I know I have told the story of how Grant and I met before, but last night when I was looking out the hospital window at 2am, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for the nights when Grant and I would sneak away to some back hallway at Denver Children's Hospital to make out or just lose ourselves in the giddy amazement that the other person existed.
We fell in love on the night shift.
In the beginning, it was just running into each other in the cafeteria at midnight or sharing an elevator on our way to our separate apartments in the morning. We chatted, talked about our patients and said goodbye. I had a boyfriend, after all.
Then the boyfriend hit the road and we started dating for real. The stolen moments became sweeter and more deliberate. Grant never wore scrubs to work, and I remember loving his look of khakis, polo shirt, stethoscope and beard. I also remember signing up for extra shifts on his unit and looking for his weird last name on the schedule- Martsolf.
We broke up for a few months due to some handsy behavior on a camping trip and some unresolved emotional commitment issues. I remember those months just dreading going into work because instead of looking for Grant, I was avoiding him. And it felt wrong, but at the same time I didn't know how to let myself fall in love with him.
Back together, and 6 weeks later I was showing off my vintage ring to my fellow nurses and co-workers. We got engaged by a campfire on May 9th. For seven months we hiked, camped, I went to school and we worked the night shift. On nights our shifts didn't line up, I would bring dinner in to him at 1am. I became friends with security guard because he always had to let me in to the locked hospital doors, and he would tease me about being so in love I couldn't sleep.
Nights we worked together, we would have dinner between 1 and 2- usually a cheese and pickle sandwich on rye bread for me (vegetarian for 13 years) and turkey on white for Grant. The sandwich bar was the only consistently good thing at the cafeteria during the night shift. We would sit alone at a table in the back of the room and fill every second of our 30 minute break with laughing and kissing. We didn't care who watched- we were in love.
In the morning after work, one of our favorite things to do was to swing by McDonalds for Egg McMuffins. It felt naughty to my organic vegetarian self. Then if I didn't have class, we would go to Grant's apartment and sleep off the night cuddling in his bed. I had roommates, and no one would believe we weren't having sex. :)
That last year in Colorado is impossible to remember without the long nights at the hospital. So last night when I was leaning against the cold window looking at the lights of the city, I thought about how far we have come from the crazy kids making out in the stairwell of Denver Childrens. Grant was at home, sleeping in our bed, with our two children sleeping just down the hall. And I thought, no woman was ever so lucky. To fall in love on the night shift.