We say goodbye and thank you as Cyrus O’Leary’s leaves the building

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Lessons on Loving
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     On August 9th 1982 I took Elaine Clark out for the first time. As a timid, non-ladies man, I felt that I could use as much help as I could get and so I chose Cyrus O’Leary’s for its great food and exciting atmosphere. This was a night  of paramount importance to me, as I had been attracted to Elaine since we were kids. The 4-year-age difference between us, which seemed a huge chasm growing up, magically had vanished that summer when I came home from college to find the pretty little girl was a beautiful 18-year-old young lady, more attractive to me than ever. After a few months of shyly trying to get her attention as we separately attended dozens  of functions and get-togethers at the church we had both grown up in, I finally built up enough courage to ask her out and to my enormous relief and unbearable excitement, she agreed.

     Sitting across the table from each other on that hot summer night with the bustling activity of the packed Cyrus O’Leary’s swirling unnoticed around us, we fell deeply in love right then and right there. I know that for a fact because from that moment on we were as inseparable as smoke from fire. Later as we moved from our amorous meal, we decsended deeper into our own world as we held each other’s hand for the first time and walked down to the billowing, misty Falls and eventually found a secluded dark spot we deemed worthy of our first kiss. Later that evening, after we finally said good-night on her front porch following a barrage of moist kisses and smothering hugs, Elaine went inside and told her sister that she was going to marry me.  Nine months later her prediction came true when I got down on one knee and proposed in her living room. She said yes without hesitating and then asked when. I said I thought the next day would work fine, if she didn’t mind. We eloped the following day, April 26th, at the Wedding Chapel in Couer D’ Alene.

   Flash forward three years to find our marriage on the rocks. Elaine thought she no longer loved me and moved out June 12th, 1985;  by far the worst night of my life.  Though she was gone, I could not let go of her and I fought to win her back with everything I had. I bought and devoured the best book ever written in the history of mankind called  “How to Win Back Your Lost Love.” It was my gospel as I  followed every piece of advice it had to offer, losing weight,getting a haircut, buying a new wardrobe, listening to every word I was lucky enough to get her to say to me as though her every word was the most important thing I had ever heard in my life. To this day I thank God for leading me to that book that taught me how to get back the love that I had squandered. It taught me better than four years in college that you can find the answer to any problem if you can just find the right book.

   She came home one month later and so to celebrate and to try to rekindle our lost romance, I once again sought the help of Cyrus. It was another hot summer night and like three years before, the place was packed and we were obliged to put our name on the waiting list and then patiently do just that, wait. Cyrus has a  lot tables and we were not picky that night, any table in a storm. With my typical male trait of not paying attention to romantic detail, it was momentarily lost on me as the hostess finally came and sat us at the same table we had three years before that first night we fell in love. It was not lost on Elaine, however, as she burst into tears and melted into the realization that we were meant to be. Cyrus had confirmed it.

   That was 26 years and four beautiful babies ago, the youngest of whom is now 16. How could we not go back for one last date when we heard Cyrus would be gone forever after Sunday, September 11, 2011? We went for one last hot, romantic date on Saturday, their last night in business. I thank God and Cyrus, one of the many vessels He used to help Elaine and I come together, then come back together  and then stay together forever.

   Most of all, on that last of many, many romantic nights that  Elaine and I shared together at Cyrus O’Leary’s over the years, I was reminded of and thankful for beyond words that I had been given the extraordinary blessing of being as strongly attracted to and in love with my life’s love as I was on that first date 29 years before. And so now with God before us and Cyrus behind us, we just thank them both for taking such good care of us.

The last supper at our table.We thank God and his helper Cyrus.

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