The Livewell Clinic - February 2018

FEBRUARY 2018 LEDGER WHEN A CHANCE MEETING LEADS TO A LIFELONG PARTNER THE 13375 University Avenue, Suite 100, Clive, IA 50325||515.279.9900

W hen I first arrived at Northwestern Health Sciences leading the student orientation, would be my future wife. I will say, however, that I found her personality magnetic right away, just this incredibly sweet and lovely person eager to help us newcomers out in any way she could. Still, it would take a while before we actually connected. In my search for a place to live near campus, I took over the lease of some guy that was moving in with his girlfriend. Turns out, the guy was one of Tammy’s close friends, and while he was moving out and I was moving my junk in, she and her roommate stopped by to help him. We got to chatting, just you know, “How’s it going?” and all that, and became fast friends. She was the quintessential good student — loved by everyone, valedictorian, A’s across the board. Meanwhile, I was the guy trying to squeak by. Somehow, I sweet talked her into giving me her notes from our shared classes, which I swear, is how I got through school at all. Over many study sessions, we got to know each other better and better, and I realized that we shared similar values, including spiritual and religious beliefs. Really, it was just easy and comforting to be around her, everything was better when she was there. And, of course, she was beautiful — and couldn’t resist my charm and good looks. It didn’t take long for us to become an inseparable couple. I always told myself that if I found the woman I wanted to marry, we’d date for two years, be engaged for one, and avoid having kids until after I turned 30. In the end, all of it came true. When Tammy moved back to Des Moines for work, she moved back in briefly with her mom to save some money and gain a little footing. One evening when I was visiting from Minnesota where I was working, we were discussing our futures. University to start my graduate studies, I had no idea that Tammy, the cheerful, friendly student body president

“Well, I’m 25,” she said, “I don’t want to live with my mom anymore. I need to get out and find a house or an apartment …”

It was a hint. Sitting there in front of the fireplace, her in these god-awful pajamas she sometimes wore, I told her, “Well, I think it makes sense if we both do this together,” and pulled out the ring I’d been carrying around for weeks. She said yes, to my great relief, and we sat there together by the fire for a bit. She went off to call and tell her 500-plus friends the news. We got married on Sept. 2, 2006. I know I joke about us sometimes, but honestly, I can’t imagine my life without Tammy by my side. Throughout the years, she’s been the most incredible partner I could ever imagine, not to mention the greatest mother on the planet for our kids. Though Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, she and I are always trying to be nonconformists, bucking holiday trends. Instead, you’ll find us out at dinner on Feb. 13, the day of our first date, enjoying each other’s company and talking about our futures, just like we’ve always done.

317-776-9942 515.2 9. 00 –Dr. Z a c Watki ns


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