I have a secret…

It’s been nearly 3 years since those four words made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. “You know…If you weren’t my boss, I’d kind of want to date you.” We’d bonded over long existential talks and reading psychological texts while I was stuck in bed battling a pressure sore for an entire summer. Granted, a set of gorgeous blue eyes and a cute butt didn’t hurt her cause, either. In my mind, there was only one way to respond. “So… you’re fired?”

All that’s happened since is my life becoming remarkably better. She’s helped push me to new levels in my spiritual growth, as well as literally pushing me up and down long stretches of both coasts during countless calamitous road trip adventures. Her uncanny emotional fluency and unshakable positive attitude have helped keep my troubles in perspective and find the silver linings in all situations.

She’s taught me the importance of putting family first, the power of simple gestures like giving random strangers a hug, and that hours of fun can be had with a few games of cribbage, dominoes, or even a jigsaw puzzle. I look at the man I’ve become over these last few years — the healthiest, happiest, and most productive version of myself yet — and she is the one common denominator throughout that story.

Fittingly, we found ourselves in yet another precarious situation this weekend when heading down to the Oregon coast for a little vacation. While attempting to join the rest of the tourists out on the hardpacked sands of Long Beach, Washington, we managed to auger in the front tires of my adaptive van deep in a loose patch. Four different times. Thankfully, a few good Samaritans were on hand to push us out. All four times. Saints, those folks.

It was a great metaphor for the last few years of our lives; getting ourselves in over our heads, but always managing to find our way out with a hand full of lessons learned and a couple of laughs. But when we got down to Cannon Beach, and I told her I had a secret of my own, she didn’t quite understand. She also didn’t notice the ring carabinered to Hank’s collar until I asked her four very important words. Her response, “Of course!”


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne says:

    CONGRATULATIONS YOU TWO! COULD NOT BE HAPPIER TO HEAR THIS NEWS! Don’t know who is luckier, you or Clare! Love you, Anne

  2. George G. says:

    Congratulations my friends!!!

  3. Steve Carpenter says:

    Congratulations Kenny and Claire I wish we had met under different circumstances, however I wouldn’t change a thing, love you guys!

  4. Jennifer Babb says:

    Congratulations to Kenny and Hank!

  5. Marilyn Stombaugh says:

    What fabulous news! Congratulations to you both…could not be happier for you! Wow! Just brought tears…..

  6. melissa m kuchman-neal says:

    Hip hip hooray!! Congratulations you two!!

  7. Laura Self says:

    So happy for you two!

  8. bellaball says:


  9. Kane says:

    I love you brother.

  10. Molly says:

    Nice work! Love the descriptions of life with somehow who can slow you down. So important to appreciate the moments, eh? Congratulations in finding love again, I wish you both the best!!mm

  11. littletrepsa says:

    You guys are AWESOME!!!! Congratulations and love to u both!!

  12. Paul's mom says:

    Congratulations to you both! So glad you found each other . . . you’ve never looked happier, Kenny.
    Best wishes to you . . .

  13. Catherine O’Brien says:

    Cofratations, Sweet Friends!

    Catherine O’Brien

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