he said it was love at first flight
May 15, 2011 § 64 Comments
This is a story about my travels. It is also a story about my love.
Last Sunday night, one week ago, was yet another of those recurring drives from the airport. I watched O.T. disappear past the security gates of BUF Buffalo Niagara International Airport. He flew home to California after eight elated days in Toronto. This time, our parting was rife with optimism. It was only eight days before when I picked him up at the arrival gate and the course of our lives became clear.
For every cheerful hello and tearful goodbye we’ve exchanged at various airports across North America, we were bound to arrive where we are today. In over two and a half years of traveling between two coasts, we boarded many planes and parted through many clouds. Our cloud has a silver lining.
Back in 2008, I was half asleep at SFO San Francisco International Airport’s Gate 45A, awaiting my morning flight. The guy beside me spoke. A query: “Are you going to Michigan?”. I was groggy and a little baffled, but the question didn’t register as anything unusual. The fact is, my parents live in Michigan and this is a question I am often asked. I replied, “No. I’m going to Toronto, but I have a transfer in Minneapolis”, assuming he was not familiar with the airport code and meant to ask about Minneapolis. Yes, he, too, was on his way somewhere with a transfer in Minneapolis. A conversation ensued about our past travels.
Half an hour later, our boarding call. He uttered, “Maybe I’ll see you on the plane.” I mused, boarding pass in hand. We were quick to notice the seats on our respective boarding passes. He was assigned 46-A and I, 47-A. “Well, what are the chances? We will see each other on the plane.”
And so, we boarded that flight together. The lady at 47-B was happy to exchange her seat for his, a window seat. He and I sat together through the duration of a three hour flight, absorbed in candid conversation without a minute of pause. He, in show-and-tell fashion, kept me amused with pictures on his iPhone — his latest visit to a San Francisco art gallery, a recent hiking experience in the red woods, and an Anderson Silva fight. I was fascinated. His interests aren’t so random. My minor in Fine Arts history and annual wilderness camping experiences and the occasional UFC Pay-Per-View viewings with friends just paved a sense of accord and appreciation in those three short hours.
We disembarked at MSP Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He asked if I would like to eat lunch. We had our first meal together. We shared sushi. We exchanged contact information and parted amicably. He shook my hand.
The following day, he called me when he landed. He was visiting Istanbul. I was at home in Toronto. I was surprised he called, despite expecting him to. I picked up the phone amidst a cleaning frenzy. I told him I was selling my piano and a potential buyer was on the way. He asked, “Can you play one last time on your piano before it is sold?”. “What would you like to hear?” . “Elton John.” “I don’t know any Elton John off the top of my head.” I played him my favorite, Sun and Moon from Miss Saigon. The door bell rang. I made a request, “Do you mind calling back in half an hour? I’m home alone and the buyer is male.” He agreed.
The buyer came in, a young electrical engineering student from the University of Toronto, my own alma mater. He tested out the keys. I asked him to give it all he’s got and play what comes to mind. He played Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight and purchased my piano. I was astonished.
What are the chances that Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight would be played by a random buyer in my home within minutes that I was asked to play Elton John by the random stranger living in California, calling me from Istanbul, and who I met at the airport whose plane seat was randomly one away from mine?
Well, things aren’t so random.
Back at SFO, moments before meeting O.T., the airport personnel responsible for checking me in was named Romulo — my father’s name and not a common name. I had a short conversation with Romulo. I noticed his nametag as he noticed my birthplace on my passport. Butuan. It turns out the hometown of Romulo at the check-in desk was Butuan — a not-too-significant city in one of the southern islands of the Philippines. A city I haven’t seen since I was ten months old. This man who hailed from the city of my birth, this man who has the same unique name as my father, was the man responsible for checking me into the flight where I would soon meet my husband-to-be.
Are things ever truly random?
The piano buyer, who unbeknownst played Elton John without request, was completing a degree in electrical engineering. Why wasn’t the piano buyer pursuing a more common degree like business administration or psychology or biology? Before pursuing his Masters and PhD in computer engineering, O.T. completed his undergraduate in electrical engineering.
What are the chances?
O.T. called me back within half an hour, as promised. O.T. called every night ever since. There was never a single day since we met that he didn’t call.
