by Aurora E. Slattery
I am the only Slattery sister who hasn’t written on the blog. Now this could have something to do with the fact that I am married to the eldest Slattery son Gabriel (he was born after Kate). We have four beautiful children Claire, Adeline, Thaddeus and Antonia that keep me quite occupied. But the other day my sister in law and best friend Mary happen to “mention” that if I wanted to ever contribute to the blog Kate had decided my love story would be perfect (hint taken). Since my fourth anniversary is fast approaching I’ve decided to begin the tale of how I became a Slattery.
Once upon a time there was a rather unhappy and unwed mother of a one year old, that would be me. Now the last few years had not been easy and so I must admit to not having the best opinion of men in general. But sometimes bad decisions can produce good outcomes as we shall see here. Mary had befriended me a few years earlier, and our older sisters Emily and Kate had been (very dramatic) friends for years.
Mary had helped me get a job at a little cafe called The Driftless Cafe in my hometown after Claire (my one year old daughter) and I had moved back in with my family. The Driftless lead to many things, most importantly to me that of friendship and love. Mary happen to live above the cafe, the year it opened, which lead to me meeting her legendary brothers, Gabe and Rob.
Mary always talked about them and one night in Mary’s apartment I finally got to meet them. It wasn’t love at first sight but though the summer I figured out that I really liked Gabriel. There was something about him a delightful twinkling of the eye and kindness I had grown unaccustomed. However by the end of summer Gabriel was gone and I was back in my bad situation which lead to a second pregnancy which led to me finally realize that God had me destined in a very different path.
After moving back in with my parents in early 2006 and permanently ending a failed relationship I returned to my Catholic roots. I started to think about Gabriel (Mary and I had already started a joke about how if things didn’t work out with the other guy I could always marry Gabriel). When summer came round I decided to have Gabriel rebuild some fence at my family’s ranch since he is a carpenter.
We ended up talking a lot and I realized that I had met a real man who was hardworking, spiritual, intelligent and incredibly good looking. I must admit to never feeling so magnetized to someone, I felt respected and comforted by his very presence. One day as my boss Lars ( a very dear friend of our to this day) and I were washing dishes and he blurted out that I should marry Gabe Slattery. I informed him that Gabriel had a girlfriend and he responded that perhaps the fact I was almost nine months pregnant was more of a problem. But it wasn’t a problem and neither was the girlfriend because at Lars’s wedding a few weeks later Gabriel and I were inseparable. We watched fireworks at the wedding that night. Gabriel put our daughter Claire up on his shoulders and as I watched them I remember thinking this is what it feels like to have a real family. We danced, we talked, he drank, I didn’t (very pregnant remember). I even drove him back to my parents where, we did not even kiss, he slept on the couch.
After that night I felt so clear about him and knew that I had to trust God and offer up my insecurities ( freshly out of a bad relationship and almost two kids) I felt intuitively that everything would work out. Soon I became a mother again. The day Adeline Grace was born somehow most of my future family showed up. Maybe most importantly my future mother in law Terese who was in the hospital after her mother fell that day and popped in to see me in the maternity ward. It is a great joy to bring a child into the world even as a single parent and the void of father was somewhat filled by family and friends. Now things had been brewing between Gabriel and me throughout the summer and other people knew it. Lars had mentioned to Gabe that he should marry Aurora Menn and Gabriel said it wasn’t a bad idea. When Adeline was two weeks old the day before Gabriel was leaving to return to Corpus Christi Texas ( a very very long long way from Wisconsin) to finish his last year of college we had our first kiss. And I think we knew that somethings big was happening because thirteen and a half months later we were married, dairy farming and pregnant…… but that is another story.
A note from the bossy big sister editor Kate: There is more of Aurora and Gabe’s love story to come, including some coverage of their extravagent fairytale wedding. In the meantime, if you are in the mood for more romance, check out our brother Rob’s story here: