“That smile is what makes the journey worth while.”
Erik knew the moment he saw her that she was the one. She was cousins with his best friend Matt. So while everyone else enjoyed Grandma’s birthday party, Erik thought of the pretty girl who had smiled and said, “Hi.” It would be two years before their paths would cross again.
The American Sign Language Class was filled and Erik was leaving at break when Helen approached him saying, “Hey! You’re Matt’s friend.” Eric smiled and said, “Hey! You’re Helen!” Helen was startled that he remembered her name. She did not remember his. They caught up real quick and once again said, “Good bye.” They would see each other various times at Deaf events but not talk…sign or otherwise. Finally, Erik got up the nerve and their conversation went a lot farther than, “Hey!” They talked for hours as if it were the most comfortable thing to do. It was Helen who asked him if he was free for lunch. Erik did not want the day to end so he invited Helen to dinner that same night.
Helen was smitten and soon realized after a few months, he was the one. He put her first, defended her and made her laugh. He was her partner in crime. Erik had long ago fallen in love with her.
On his birthday, Erik asked for his wish to come true. He took Helen to a Tutti Mangia in Claremont. She was surprised to see that they a reservation and that their families were there. Before she could piece anything together, the pianist played, “Just the two of us.” Erik asked Helen to dance. Helen knew something was not right. Erik never danced and he was shaking. Helen’s mother yelled out, “Let me get a picture!” Helen turned to pose, but Erik did not. Helen turned to see him kneeling with a ring. Helen made his wish come true and said, “Yes.”
Helen and Erik were married a year ago. At their first get away in San Diego, in the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside, they were at the gift shop. The elderly lady at the register was making conversation and said, “That smile is what makes the journey worthwhile.” Helen gushed at her and Erik said, “Yes Ma’am.” It was a moment that impacted them so much that it became their saying. Every hardship, every joy, every obstacle, everything, at the end of it all, it makes the journey worthwhile.
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