Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A heart filled with joy and gladness can banish sadness and strife. So always look for the silver lining, and try to find the sunny side of life.

March 15. It was one of those days that changes your life without your even realizing it. You get caught up in the excitement and the nerves and then it's over . . . and life is different.

I asked him if he wanted to open the envelope with me. After his name was called, though, before he wound his way through the crowds of people to stage, he leaned down and whispered, "I'm going to open it up there."

It was a moment in our life together. But it was a moment in his life, too, individually. As much as that envelope affects my future, Match Day was his. So I didn't fight it, or push my way into a forced togetherness.

My stomach knotted when I heard him read through the microphone, to hundreds of his colleagues and their families, "University of Minnesota." It wasn't what he wanted.

At our table, his friends leaned in to me, asking whether that was his first choice. "No," I shook my head. I could tell he felt defeated when he came back to join us. As much as you try to be prepared for bad news, it always stings.

As we walked to the car, his disappointed bubbled over. I felt helpless.

I didn't think he'd believe me when I told him that Minneapolis was my first choice. But it was true. When we visited in late November, I fell in love. In the afternoon, we drove down the quiet streets between the cities. We spent the evening in Minneapolis. When the cold stinging our faces became unbearable, we moved into the Skyways, walking through downtown two stories above the city streets. We ate at a crowded Irish pub, sipping too many Ginger Jamisons and warming ourselves from the inside. A winter parade passed by; Macy's had a free holiday display of the Mary Poppins story on the 8th floor. People were friendly.

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