Feature outtakes

Posted on 19. Jun, 2012 by

The weekend edition of the Messenger featured a story on Bridgeport’s Timothy Huya, who has had to learn the role of both a mom and dad after his wife, Melissa, passed away on Father’s Day last year.

Much was shared during the emotional four-and-a-half hour interview, a lot of it which wasn’t used in the printed story.

Here is the heartwarming part of the story about how they met and how he proposed.

Third time’s a charm

Joey the cell phone guy had quite the hand in Tim and Melissa’s marriage.

“I was working for the railroad in Oklahoma, and my bosses wanted me to have a cell phone installed in the car — because, yes, back then you had cell phones installed in your car, and it was a half-day ordeal,” Tim said. “So I go to the cell phone store in Woodward, Okla., and the people there become all interested in this eligible guy working for the railroad. As I’m waiting, the ladies there gather around and say how good they are at making matches. I say, ‘That’s very nice, but you don’t have to do that.’ We visit for a while, all the while I’m trying to avoid the topic. They finish the installation, and I leave.”

A few days later, Tim was waiting in the check out line with a box of cake mix and can of frosting.

“My birthday was the next day, and with no family around, I decided I would at least make myself a cake,” Tim said. “I’m in line to check out, and who gets in line behind me but Joey the cell phone guy. He asks what I’m doing, and I tell him. He says, ‘Oh no, no. My wife and I are going to take you to eat.’ I hardly know the guy, but I agree.”

During the meal, Joey’s wife grilled Tim on his dating requisites and told him they had somebody in mind. A few days later, Tim received a phone call.

“It’s Joey, who tells me he’s at the rec center, where Melissa is an assistant director, and thinks I should go,” Tim said. “Mind you, it’s 10 p.m., and I’m covered in sheetrock dust because we’re doing some remodeling at the renthouse. So I explain to him, and he understands but says that he talked with her and she seemed interested.”

Joey gave Tim her number, and the next day, Tim made the call.

“It lasted all of 30 seconds, but we arranged to have dinner at 7 p.m. Wednesday,” Tim said. “I still have the note where I jotted down her address, directions to her house and I’ve carried it in my wallet ever since.”

That first date, he arrived with a box of 12 long-stem roses, which Melissa unnoticingly placed on the table while hurrying them on to K’Bob’s for their first date.

“We stayed there until after 10 p.m. talking. They close at 9 mind you,” Tim said. “We just talked and talked. I didn’t even notice she was 6 feet tall because her height is in her legs. At the table, we were eye-to-eye.”

The date wrapped up with a quick tour of his remodeling work and a hug. The next day, Tim arrived at home to a pleasant surprise.

“I had a message on my answering machine — I can’t believe you got me red roses. No one has ever gotten me red rosed. I can’t believe you got me red roses. Can we go out again?,” Tim recalled. “So we did. Again and again. Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoons. That’s what our schedules allowed.”

Tim and the former Melissa Rawls were married Feb. 15, 1997, in Woodward, after three proposals.

“The first time, she wasn’t ready,” he said. “But she told me that I could try again when I told her she loved me.”

Three months later, she did. But Tim didn’t have the ring.

“I had been transferred to a job in North Texas and was staying at the Days Inn in Decatur,” he said. “After spending the weekend with her family, she told me she loved me. But I didn’t have the ring. It was in the safe at the Days Inn. I couldn’t ask without the ring.”

That weekend, with Melissa expecting Tim to be in Florida for a business trip, she received a surprise of her own.

“The trip got cancelled at the last minute,” he said. “So I’m heading back to Oklahoma, going through Wichita Falls doing 75 in a 70. I get pulled over and the officer asks if I have an emergency. I tell him I was just in a rush to go propose to the woman of my dreams. He has a good sense of humor and tells me, ‘Now I may need to lock you up overnight so you can think about it. That’s a long committment.’ I say, ‘Yes it is, but I think I’m ready.’”

He arrives to her house, waits until the clock strikes midnight — the mark of their six months — gets down on one knee and recites a poem he wrote and memorized.

“Without responding to the question, she starts talking about wedding dates, guest lists, locations, and I’m still on my knee waiting for an answer,” Tim said. “I remind her that she hasn’t answered my question. She tells me that I need to ask again because the moment was lost … After a little bit of teasing, I ask again, and she finally said yes.”

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