A dear friend of mine recently asked me:
"When did you first know that you were in love with Jim?"
The question caught me off guard and made me stop and think. When did I first know that it was love? It seemed like love from the very beginning. I took it, ran with it, and never looked back. The question would call for me to retrace my steps.
We met in early September, 2005. We started dating in early November that same year. It was somewhere in between, as I remember, when I first knew that not only did I love him, but he was going to be my husband.
Our dating life took a traditional path early on that continues into our marriage today. We never spent alone time together, we watched movies with friends and sat on opposite sides of the room, and we went out on dates with groups. I was happy at the time (and looking back) that that's the way it was. It gave me a chance to see how he interacted with others. It gave him the opportunity to pursue me.
It was one of these date nights when I realized that I was in love with him. It was rugby date night. Each member of the team asked a girl to escort him to a night of fun in Pittsburgh. We went to an Italian restaurtant in downtown Pitt, and then went ice-skating. It was at dinner that night when my rush of emotions took me completely off guard. There we were, a group of about 60 of us, about to dive into the delicious pastas and mouth-watering chicken that had just been served. At this moment, Jim stood up at the table we were at, and said "Gentlemen, it's time to pray."
I can barely even remember what words he spoke as he asked the Lord for His blessings. I was just sitting there, head bowed and hands folded, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Here I am, in the midst of wonderful, Christian people, with a man who is pursuing little unworthy me, and he just asked everyone to pray. My heart took over what my mind couldn't figure out, and became in-charge from that moment on.
Ever since then, I have often been subtly reminded of that moment through the actions of my now-husband. The corned-beef feast he made for my birthday that same year. The reminders to say my rosary. The insistence that we give to the church each week, even when it's hard. The willingness to drive me 9 hours to Lake George whenever I feel "home-sick". Holding my music for me when I play the violin at special events. Turning our bedroom into a special Christmas-wonderland last year when I was sick. The list goes on and on. It amazes me what one prayer spoken in Pittsburgh several years ago, has foretold.
Merry Christmas, my love. Thank you for that prayer 4 years ago, and thank you for the gift of you.
**Let it be noted that at least 3 other couples who got together that rugby date night have since married, as well. Thank you for that prayer, Jim.