might affect the way you feel about me but I reassured him not to worry that you said that you would look for grace.

Standing here in the middle of the airport watching him come closer I began to notice the funny way TWO front teeth jutted out over his bottom lip. I had seriously thought he had been kidding about his teeth. Now I wasn't so sure...that is until I realized he was wearing plastic bubba teeth.

He grinned...I grinned back.

"Silly, take those things out." I nervously giggled.

We took a seat in the waiting area before he handed me a bag, a present he had bought for this momentous occasion and for my birthday. My shaking hands made opening the present impossible and drew a chuckle from my handsome companion. He took the the box from my trembling hands, making quick work of the package.

A watch...a shiny, beautiful new watch.

He handed me my new treasure and I began the work of putting it on with trembling hands.

You're beautiful, he leaned over and whispered.

I felt the heat begin to rise in my cheeks and my hands shook even more. So much for being able to put the watch on myself.

It seemed I had passed. He DID like what he saw. We gathered our things and began to walk toward baggage claim, both realizing that this meeting would forever change our lives.


  1. Wonderful story, Kari! I would love to read more as you are able to write it. This is kind of like getting a good book a chapter at a time. :) Have a blessed day!

  2. Alex!! So very good to hear from you. I am slowly catching up on my correspondence so please forgive me for not replying right away! I hope you are doing well...and married?!?!? I really feel so old!! Congratulations!! Please stay in touch and tell your family I send my love!!

  3. Love reading about your love story! Put a tear in my eye:) So good to see you a couple weeks ago! I will be staying up on your blog now!

  4. Karis, I so enjoyed seeing and catching up with you, too! It's always such a small world. Hope all is well. Keep in touch!! :)