Let me start off by saying that I met my future husband when I was only seventeen and he was nineteen. We had lived north of New York City and I never really went into the city because back then, it really was not a great place to visit. Billy (husband) went into the city all the time and started to bring me with him as well. I fell in love with the diverse people, places and things to do. Nothing was better than taking the Harlem/Hudson line train ride into Grand Central Station. Seeing the musicians play with their instrument cases open for tips (I always tipped by the way!) and the people running to their next stop in the city, was such a common site. The city has always been a soft spot in my heart and Billy knows that. Even with all the snow and horrible weather up north - I miss Manhattan.
After leaving his dad in the hospital and his mom back at her house, we ventured down into Westchester. Growing up there, we went around different towns to talk about when we were kids and what places we loved going to. Well, we were exhausted, physically, emotionally and spiritually and knew we needed a place to crash. Being blessed with great family I text messaged my cousin and she did not think twice and told us to come to her house. Blessing number five. She said she didn’t want to kill us with her cooking so we ordered pizza which was great for us because there is no better pizza than in New York. We got there and immediately I could see Billy relaxing and just enjoying the loud conversations we were having. My cousins family welcomed us and treated us like family should be treated. We laughed about old times and enjoyed looking at old photos. Drank wine and sat in front of the fireplace. Looking back at that night it truly warms my heart (no pun intended.) We knew we were going to try to go into Manhattan the next morning so we said our “good-byes” and went to bed. Got up early, a bit fuzzy (how much wine did we drink?) and ventured out. The roads were fine and we got into Manhattan and started driving around.
As we were coming into the city, I could feel tears forming in my eyes and Billy asked why I was crying. I am sure it was just the emotion of being in the city again, with my husband, in the winter time and feeling a bit guilty that I was starting to feel happy. I truly thought, I shouldn’t feel this way knowing that Billy’s dad was still in hospital. Then I thought, this is God putting some happiness in our lives. As soon as we got into the city, everything fell into place. We had made the decision to try to find a hotel, parking and try to keep it within a reasonable price. Well, we did. Ok - the hotel was a bit sketchy but the parking was priced right, we got to check-in early and off we went into the city. Blessing number six! God bless adrenaline. Boots on and Billy leading the way, off we went into Times Square. Yes, I saw the “Naked Cowboy” and my life is now complete. Dang camera needed batteries so I didn’t get a picture. One of the things that I would request was that Billy NOT tell me how many blocks we would have to walk to get to our next destination. Who wants to know that you have thirteen blocks north and five blocks west. So we walked, and walked and who cares - I’m in New York City again! We got to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and again, here came the tears. That church holds a special place in our hearts as that was our first date (St. Patrick’s day parade,) and I told him I was pregnant with our first born there who we named after St. Patrick. I was so overwhelmed with joy, gratitude and happiness. I think I even saw Billy tear up a bit. Blessing number seven. I would picture in my head going back to Manhattan and this was exactly what it would look like. I always asked God to bring me back and I knew it was going to be His way, not mine. We then walked to Grand Central station, Rockefellers Center, and the place that we love the most - Central Park.
This picture has been in my mind for many, many years and now I was seeing it in person! I truly believed that one day I would see this with Billy and I did!
The rest of the day was great. Then the coolest thing of all was a few weeks back, my friends on Twitter were trying to get together in the city. Twitter is not like Facebook where you can see pictures of the person you are talking to, rather it has basically one picture and a small bio. I had thought in my mind, how I wish I could go but seriously thought there would be no way. God laughs again. Blessing number eight. I found out where they were meeting at this neat pub near our hotel and off we went to wait for them. I was so excited and kept thinking, I can’t believe I am going to meet these people who have kept my spirits up, who enjoy reading my blog and just genuinely great people. The funny thing is, you know these people by a picture and not necessarily there face but an image, so I couldn’t just point someone out if they were right in front of me! Billy and I got there early and again tears were in my eyes because of the peace and just fun time we were having BEFORE they even got there. Then a slew of people came in and started going up to the third floor of this pub. I said to the bartender, “wish we were invited to that party.” She said it was a private party and just when I thought I wasn’t going to meet my friends, I get this text message to come up to the third floor where everyone is waiting! Blessing number nine! I still laugh as Billy and I anxiously start to go up the stairs knowing that even though I love these people online, I really don’t have a clue what everyone looks like. We enter the room and people start to look over at us and now I'm deathly afraid that we are in the wrong room! Then I heard the first of many screams of delight from a friend whom I met on Twitter come over to me with a big hug. More screams, more hugs. I had no idea how great everyone looked in person! Everyone was so welcoming. Even more so, everyone who knew why we were in New York, asked how Billy’s dad was doing. We were so touched by that. Below is a collage of the people I met that night. You can see by the huge smiles it was a successful evening.
We laughed and laughed till the wee hours. We walked back to the hotel and never did I think that night was possible. Was happy that Billy had a good time considering, he really did not know anyone, yet, they brought him into “the family!” The night was a perfect ending to a trip that was filled with so many ups and downs. It was great to see Billy having a good time and not feel bad about doing so. Big blessing number ten. Lessons learned from the trip, sometimes things go the way that you don’t expect them to go but, you are happy that they ended up that way. Dream those dreams as you never know, they just might come true. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.