A few weeks later, O.T. and I found ourselves at LAS Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, this time not so randomly. We met, planned. We shared our first kiss, unplanned, by the baggage carousel.
Sometime later, we found ourselves at SFO once again, where I love you’s were exchanged for the first time.
In the past two and a half years, we have shared many blissful and tearful moments in airports across North America like YYZ Pearson International Airport in Toronto, JFK International Airport in New York, DTW Detroit Wayne International Airport, and as far away as FCO Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome and IST Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul.
Two weeks ago, he surprised me with a request to pick him up at BUF for a late night flight. I drove in from Toronto listening to Buffalo’s Joy FM station. As I approached the airport parking, the radio played Can You Feel The Love Tonight. I cried.
At the airport, by the baggage carousel, an orange suitcase caught my attention. I could use an orange suitcase. We were waiting for his red suitcase which never made its way around the carousel. He said, “Well, maybe we should check out the orange suitcase since you like it so much.” He pulled it off the carousel and I thought he lost his mind. “This suitcase is for you”. It was tied with a bow. The crafter that I am, I said gaily, “I love this ribbon, I saw it at Michaels”. I laughed. I opened the suitcase. It was loosely packed with two heart-shaped Will You Marry Me balloons. He dropped on bended knee. My eyes were fogged. He asked the question. I said yes. People clapped. Two elderly ladies standing beside us started taking pictures.
One of the ladies said, “This man sat beside me on the plane and he told us what he was about to do tonight. I’m so happy to share in this beautiful moment in your life. I have been married to my husband for sixty years and wish you the same happiness I’ve had in my life.”
What a wonderful lady he sat beside on the plane on the night he proposed to a woman he met on a plane. What are the chances?
The passport to our future is stamped. I am soaring on cloud nine. I know I am truly blessed.
Somebody get me a tissue! That was the sweetest love story ever!!!!! Congratulations to you and O.T.! Can’t wait to see all your creative wedding plans!!!! I’m so happy for you both.
Thanks, Melanie! After working in the wedding industry, I feel like heading to City Hall. Hahaha. 😀
What a pleasure to sit on this Sunday evening in Davis, CA and read a love story that I couldn’t put down, what a pleasure! While watching a nature show on public television, while dreaming of new ways to fold Kusudama flowers for my Etsy shop, while eating a turkey burger, I took a moment to have some lovely thoughts and blessed hopes for your life together.
Thanks for taking the moment to read my post during your Sunday evening. Thank you for the well wishes. 😀
Ah, JJ! How very wonderful for you both! Synchronicity is another word for God’s tender mercies. You two were meant to be together, and He caused it to be so. Yes, you are indeed blessed. Remember to thank the Giver.
I am excited to see where this new adventure takes you.
Please continue to share the joy.
Cathy, a Missouri friend.
Sometimes, when I stand back and watch the goings-on in my life, I wonder if I’m awake. I thank God for the blessings everyday. Thanks for the well wishes, Cathy. Glad to have a Missouri friend. 😀
How PERFECT!! This is the BEST love story I have ever read.
Wonderful news, Jeromina. Can’t wait to see all the awesome crafts you will design for your wedding.
Thank you! Oh my, wedding crafts! First, I have to figure out if I’ll regret the option of City Hall… 😀
Pssst! OT is cute!
Uh huh!!! 😀
What a wonderful story! I hope you live very long, very happy lives together. Hugs and kisses for you both.
Thanks for your warm wishes, Linda! 😀
Oh my gosh!! that is so awesome!!! Blessings to you both!!
WOW WOW WOW!!!
I’m still wowed myself at everything that’s happened. :p Thank you for your blessings, Vanessa! 😀
Congradulations..and wishes for many years to come from 1 that has been married for 24yrs…
That’s so sweet Debora. I’m happy for you and your husband. I’d love to hear some advice! Thank you for your wishes! 😀
I’m sat here with tears rolling down my face…that is such a beautiful story!!!…I wish you all the happiness in the world..;o)
Thank you, Georgie! And thanks for joining me in the crying (I cry a lot!). 😀
And that should have read, I wish you BOTH all the happiness in the world..;o)
I’ll extend your wishes to O.T. He thanks you, too!
Delighted for both of you – best wishes!
