VALENTINE'S DAY ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
Bethann Andolina and her husband, Michael, look at their wedding album with their sons, Paul, 9, left, and Domenic, 6. The Pymatuning Township couple, who promised to love each other until the 12th of never, have their Nov. 12 anniversary circled on the calendar. (Jean Neice/Herald)
Tingles assured her he was "the one"By Bethann Andolina, writing about her husband Michael
I WOULD LOVE to tell you how I met my wonderful husband. I was a nanny in Buffalo, N.Y., for a school teacher who just had a beautiful baby. The mother of the baby kept telling me about this man in Florida who was going to fly home for the baby's christening to be the godfather. She said he was funny and kind and loving. I was just getting over a very bad relationship and this man sounded too good to be true.
Over the next few weeks, I met his mother and father, his brother and his sister-in-law. They were all very nice people who kept telling me how wonderful Michael was.
In the rush of preparing for the baby's christening party, I forgot all about meeting Michael. Then the day finally came in May 1983, friends and family of the baby swarming the house. I was making drinks, serving food... and there he was. He was a big man with a warm and beautiful smile and gorgeous eyes ... and Italian.
I watched him all day among these strangers to me and family to him. He was loved and missed and wonderful. While he was home for a few weeks, we went on a date. He took me to a wedding of all places. One of his buddies asked him, ``Hey Buffa, when are getting married?'' He looked at me and I got tingles from head to toe. And he said, ``This is our first date but I'll get back to you.'' Right then I knew this was the man for me. I saw all of the lasting qualities that I wanted in this man. He was sweet, kind, generous and hard working _ a big soft teddy bear.
He left to go back to Florida the next day. On June 26, his birthday, I tried calling him all day. They kept telling me he was out. I pouted all day, waiting for him to call me back. I was busy taking care of the baby and finally got him to sleep and then someone was pounding on the door and ringing the bell non-stop. I got to the door and there he was.
He drove 24 hours to see me for one day and had to go straight back the next day to work. He told me he drove the whole way with my picture next to him on the seat. And then he said matter-of-factly, ``You're going to marry me aren't you?'' I said, ``Yes!'' In November of the same year, we were married. We got married on the 12th and promised to love each other until the 12th of never.
The qualities I saw in Michael 14 years ago are still there. The ``rule book'' would probably say that we did it all wrong. The love that I have for this special man (my valentine) and my heart tell me that I did it all right.