Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Story # 1 Chapter 1

I chose my "story tellers" quite randomly.......Tabitha is a friend of mine from my days of working at Faith Mission Home. I really knew very little about her "how we met" story but knew that she's had some experience in editing and therefore might possibly be ok with writing a story for me :) I'm so glad I did! I've taken the liberty to share her story by chapters, so here you go with the first installment.........


Our Story
Peter and Tabitha (Beachy) Schmidt

At the turn of the century, in 2000, I was living in the lovely mountains of Virginia, on my second year as Girls' Training Supervisor at Faith Mission Home and loving it. I had a fulfilling job, plenty of social life on and off duty, and enough seniority to be able skip some of the myriad evening activities when I wanted. I was part of an amazing chorus committee, worked with a superb team of "office girls," as we called ourselves, and had dozens of meaningful friendships both with staff and others scattered abroad.

Life was really, really good. I was a happy, content 29-year-old. I dreamed of being married, yes. Sometimes I faced private disappointments (at least, I hoped they were private!) when yet another man I hadn't been able to help noticing started dating someone else. As a single, one of the hardest things to face was the fear that I was still unmarried because I was deeply flawed in some way.

(As a married woman, one of my biggest fears is still of being so deeply flawed that I can never be the wife or mother or friend I should be. I have learned it is not a fear unique to singlehood.)

One September day I entered the mailroom, where most of us gathered before lunch break to check for mail. (This was way back in the day, before FMH had email.) This day I found an envelope in my mailbox, minus a return address, addressed in unfamiliar handwriting. "Well!" I declared to the mailroom in general, "this looks interesting!" and sat down right there to read my intriguing letter. As I opened the envelope, I noticed another envelope inside, addressed to the sender. And I knew, without a doubt, that this letter was not to be read in the mailroom, surrounded by staff with a keen interest in each other's love lives or potential romances. I glanced carefully around the room and realized with relief that no one was paying me any attention. I fled.

In the safety of my office, I closed the door and sat at my desk, missive in hand. Funny. My heart is pounding right now, just remembering.

The letter was from a gentleman in Canada, named Peter Schmidt. I knew him slightly. He had worked at FMH in 1994, right after my first term ended. I met him when I went back to visit my sister and friends, and we had seen each other several times since then. The last time I had seen him was in June, when he came for the "big" reunion held at the Home every three years. A group of us former and present staff from the same era got together one evening during the reunion, reminiscing and catching up . Peter and I had been the only unattached ones there, but beyond serving him a glass of water (with a smile, he says), we hadn't talked at all.

In his letter, Peter asked if I would be interested in starting a relationship with him. This wasn't a whim of his -- he'd given it much thought and prayer.

------------------------- And there you can hang in suspense until next time! :)

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