Thank you for your best wishes, Ann! 😀
what a great story! Congrats!
Thank you for reading our story and for your wishes!
Sweet:)…indeed a love affair story, i would like to watch in soap opera like pinoys do:) Wedding bells are in the corner. Blessings!
It’s weird, my life is happening in true Pinoy fashion. Hahaha. Thank you for the blessings, Karlotha! 😀
What a beautiful story…I too, am anxious to see all your wedding posts…how VERY exciting…Best wishes to you both!
Thanks for the warm wishes, Sue! I may have some wedding posts in store, but not necessarily for my wedding. I dream of City Hall. Hahaha. 😀
Oh my gosh! Beautiful! I totally love it! Congratulations to you both.
Thank you, Connie, for your well wishes! 😀
Sniff sniff sniff…you get what you put into life…you have obviously put in lots of good karma…wonderful…happiness and unending joy to both of you.
Thank you for your kind words and blessings! 😀
Love this Love story! Marrying the man you were meant to marry is never a coincidence:) Let me know if you need anything regarding wedding dresses. I do wedding consignment. Feel free to visit me at http://www.youtiquebridal.blogspot.com
Thanks so much, Ann! I’ll check out your site! 😀
Aw gawd…..how ROMANTIC 🙂 Congrats lady….glad you are looking into weddings afterall 😉 Besides I’ve already been brainstorming the PERFECT signature cocktail for ya. Will respond to ur ginormous email soon! Yay for love!
Aw, thanks, girl! Hmmm, still don’t know whether I want to fuss with a “wedding”. :p But I’ll drink a cocktail anyway. Cheers!
Jeromina, I’ve been stalking your blog for months in my newsfeeder and enjoying your crafts and storytelling very much. I just had to come by today to congratulate you! I had tears rolling down my face as I read your beautiful story. You really are a wonderful storyteller. All the best to you and O.T.!
Happy to hear you’ve been following my stories on your newsfeeder. Thank you for your warm wishes. Sorry to make you cry! All my crying is rubbing off on others. LOL. 😀
Congratulations! I just recently got engaged myself. 🙂 Best wishes for a long and blissful future together!
Congratulations to you too, Jessica!! Thanks for your best wishes. Wishing you the same long and blissful future together. 🙂
Congrats!!! I actually live in Buffalo! I’m so happy for you. That was such a sweet way of proposing. My husband proposed to me after beating me at a game of Monkey Ball (for game cube). lol.
Thanks, Nell! 😀 Your husband is really good at surprises, then! That’s definitely something you don’t expect while playing Game Cube! 😀
[…] beg the question — What are the chances?!? As you’ve come to know the story of my fateful meeting with O.T., I cannot explain the non-coincidences to which I am often exposed. However, I go with the […]
Great love story.
Thanks, Mary! 😀
I remember you telling me how you met, but when I read this…it gave me goosebumps! It’s such a wonderful story and I love the way you tell it…I am so happy for you, and wish you guys nothing but the best!
Thanks, Nat! I guess I tell it better when I can type the words. LOL. 😀
[…] I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them! Feel free to click on each set to zoom in for a larger resolution. If you missed our fateful love story and the wonderful way he proposed, you can find that right here. […]
am happy for you ate…. congratulations… it’s fate that brought you together and they say, this are the relationships that lasts forever. Godbless….
[…] over the red tin can telephones in the previous. For one thing, as most of you have already read, our fateful love story began at an airport and in an airplane. Secondly, I used the logo I designed for this blog (with a few changes in theme). Third, I […]
Such a sweet story!!
What a lovely love story, just beautiful!
I really loved the piano bit and the Elton John song.
Wishing you a beautful journey through life.
[…] birthday. It was perhaps the most exciting day I have had this whole year (of course, second to O.T. proposing). I couldn’t believe that within a year of starting this blog, I have been gifted with so […]
Your story is what dreams are made of. What a way to start off on a wonderful life. Wishing you both the best.
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[…] of you have probably read a couple of serendipitous circumstances I’ve experienced, such as how I met O.T. and the dysfunctional GPS that led me to Martha Stewart’s building where I’ve always […]
What a wonderful, beautiful story! All the more reason for you to have YOUR dream wedding. 🙂
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