Twenty years ago, I was a single mother living in upstate New York, dating a guy who had never been married or had children.
One day at his home, there was a bunch of bananas on the kitchen counter.
I did the unthinkable. A bold move.
I asked if I could have one.
You would have thought I'd threatened him with a knife.
His eyes darted, his face blanched, surely calculating how in the world his week could be successful if he was one banana short.
Reluctantly, he managed to weakly reply, "Yes."
It was probably my fault. After all, I should have eaten before I got there or, as he could certainly suggest, bought my own bananas.
Needless to say, the relationship did not last. He later broke up in an email, saying our lives were going in different directions.
Yes, I believe that is fair to say. After all, I had been taught to share with others. Clearly that made me less appealing. Get it — a-peel-ing?!
OK, I realize that's a slippery slope. See what I did there?
Anyway, around that time I made the decision to move back to North Carolina to be closer to my family once my older daughter finished high school.
When I returned to Wayne County 17 years ago, the farthest thing from my mind was dating or pursuing a happily ever after.
But that's exactly what I found.
The interesting thing is that my husband, Ron, had his own version of this. What can you do? Sometimes your "picker" isn't what it should be, and we don't make smart choices when it comes to a mate.
All of our background, though, all of our previous experiences only served to help us appreciate each other and never take anything for granted.
The coolest part of our story, which he reminds me all the time, is not only a shared faith and similar approaches to treating a partner with love and respect, but an insight that I truly value.
"God will give you what you did not have," he said one day.
I have come to see this rich truth again and again.
Ron has been very thankful for the history he has with my parents and siblings, who have made him feel part of a family.
Since my family lives away and the only relationship Ron has is with his son, who lives in Maryland, we find ourselves traveling quite a bit.
My biological children have indicated they are not planning to have children, which is fine. I certainly wouldn't want them to do it for me.
Then one day recently, Ron, in his infinite wisdom, provided an insight.
He reminded me that our daughter-in-law didn't have a close relationship with her mother growing up, as she was raised by her father.
"She could probably use a mom like you," he said, adding, "And see how God looked out for you, giving you those six grandchildren?"
So in the spirit of Valentine's Day — let's keep looking up, opening our heart to others and embracing the possibility that God is in the business of giving us what we need.