My life changed on January 10, 1990. I was working at Université Laval doing some registration. One of the girls I met asked me about a good place to go at night, I suggested the Bar L’Etrange on rue St. Jean in Quebec City. Like all great bars there was great music, plenty of hockey on television, and most importantly, really cheap beer. Later that night, I had forgotten totally I had told the girl about the bar and just went to watch some hockey and meet up with some friends. After an hour or so, in walked the girl I had talked to and with her, the most incredible lady I had ever seen, and such a great smile! Wow! I still remember that first time I saw her. Karen, the girl I talked to, introduced me to Erin, the girl with the amazing smile! We talked, watched some hockey, drank some beer, apparently I was a little drunk because I said something like “I hate Americans”, in retrospect, not my best moment, but at least it showed my honesty. As the evening came to a close, I asked her to come to a concert with me the following night. She agreed, and told me her room number and building (dorm) where she was staying so we could make arrangements. I think that she believed there is no way this drunk will remember that information, but I showed her.
|Erin in the tunnels at the Université Laval|
|What a doofy looking guy!|
The next night, I met Erin at my place, it was safe, I was living with four women and one guy at the time. We went to the concert; the band was from Toronto, called the Shuffle Demons. I highly suggest that you check them out on the youtubes. Being with Erin that night was special, the crowd, a few old Quebecois, was appalled when the band asked the audience to stand for the national anthem and they played this. I laughed, Erin chuckled, it was a wonderful time.
Over the next couple of weeks, our friendship grew, her smile never failing to make me happy. Erin met my friends, Lorna, Judy, Lisa, and the rest of my housemates. I found out later from Erin that these wonderful people said some very nice things about me and I thank them very much. Fast forward to Valentine’s day, we went to another pub, there are a lot of those in Quebec City, the song “California Girls” by the Beach Boys came on, and that is when I first kissed her. Wow! She had me. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was in March that I asked her to marry me. I believe her answer was “yes, but not yet”.
Being an awesome lady,
we she called her parents on April 1st, yes, April fool’s day
to break the news to them. I believe her
mom’s first words were “is he Christian?” Ahh, if only we had known the
future. Erin’s friends and sister had
given their approval, perhaps I am an okay guy.
In late April/early May, I was requested to write an essay to Erin’s
father on why I want to be his son-in-law.
I was sick with the flu, so with a combination of Neo-Citran (Theraflu
for the Yanks), vodka, and Contact-C, I wrote a heartfelt, stupor filled
letter. Whatever I wrote, it must have
been good enough.
|Summer of 1990 - Engagement photo|
Fast-forward to October 12, 1991, autumn is a great time of year. Erin and I grew more and more in love despite the many miles between us, her in Wooster, Ohio, and me in Toronto, Ontario. You know, I really don’t recall much about the wedding, what I do remember is that smile never changed. It was as intoxicating as the first day I met her. I recently asked Erin about memories of our wedding day, she said she remembers one thing clearly, a cousin of hers throwing birdseed landing down her cleavage as we were leaving the ceremony. Makes me laugh every time she retells this
|Great smile - Toronto (1995)?|
Now, 22 years of marriage, one incredible daughter, four exchange students (son and daughters), multiple pets, Erin still makes me happy. Her smile is still incredible. She is simply the most incredible person I know. She is smart, oh so smart, so incredibly smart, it is almost scary. She is kind; she will go out of her way to help anyone. She is the “mom”, there for any of the kids, ours or borrowed. She is the example of how people should act around the world. She is a hard worker, while she says she is not, there is no one else that I would rather have working in my business. She is passionate; about everything she does, her dancing, her puzzles, her family, everything. She is a role model; Erin makes people around her better, not by teaching, but by living life.
|Sharing with Madster in Halifax|
Erin is my wife! I love her more than anything else in this world! Her smile is still contagious. She has made me a much better person than I ever would have been without her. My only wish is to give her more. Perhaps one day.
|Wow! From our last date a couple of weeks ago. What a smile!|
I love you Erin.