ST. PAUL, Minn. - It seems the only stumbling block in the decades-long love story between Kimberly Dean and Ron Palmer was timing.
From the time they met as students at St. Agnes School through more than 3 decades of friendship, Kimberly and Ron knew there was something bubbling below the surface. But something always got in the way, from relationships with other people to... well.. life.
Somewhere along the way Ron and Kimberly realized they would be good together, and jokingly made a pact that if both were single when they hit age 50 they would do the inevitable and tie the knot.
On Friday evening the joke they had bantered about for more than twenty years became reality, as Kimberly and Ron exchanged vows at the Como Park Japanese Garden on a night she could only describe as perfect. In front of less than 100 family members and friends, and as Kimberly says, "surrounded by love," the two started a new chapter as 'experienced' newlyweds, tested through time and prepared to handle anything that comes along.
"I don't think there was a stone we left unturned when it came to communication," Kimberly laughed, saying that she and Ron have discussed everything that will make up their new lives together. "I think we have life experience under our belts... we know what works and what doesn't work."
Part of that experience is not having the illusion, as younger couples sometimes do, that you can change the things about your partner that you're not especially fond of. "There's nothing I would change about (Ron)," Kimberly insists. She said that both are comfortable in their own skin, and don't need to be together 24-7. "If he wants to go fishing for a weekend with buddies, he can go fishing. If he wants to go hunting for a week, he can go hunting," she said. He feels the same way, she says.
While respecting each other's need for space after leading separate lives of independence, Ron and Kimberly will continue their routine of at least one or two date nights a week, many that will revolve around their mutual love of all things hockey.
If there is anything to be learned from this slow-moving courtship, it could be to trust when things feel right. Kimberly Dean says she looks back on the high school crush she had on Ron Palmer and realizes those feelings from 37 years ago have only grown deeper. They are older, wiser... and in love.