My new girlfriend and I started spending more time together. We were inseparable. We both had our jobs during the day, but we were starting to spend all of our free time together. We attended church on Sunday, ate dinner every night. On the other hand, I was beginning to lose a lot of weight. After I had returned to Saint Petersburg, I had lost almost 50 lbs. in the first 5 months. My girlfriend told me it had been 7 months since she saw her parents, which was over the holidays. I asked her if we could to go to Pittsburgh. I told her I wanted to meet her parents and brother in Pittsburgh. I could not meet her other brother and he and his family lived in Philadelphia. She was shocked that I even asked to meet her parents. I was extremely excited about meeting her Mom and Dad. In July of that year, her lease was up at her apartment. She was spending most of her time at my place and it wasn’t feasible for her to continue paying all that rent money. So she gave her notice and decided to move in with me at the Azure. We were becoming closer and closer. I was falling in love with her. My girlfriend was absolutely gorgeous. We hired a moving company to move all her things in with me. I had a garage where we stored a lot of the things that we had duplicates, like her sofa, dining room table and chairs as well as some of her Real Estate business stuff. I was excited to have her move in with me full time. We always got along extremely well. I booked the tickets to go to Pittsburgh to meet her parents at the end of July. I had spoken with them several times over the phone when she called them, but this would be my first face to face visit. Our relationship started to become more serious. I told her that on this visit, I wanted to do things right. I told her when I got the chance, I wanted to ask her dad for her hand in marriage. I wanted to make sure this was for real before I made the same kind of mistakes I made in the past. As the time was getting closer for our trip to Pittsburgh, I was becoming a bit more nervous. I was hopeful her parents and brother were going to like me. We were living together at the time, but out of respect for this strict Catholic family, we stayed together at the Doubletree Hotel in Monroeville, which was about 8 miles from her parents home. When I first met her Mom and Dad, I invited them out to dinner with us at Outback Steakhouse. It was kind of funny not only did I have her Mom and Dad, but her Mom’s sister and her brother and his current girlfriend all came to dinner. This was right up my alley. I was at my best when I was able to entertain. In the beginning, everyone was a bit shy to order a drink, but after some coercing on my part, I finally got her Mom and Aunt to order a drink as well as brother. Here dad was not much of a drinker. We all had a great dinner and good conversation that night for dinner. Before we parted ways for the evening, we all took several pictures out front at the restaurant. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Looking at the pictures that evening and thinking to myself, this is going to be my new family. My only challenge was to find the perfect time to ask her Dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I thought for a bit and needed to wait a few days so they could get to know me better. I didn’t want to ask him the next day, so I waited until the very last day before we were heading back home to Saint Petersburg. She knew I wanted to ask him the big question, but I wanted it to be just her dad and me. Finally, I had the opportunity to ask her dad. Her mom had run out to the grocery store and her brother was at work. Dad and I were in the living room and I asked him to sit by me for a minute. I told him I had something serious to ask him. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Dad, I want to ask you for the permission to marry your daughter”. I told him I gave her a promise ring, 10 perfect Diamonds which symbolized the 10 commandments. He looked at me and with tears in his eyes, nodded his head yes. He was a bit chocked up and immediately went into the bedroom. I knew she had not been married for over 18 years and I wanted this to be very special not only for her, but her parents. This was the beginning of my new family.
Will to Live – Gluttony & Pride – Part 76