Meeting Adam in New Orleans

Saturday, August 04, 2018

After nursing school, I made plans to visit a friend from my class, Maggie, who moved down there shortly after we graduated.  It was an amazing five days, spent hanging out with Maggie and her roomates, and experiencing all the food, art, music, and architecture that makes up the wonderful city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

The night we met in New Orleans.
On my last night, we all went out to celebrate.  After dinner, we headed back to my hotel room off Bourbon Street, where my friend and her roommate fell asleep.  I wasn't ready to call it a night, so I walked back up to my favorite bar I'd been to, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, where I ordered a pint and sat down to enjoy the music.  On most nights, I'd discovered that many of the Bourbon Street musicians would gather at this bar, which had a piano, to jam together after their gigs.  I'd no sooner sat down when Adam popped over to my table, making an awkward attempt to hit on me.  I cold shouldered him initially, then warmed up eventually.  Thought he was British at first, but no, got that wrong!  This Australian guy and I had a talk for about 30 minutes before I suggested we head out to find the absinthe bar I'd visited earlier in the week.  It was closed!  We walked around Bourbon Street for another hour.  I noticed he walked with a limp and asked him about it--he told me about his pediatric stroke, as well as how he'd survived stage-4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.   I told him about my work as a nurse in end-of-life care, and the experience of losing my Dad several years prior.  We seemed to hit it off, and by the end of the night, we were Facebook friends.  He kissed me on the cheek and we parted ways at the door to my hotel room (my friends were still asleep inside).  Next morning, before I boarded a plane back to Portland, I Facebook-messaged him to say it was nice to meet him, and I hope he had a great rest of his trip through the US with Contiki.  He messaged me back a couple of hours later to say he was on a bus headed to Alabama, and "Sweet Home Alabama" was playing.  One message led to another, and soon we were sharing more about our lives.  In a few weeks, he asked if he could change his flight details to stop in Portland for a few days on his way back to Australia.  I wondered if we'd hit it off, but he said he'd book a hostel, and if things went South, he'd get to see Portland.  I felt I had nothing to lose, so I said yes.  Those few days led to us falling in love, but we thought we'd have to let each other go.  Month after month, we grew closer.  We had a couple of short break-ups over some hard things that we had to work through, but after two trips to see me and one trip where I traveled to Australia to see him, Adam booked a third trip to see me after traveling through Italy and Belgium with his family.  It was on that trip that we saw an immigration attorney.  It was with tears I drove Adam to the airport, and didn't know how we'd ever find a way to be together.  We stopped for a drink at Stanford's at PDX, and an hour went by.  I thought he might miss his flight, then he proposed and he missed his flight--on purpose.

The evening Adam missed his flight and proposed.
We were married three months later.  Today marks two years, seven months since that day.

Adam and I on our wedding day.
And so I believe, with all my heart, that life is a mystery.  You never know what is around the corner, good or bad, and Adam popped into my life like a gift from Heaven.  And New Orleans will always be the city of love to me, not Paris.  x o, Karli


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