Our Love Story – Kathleen Murray

I’ve been a widow since 1976.  My husband was a member of the NYPD Bomb Squad and was killed while trying to protect the city from a bomb left in the middle of Grand Central Station.  He was only 27 years old.  My sons were 4 years old and 1 year old at the time.  For the first twenty years, I just assumed my loss was a personal one. Today, thanks to the Fund, there are thousands who pay tribute to men like my husband who lost his life in the line of duty. Contributions from the Fund have been a great source of comfort and I give my heartfelt thanks to all those who offer their time and their financial support. 

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to thank you for all the love you’ve shown me and share with you my love story — the story of how Brian and I first met.

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OUR LOVE STORY — By Kathleen Murray

McGuinness on Flatbush was packed even for a Friday night.  Fiona and I squeezed our way to our Brooklyn hangout.  I set my wet wool coat over the ladder-back stool Fiona was sitting on and leaned against the polished wood.  “Hey Jude” blasted through the jukebox.
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“Hey Brian,”  Fiona shouted over the music.  I opened my eyes to see a guy with crazy beautiful eyes staring at me. Fiona asked him, “Where have you been?  I haven’t seen you since high school.”
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Brian dragged his eyes from mine to look at her. “How’s it going Fiona?  Just home from Vietnam.”
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Fiona introduced us, “This is Kathy, my friend from work.  She’s from the Bronx.”  Brian raised his eyebrows, but he didn’t wisecrack about the borough war the Dodgers fans hold onto.  Instead his voice was polite, almost formal, “It’s nice to meet you Kathy from the Bronx.  Did you have a nice Christmas?”  Fiona turned on her stool to chat with another friend.  It was just me and Brian.
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When chatting with Brian, I couldn’t look at those eyes, so I studied his shoes, shiny in the dim light.  Later, Fiona came over and whispered in my ear, “He’s a sweetheart and he cannot stop looking at you.”  Brian and I chatted some more and then before leaving, he said, “Listen, my sister is having a family party to welcome me home, so I have to leave, but I’d like to see you again some time.”  I told him I’d like that.  I couldn’t help smile at the way the evening turned out.

“Okay.”  Brian watched me with those eyes,  “I’ll see you around.”  He looked at the floor, and then back at me.  “And, some day I’m going to marry you.”  The words didn’t sink in for a minute, and before I could say anything more or even give him my number, he was gone.
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Just when I thought I’d never see him again, my sister, Gracie, left a message on my pillow.  Brian Murray and his number.  I immediately picked up the phone and started dialing.  He answered on the second ring, his voice deep, husky, like it belonged to a bigger man.  “I’m glad you called back.”  He said not a minute went by since we met at McGuinness’ that he wasn’t thinking about me and then asked if I’d have dinner with him Saturday night.  I said yes and pictured that smile I already knew from memorizing it when I closed my eyes at night.
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Then I remembered I hadn’t given him my phone number and asked, “Did Fiona give you my number.”
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“No, I called your job for your last name and then looked it up in the phone book.”
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“What are you, a detective?”
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“Not yet, but I’ve passed the test for the NYPD.  I’ll be a detective one day.”
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“You’ll make a good one.”  My own smile looked goofy in the hallway mirror.

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When he came to pick me up that Saturday night, the streets were slick with ice.  I told him I worried he might cancel because of the storm.  “I wanted to see you,” he glanced at me.  ‘Weather wouldn’t stop me.”   Dinner was perfect.  It was still sleeting when we left the restaurant, and Brian drove slowly the few blocks back to my apartment.  With the car idling, we talked like old friends until three in the morning.  When I looked up again, the sleet had stopped, and the trees glistened like silver prisms.
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“Would you like to go to the Bronx Zoo next Sunday?”  he asked.  “All right, ” I said. “Next Sunday.”
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His kiss was soft, and we lingered for just a moment before he whispered in my ear, “Good night Kathy from the Bronx.”

3 Comments on “Our Love Story – Kathleen Murray

  1. Lana says:

    Beautiful!!

  2. Mary says:

    I have tears in my eyes…..Such a beautiful love story….

  3. Bob Groth says:

    Brooklyn meets the Bronx or should it be Bronx meets Brooklyn whatever, it is a beautiful love story.Thanks for sharing Kathleen.

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