A Construction Worker's Story: How I Met the Love of My Life

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Like a lot of our clients, Richard Mooney is physically strong and tough. He battled back from a serious injury to keep working when he could have retired — probably because he has worked construction for 45 years. Over time, he worked his way up through the ranks from a carpenter and bricklayer to a construction superintendent (which means you’re responsible for the whole project — if the laborers don’t show up for work, you have to lift and carry the One Washington, DC Construction Worker's Love Storymaterial and equipment to get the job done). But his thoughts on Valentine’s Day show that life is about a lot more than physical strength and toughness. This is his story.

 

Even if it takes months or years to finally work, love always finds a way. I found my way to love over 30 years ago when I thought I would just be grabbing dinner with a friend from work and his family. The only peculiar thing I remember them saying when they invited me over was they wanted me to meet someone. That someone turned out to be Dee, to whom I have now been married for over 35 years.

 

My friend knew I was single. They also knew Dee and that she was single. I don’t know if they thought very much about how we might hit it off. I doubt they heavily analyzed both our personalities or scrutinized the factors that might make us compatible. They just knew neither of us was married or dating anyone and thought we might be a good fit. They couldn’t have been more right. 

 

I honestly don’t remember much from that first dinner. I remember that she made an impression on me, though. I wanted to see her again, but back then we didn’t have cell phones or a way to easily stay in touch. Back then, people met one another through a shared community space or, as in our case, through a friend, which made it a little more difficult to connect. 

 

Time passed, and after what I remember as only a week or two (Dee remembers it being much longer — around two or three months), I had finally gotten a hold of her number again. It was a good thing, too. I think she had almost given up on me ever calling her. But I picked up the phone, asked her out on a proper date, and the rest is history.

 

Even though it’s been 35 years, it feels like Dee and I only got married last week. After we tied the knot, we immediately had a full house. I had a child from a previous marriage, and she had three children from a previous marriage. We ended up having three more children together as well. I don’t think either of us had a clue what we were in for, but now our children are all grown up and have had kids of their own in the blink of an eye. Our seven kids gave us 22 grandkids, and we found out last year we’ll be great-grandparents in May. 

 

Whatever plans I have on the horizon, I look forward to spending them with Dee. We love traveling, decorating our house for the holidays, and just spending quiet weekends at home together, watching old black and white movies by a crackling fireplace. We also enjoy doing Civil War reenactments together.

 

It’s amazing how the joys of the past 35 years would not have happened if our friends hadn’t thought we might be a good match, or if I hadn’t called Dee and asked her on a date. I guess that’s a big part of love, though: taking a chance and hoping everything works out.

 

When you meet them, you can tell Richard is “old school” and he means every word — he and Dee bring so much joy for life when they stop by the office together that we took their picture and put it on the office wall!

 
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