Back To The Starting Line

The Cheesecake Factory, our first date. I remember it like it was yesterday, what you wore, most of what we talked about it, your laugh, your smile, your innocence.

You asked if you could order a Bud Light with your salad. I smiled and thought it was the cutest thing I’d ever heard. I ordered the Louisiana Chicken Pasta with a Mich Ultra. I was never a fan of Bud Light.

We’ve only been back once in the last nineteen years since then. We were going through our first rough patch and I thought it would help to remember.

It didn’t go well.

But we survived, we healed.

At least I felt as if we did.

Now, I am sitting across from you for the third time at this restaurant. If my memory serves me well, this may be the exact table we sat at. If it’s not, it’s pretty close.

I brought us back here, back to the starting line, to see if we can get a new start. Remember why, how, when we fell in love.

I’m not ready to cross the finish line yet.

But here we are.

You order an Angry Orchard , without asking. You started drinking cider years ago when you went gluten free. I still order the Louisiana Chicken Pasta. I know, so many choices but I like what I like. But I order an IPA.

I guess we all change in our own ways.

We both kind of half smile at each other. It feels like we both are afraid to speak first.

How did we get here?

Slowly the words come but the conversation doesn’t flow like it did all those years ago. Every word seems like a struggle. Both of us are afraid to say the wrong thing so we don’t say much at all.

I try to say something funny. But you don’t laugh. Man, how I miss the sound of your laugh. Right now, it would light up my world just to see you smile. But you don’t.

I reach across the table and touch your hand. You start to pull away but you leave it there. But there’s no feeling there. No spark. No emotion.

Damn this sucks.

We eat in silence but there are so many words in my head.

How did we get here? Can this be fixed? What did I do? What did I not do? Is it worth fixing? Why can’t we talk like we used to? Why’s it so hard to tear down these walls we built? Why can’t we get back to where we were all those years ago, in this same restaurant, when we fell in love? Love, what is it, does it even exist? What happened to that light in your eyes? When did you know it was over? When did I quit trying? How did we lose it all? Why can’t we find something to connect us again?

I can’t turn my mind off. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I think too much instead of just being me, letting it flow.

Maybe it’s as simple as you don’t love me anymore.

Maybe that’s all there is too understand.

We finish our meals and both look at each other , another half smile.

And I know. In my heart I know.

Back here at the starting line, we’ve crossed the finish line.

Say Something by A Great Big World –

Over For You by Morgan Evans –

Leave Me Again by Kelsea Ballerini –

Hard Season by Matthew West-

Just Say I’m Sorry by Pink/Chris Stapleton-


My wife and I almost got a divorce three years ago. We were not happy and things happened that should not have. It took awhile to get back to not only where we were but to surpass that and to have a better marriage.

One day I decided to leave her a note. It said hello, my name is Rob. I would like to get to know you better. Here are some things about me that you may not know. Of course a lot of it was silly and things she should know. Things like my favorite football teams are the Dallas Cowboys and The Ohio State Buckeyes. I like running with you. I like it when you smile. I don’t like orange chicken. I love your cooking. I don’t like my voice. I don’t like that we are going through this. I believe in God. I love our children. I used to spend all my lawn mowing and paper route money on baseball cards, video games, and records (who remembers what records are?). I worked three jobs (paper route, lawn mowing, stocking shelves at a pharmacy) when I was thirteen. I wish I would have been good enough to play professional baseball. I used to be able to eat a large pizza by myself. I love being outside. I could sit by a pool or beach all day. I wish I would’ve studied more to be a pediatrician like I wanted to be. I like to read. I like to work-out and run. Etc. etc. You get the point and now you know more about me also.

My wife replied back with things like she thinks her legs are sexy. She loves to run and wish she would’ve pursued a career in it and been paid to run. She hates reading the newspaper and watching the news. She loves to drink water. She likes to have a clean house but has learned to let some things go. She wants to qualify for NYC and Boston marathons (and she has this year). She wishes she was more organized. She had way too many stuffed animals as a kid. She wants all processed foods out of our house. She would love to be the next Jillian Michaels. I would love to see a movie with you. She wishes she was more creative. She enjoys shoveling snow. She can’t stand sitting still. She counts her blessings daily. She loves me and thinks I am handsome and loves my smile. She loves chocolate m&m’s.  Etc. etc.

We did this over a few months and it brought smiles to our faces, brought some things to our attention we didn’t know about each other and reminded us of why we fell in love with each other.

In times of trouble it helped us reconnect. It didn’t cost us any money and it was kind of fun. I would leave one in her shake blender and she would leave one in my lunch box. I would leave one under some of her workout clothes so it would take a few days to find it. We made a game of it and it did help us.

Do you need to reconnect with someone? Your husband or wife? Your children? A brother or sister? A mom or dad or grandparent? Maybe you need to reconnect with God. Take the time. Follow our example and make it fun. It doesn’t take a lot. It just takes a commitment to start.

Watch Fireproof and The War Room. Read a devotional together. Exercise together. Eat dinner together. Have date nights (we struggle at this and don’t do it nearly as much as we should).

Today, we know together that we are children of God. That we believe in God and believe in each other.

Escape (Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes – 

For The First Time by Rod Stewart – 

First Time by Lifehouse – 

Hello My Name Is by Matthew West – 

For The First Time by The Script – 

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman – 

Moment of Truth by Matthew West – 

When Did You  Fall by Chris Rice – 

Reconnect by Aura Dione – 

When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge – 

When I Say I Do by Matthew West – 

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton – 

Grow Old  With Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter – 

Reconnect by Director – 

Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell – 

Where Have You Been by Kathy Mattea – 

More Than Words by Extreme –