November 29-30, 1969
John had driven our getaway car like a maniac, and we were proud of him for accomplishing exactly what he said he would – successfully separating us from our pursuers. Though Nate and I were anxious to get to The Drake Hotel and officially get our honeymoon started, we didn’t want to say goodbye to these dedicated friends too abruptly.
Sitting behind the gas station with our car lights off (just in case…), we were starting to worry about Nate in the bathroom so long. Then he came running out, dressed in jeans and juggling all the pieces of his tuxedo. “You wouldn’t believe how nice it was in there,” he said. “A full length mirror and everything!”
Choking on a laugh John said, “That, buddy, is because you were in the ladies room.” – which of course was the last thing gentleman-Nate would ever knowingly do.
On our way back to the expressway we spotted a McDonalds and decided to do something unconventional for a wedding night — celebrate our victorious escape with a little treat. Sharing warm apple pie and coffee (in the car, of course), we laughed about the wedding party probably still trying to figure out how we got away. And we had to admit – the whole thing had been a happy lark.
When John pulled up to The Drake, it was almost 1:00 AM. We thanked him, then turned our attention to finding room 334. Nate had splurged on a two-room suite for the first night of our 4-day honeymoon, but we would transfer to a less lavish room for the remaining nights.
As we entered the elegant Drake lobby full of fancy people, Nate had his tux neatly folded over his arm. I had my gown, train, and veil in a big round bundle with the crown perched on top. When the man at the desk spotted us, he smiled broadly. “Wedding day?”
“Yes,” Nate said, giving me a knowing look. “And a great day… so far!”
The bell hop picked up our suitcases and rode the elevator with us. He, too, couldn’t resist commenting. “Wedding night at The Drake, eh?”
As we nodded he said, “You’re lucky. There’s no finer place.”
He closed the door behind himself, and we looked at each other with a brand new look. Finally! We were married. We were alone. And we were free to do whatever we wanted. No one was going to object. No one was going to call, knock, or appear unannounced. And what a delicious feeing that was!
“Read the card,” Nate said.
“To Mrs. Nyman… I love you, Meg. Nate.”
Ahh… I loved the sound of it. Mrs. Nyman.
As I looked at the card, I flashed back to those hundreds of letters Nate had written in which he’d repeatedly penned those words:
I love you, Meg. I love you, Meg. I love you, Meg.
Though it had taken me a long while to know I loved him back, he was rock-sure from the very beginning – a thought that warmed me now, through and through.
What if he hadn’t been patient enough? Or hopeful enough? Or resolute enough? What if he hadn’t persevered? I didn’t even want to think about it.
“Pursue… faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)