10 years. Wow. I met the love of my life exactly 10 years ago this month. And you know what? I knew, I just knew right away that there was something completely different about Brian than what I had ever known before.
Every love story is different. Some start in high school. Others later in life. Some take years to grow. Others happen the first time two people meet. Love stories are just that - all about the love that two people have for each other & how it all starts.
Speaking of "starts," there are actually not too many people that really know our story and how it all began. Which is why I thought, after a decade of knowing and loving Brian, I will share so that Thomas, Abbigail and Marilyn know exactly how their Mommy & Daddy met one July day in 2003.
So, let's go back 10 years...
Brian was a SSgt in the Air Force stationed at Hurlburt Field, FL. There were two things that consumed Brian at that point in time - 1) offshore fishing and 2) work... deployments, PT, & jumping out of perfectly safe aircrafts as an airborne engineer. He was a swingin' bachelor who spent anywhere from 190-230 days a year deployed 1/2 way across the world. He was gone so much that he decided to sell his house to his parents & just store his stuff with them. Brian will be the first to tell you that he wasn't really focused on finding the "right" girl.
I was well planted in my teaching & coaching career at a high school in the same area. There were two things that consumed me at that point in time - 1) Booker, my lab and 2) teaching history and coaching my girls soccer program. I really wasn't dating anyone very seriously because of several reasons: I didn't go to church enough to meet anyone nice; and I told my friends at work to stop trying to set me up on blind-dates.
Coincidentally, we both heeded the advise of people close to us and decided to try our luck with online dating. Yes, online dating. A little more than a decade ago, the common assumption was that anyone who'd turn to their computer for love had to be a geeky, pathetic lose who couldn't get a date. By the time we had decided to give it a try, the era was changing. The dating culture was also changing. And frankly, we each didn't think we had much to lose; and we had much to gain... maybe even finding true love.
It all happened very quickly once Brian answered my post - and yes, he pursued me.
Our email conversation was so natural, sharing with each other seemed so easy. I'll spare the details of our conversations, but what I will share is they went to the heart of who we both are as individuals. Our history, our passions, our values, and our hopes & dreams. It started with one email each on the first day; then it jumped to three and four emails each by the next day. We've each confessed that we woke up extra early each morning to check for messages from each other; we hurried home & even bypassed scheduled happenings to check our email from one another; and even stayed up much later than we should anxiously awaiting more conversation that just felt so right from the beginning.
By the week's end, we couldn't deny the connection we knew we already had. We finally spoke on the phone and decided to enjoy an evening of "face-to-face" conversation over dinner. It was magical and to this day, still one of my favorite memories that Brian & I with each other.
From the moment he arrived at my house, rang my doorbell, and then said hello to me when I opened the door... he had me. And shortly thereafter... my heart.
And for lasting memories of how we first met and what was at the foundation of our relationship, I copied each of our corresponding emails on color coded paper (yellow = me, blue = Brian) and then bound it into a book. A book that we have for the rest of our lives. A book that is at the heart of our love story.