In April of 2004, as I was chatting with my friend Julie, an image of my friend Ray kept flashing in my head. I thought they'd get along beautifully. Julie is a CPA... quiet, shy, private, reserved. Ray is the opposite of Julie... loud, crazy, hilarious, life-of-the-party. They each agreed to a blind date, as long as Darren and I double dated with them. So we arranged tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game. On our way to meet Ray at the ballpark, I said to Julie, "When y'all get married, I get to be a bridesmaid." I thought she was going to slap me. :)
The game was interesting. It kept getting rain delayed. The ground crew dragged the big tarp out onto the field and we crowded under the stands with 1000s of other wet, sweaty specators waiting for the rain to stop. No sooner had the ground crew rolled the tarp back up and we'd dried off our seats with napkins than the skies opened up again and sent us running for the ramps leading down to the snack areas. Julie bought Ray the biggest Dr Pepper that The Ballpark at Arlington could offer. He knew then that it was love.
Finally, with the game delayed for so long, Darren and I decided to leave to go get our kids. Julie and Ray had been talking the whole night. I think they forgot that we were even there! So we asked Ray to take Julie home, and he eagerly agreed.
A year later, on the anniverary of their first date, Ray proposed, and Julie accepted. Today, at the wedding, the photo I took of them that afternoon on my front porch swing graced the Guest Book table.
I'm not usually a Matchmaker. Ray and Julie have joked that in the Matchmaking Game, I'm batting 1.000. :)
Today's wedding was beautiful. The minister opened the ceremony by telling the story of how they met, and while he told the story, I was watching Ray and Julie. They were grinning from ear to ear. Ray winked at me. I didn't notice until she was right in FRONT of me that the flower girl (Ray's daughter) had left the stage and walked down to where I was sitting. She stood in front of me with beautiful red roses, and placed them in my arms. I was so touched and surprised. I thanked her, gave her a big hug, and hardly heard what the minister said after that. I was just watching Kailey walk back up to stand at her Dad's side, and his other daughter Marissa standing at Julie's side, and thinking what a wonderful life they're gonna have.
To Ray and Julie, Kailey and Marissa...
Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After!