It was a day in September—the year 2004.
I had just graduated high school in June. I was attending a community college and majoring in dance education. Nothing fancy. Just doing what I loved but in a more serious manner. Still living at home in Lowell MA, and wondering where life was about to take me. Young, but feeling as though something important was on the way.
I had a childhood friend who was attending U Mass Lowell invite me to something that back then was called “Abundant Life”. It was the campus ministry at the time. Being the good little church girl that I was (haha) I accepted the invitation and thought that the idea of a “youth group for college kids” sounded like a fun thing to be a part of.
So there I was, on that day—
As I walked into the college building (which I’ll admit did make me feel all cool at the time haha) and headed to the third floor for Abundant Life, I actually felt nervous! Excited nervous of course. For some reason I am always brought back to this particular moment, because I remember how I felt full of hope as I anticipated this new chapter of life. High school behind me, new friends and opportunities ahead of me. That day, that moment, those thoughts, walking into that building felt different than any other I had experienced before it.
Until the moment after.
When I walked out of the elevator I was met by the friend who invited me, as well as a couple of his friends. We chatted for a few minutes, but to my surprise I couldn’t focus on anything they were saying. I was distracted by a beautiful sound that I heard down the hall. Someone was playing piano. Now I need you to bear with me for this part of the story. Because here is where it gets all mystically romantic and people start rolling their eyes thinking I’m just saying this for “dramatics”. I mean, I certainly am dramatic! But I’m telling a story that is true despite its fairytale like facts.
Back to the story…
I paused for a moment and just listened. I’ve heard the piano played before, but this music drew me in. As we all walked down the hall slowly (because everyone else was still chatting) I grew more and more curious as we neared the room. Eventually I realized that the music was coming from the room we were headed towards. I felt excited! Then I wondered “Why was I having all these big emotions towards music being played by someone I didn’t even know?” Then, another quick thought flew through my mind—
“I feel like I’m in love with that person.”
Wait, what?! Stop it Olivia. That is the most insanely ridiculous thing you could ever think! Have you ever had a crazy thought like that pop into your head and then think “oh my gosh… no no no that’s not legit”. Well I passed it up as one of those moments and continued down the hall. I then convinced myself it was probably someone really unattractive anyway.
I walked into the room and there he was. My soul mate. My best friend. My future husband. Playing music.
Haha ok ok… I’m sure you have so many questions, one being “what was he playing?” And truthfully, I have no clue! I have asked Nate since then and he said “some classical song, but I don’t remember.” In the end though, what was being played doesn’t matter. It was the person behind the piano that really made the music. Maybe I’m slightly bias, but I think Nate could make just about anything sound lovely and romantic on the piano.
So what happened when I walked into the room?
Well. Do you remember how Lucy from Charlie Brown was obsessed with Schroeder?
That’s what happened. Literally. I was hovering over him and the piano, and he was completely ignoring me the entire time. So I do apologize if for a minute there you thought the story had another romantic moment following, where we gazed into each-others eyes the first time we met and knew instantly we were in love. Not that me thinking to myself oh my gosh I think I’m in love after hearing music played by the man I would actually end up marrying some day is anything BUT romantic! I’d also like to add that we can give me a round of applause for pulling off a husband after that annoying moment. I’m not sure how I managed to get Nate to fall in love with me. (haha) That’s a question you’d have to ask him.
After that day our story unfolded in its own crazy sort of way. Our wedding was uniquely beautiful—of course our vows were prerecorded over a song that he wrote and played, and our first dance was also a song he wrote and had recorded. Clearly music has made its mark within our relationship.
Since that day so much has changed. Two kids… two houses… good times… bad times… That’s the thing with marriage. It’s not all symphonies and musicals. Sometimes it’s a screechy violin or an out of tune piano. But it’s still music.
And one wrong note doesn’t ruin the entire song.
I love him more today than the day I married him.
Our music is still playing, and I will continue listening to it till the day I die. Because what Nate doesn’t realize is that the day we met, he started a song that has never actually ended. Seventeen years later I am still brought back to that day—
the day I walked out of an elevator, heard a song, felt something, knew it was special, and the rest was history. Our history. Our song. Our music.
So it turns out I was right that day.
I really was falling in love.