When I was 23, God it seems like forever ago, my mom helped me get a job at the Holy Cross Hospital in Calgary. It was in the linen department and part of my job was to hand out uniforms to all the various employees who worked throughout the hospital. Each person was assigned a number and their uniforms were hanging in chronological order. Sometimes they only had one uniform hanging there and sometimes they had seven. My job was to put them away when they came from the laundry facility and to hand them out to people as they came to work. It was fun and I got to meet quite a few people. We were situated in the basement and often people would come by just to talk to us.
One day this guy came to get his uniform. He worked in the kitchen and wore all white with a blue head cap to cover his hair. He was nice, chatty and always smiling, and I thought to myself, "He's kind of cute even with that blue hat." When he left, I looked in my box of cards to see just who he was. I knew his uniform number, 217, it was easy to find his name. I found it and kind of cringed, Simon Twaddle, what a strange name, and never thought any more of it.
The days went by and Simon would come to get his uniform every few days. We would talk and laugh and I started to look forward to seeing him. We both smoked at the time and Simon would come and bum smokes off of me, which I gave willingly. He always paid me back and I was impressed that he always brought me back my brand. His dad worked at the hospital as a painter and I often talked to him about hockey and learned that Simon had a son named Dennis and still lived at home. I had noticed that he wore a ring on his finger and was okay that we would just be friends. Then one day he asked me out. Just coffee, he said, nothing more. I thought to myself, "How can he ask me out? He has a ring and a son. Of all the nerve.", and I said no. A few weeks later he asked me again and again I said no.
I eventually learned from his dad that Simon was not married and that the ring he wore belonged to his grandfather who had recently passed away. I was relieved but still said no when he asked me to go out a third and fourth time. At 23 I was really shy and had not dated since high school. I really liked Simon and was too nervous to actually go out with him. What if I made a fool of myself and he never wanted to talk to me again? I didn't think I could handle that. By then we were good friends and I enjoyed talking to him.
Then, one day, I had a safety pass. I was a huge sport's fan and had tickets to the Calgary Stampeders' football game. By chance there was an extra ticket and I decided to ask Simon if he wanted to go. He said yes but would have to meet me there. What I didn't tell him was that I wouldn't be alone; my four nieces and nephews were going along with my brother-in-law. It felt safe to me. I would be able to go out with Simon but still have family support around me. Simon didn't seem to mind and we had fun. He left the game early and said he'd call me the next day. He didn't and I was devastated.
Two days later, he called. I was excited. He asked me out and we went on a real date with two of his friends, payback time. We went to a club, my biggest nightmare, and he tried to get me on the dance floor. He didn't but we still had fun. From that day on we went out more and more and, eventually, became inseparable.
One day, I remember it like it was yesterday, we had coffee in a doughnut shop. As we were leaving and walking across the road a car came. Simon quickly put his arm around my waist and pulled me close to him. I knew then, at that tiny gesture, that I would be with this man forever. I felt at home in that embrace and I never wanted to leave. On September 26, 1992, Simon and I got married and I became Mrs. Twaddle. That was twenty years ago today and the man I loved then is the same man I love now. Nothing has changed. We've been through everything together, children, teenagers, death and tragedy. Does he still give me butterflies when he walks in the room? Yes! He is my best friend, my older brother, my shoulder to cry on, my lover, my old faithful. He is everything I'm not and everything I am. We fit together and I don't think we could every be pulled apart.
I love you Simon. Happy Anniversary!!