Okay, maybe that wasn't quite what happened. Let me only focus on a few parts of the story.
Old Capitol Museum: First, I had no idea she worked there. Yes, I thought she was the coolest thing since sliced bread. But I seriously was not stalking her. I was just chillaxing on the steps of the Old Cap. I think it was some Sunday near the end of Semester. But it was a great time. It was amazing how similar we were. Similar experiences, and similar struggles. In fact, what was most impressive was how easily we could really share. I don't remember all we talked about, or even most of it. But I remember how freely we could talk to each other.
Fast forward to class lunch. Here I was on this high, and then it came crashing down. Here was this young woman who I could connect with on a level I never felt before, and she has a boyfriend. Of course, I can say "HA HA," she dumped the zero and went out with the hero.
So, fast forward again. I had just gotten out of a 'relationship,' and somehow I wound up in email contact with Carrie shortly after. I can't remember how it was initiated. But I do remember at some point she said she would like to meet for coffee. I am currently disappointed with myself, because I forgot the exact phrasing of the email. Because it clearly said (at least to me) that she liked me. That was crystal clear in my mind. I think she said she 'would really like to meet for coffee sometime with you.' Clearly, as you read it, it means 'I really really like you and want to date.' That's how I took it.
Now, I do have to confess. Contrary to all popular beliefs, I am not always the smoothest one with the ladies. I know, I know. Everyone knows me as Mr. Cool, always with a 'how you doin', always having to disappoint them now by saying 'you can look, but you can't touch.' But I haven't always been this suave. So yes, I freaked out and darted afterwards. So bite me; now I got a smokin' hot wife. Thank you Baby Jesus!
Skip a little bit into the future. Easter weekend always holds a special place in my heart. Why? Because Good Friday was GOOD! I got to make out with Carrie! Oh Yeah! I couldn't believe it! Things this good don't happen to me. I don't get to be with the girl of my dreams. Funny story, though. She asked me why I liked her. I said it was because she was beautiful. Now, she TOTALLY MISINTERPRETED that. She thought I was some superficial typical guy (the kinds of zeroes she was used to dealing with) and just talking about her looks. Well, I was talking about more (but it included that). She had (and has) a phenomenal heart. I see her beauty in her love for me, her love for her children, her love for her students, her love for this world. I see it in her strength and even in her times of weakness. Having her in my life is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
Carrie, the last 8 years with you have been the best years of my life. It is because of you. You are the love of my life. Thank you so much for all you have been to me.