As We Sat in a Hospital Cafeteria Sharing a Romantic $3.00 Quesadilla and a Cherry Coke

On January 26, 2013, I stood in a foyer holding a bouquet of ivory roses. I was shaking so hard that the petals started to fall off. I tried to peek a glance over the shoulders of the attendants, but height isn’t really a thing in our family, so even if I’d been tall enough to see over them, Doc wouldn’t have been tall enough to be seen.
I was so nervous my teeth were chattering.

The rest of that day is kind of a blur. I remember locking eyes with Doc on my way down the aisle and well…that’s about it.
Three years is a blink. Close your eyes and open them and there..there were three years right there.

Today we celebrated by fitting in a lunch date at the hospital cafeteria in between his pediatric rotation and my dentist appointment for TMD. We held hands over a $3.00 chicken quesadilla made by a man in a hairnet, that Doc assured me would “change my life”, and a Cherry Coke (my favorite). We talked about health insurance and medical billing and he reminded me to call the doctor’s office when I got home. We discussed Rosebud’s school enrollment and when we’d have time to take Grandma to the mall.

And after 20 minutes, we stood up, threw away the trash, kissed goodbye and that was that.

No grand gestures or giant stuffed animals, and not one heart shaped box of chocolates was to be found. But I walked out of that hospital cafeteria floating on the same cloud I was floating on in 2012, after our first date to Puerto’s in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Shout out to the Is Special). Wait–what is it with us and Mexican food? When Doc found me, we were just a boy and girl, make believing grown up in a college town. Today there are a few more years, a little more responsibility, and a lot less thirsty Thursday. And a little Rosebud.

Doc likes to tease me about it, but the truth is, I knew 2 weeks after we started dating that I was going to marry him. Not in a creepy, stalker way….but yeah, totally in a creepy, stalker way. It was mainly because every time I was around him, I calmed down. That’s weird. That sounds weird. I know that’s weird.

See–I live my life at 115 mph. I run around half-wild in a high-maintenance, panicked craze. I fight to control every little detail of the world around me and when I discover (as I inevitably do) that this is an impossible task, I crash. When Doc came around I settled down. My hands stopped jittering and my mind stopped swirling and I was finally able to relax. He quieted my soul.

The world wants to tell you that the best high is the rush, the danger. But that’s just the thing. Maybe we need to stop looking for our speed and find our stability instead.

I found mine in a patient boy with an Eastern Kentucky drawl that has an affinity for bowties, and has an old soul, a gentle spirit, and sunshine in his smile.

Thanks Doc for being my calm in the middle of the storm and for setting my soul at peace.
And even when life is so crazy that we only have time for a drive-by quesadilla, I’d pick Doc out of a room full of Fijis and ask him to formal all over again.

Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.



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