Sometimes I feel like my posts end rather abruptly and for that, I apologize. I tend to write when AJ is napping (duh, what kind of mom would I be if I spent all my time blogging while she was awake? Okay, I do write when she's awake sometimes...don't tell anyone!) and sometimes I'm in the middle of a post when she wakes up. That is kind of how Part 1 of this story ended. I'll try and pick back up from where I left off.
So as I mentioned on Tuesday, our relationship ended in heartbreak, like many high school romances do. Ours, however, does have a happy ending but I digress.
Towards the end of our senior year (2002) we came to the conclusion that our lives were moving in vastly different directions. D was joining the military and I was getting ready to go off to college. We just didn't see how our relationship would work out. I don't think either of us were mature enough at the time to weather a long distance relationship and our relationship met its demise. Or did it?
True to our words, D went to basic training and I headed off to Big Ten University for my freshman year. We lost touch. Gradually he faded from my everyday memories. I'm not sure if the same happened with him, but D simply became my high school ex-boyfriend. We both dated other people. Neither of us had much luck in love.
Fast forward to November 2005. I was almost done with Fall semester of my senior year and I was taking a break from studying for finals. Bryan (go figure, huh?) and I were chatting on AIM (yes, as if the land line phone conversations from the first part of this story didn't date me, this surely will). Bryan mentioned that he had been chatting with D lately. He suggested that I contact him.
I hadn't talked to D in more than 3 years. Was this crazy? Sure. We chatted on AIM for a while and made plans to meet up for lunch when we were both back in Hometown U.S.A. for Thanksgiving break. We met for lunch. That turned into getting together for drinks later that night. Drinks turned into more drinks which turned into 5 am. We had so much to talk about!
D's original plan had been to attend the Academy after high school, but he didn't get accepted. Well, little did I know, he had joined the Army after high school and ended up getting sent to the Academy a year later. He was smack in the middle of his Cow (junior) year at West Point. I was about to graduate in May. Our lives were totally different than when we had last talked.
As fun as that night was, we didn't talk all that much in the weeks following. Christmas time rolled around and we decided to meet up again for some drinking (we were in college folks). This time though, we talked on and off the next few weeks after we were both back at school. It was early-January when he called me and asked me if I would come up for the weekend and go to a dance at West Point with him. My response was, "Sure!" It sounded like fun!
Well, that weekend solidified it. I went to West Point. In February he flew home and then drove the 3 hours to visit me at school for a weekend. He met all my girlfriends. He passed the test. My friend Mary says that when she met him she knew that we would be together forever. She claims that she knew instantly that we were perfect for each other.
Summer time rolled around and D had school obligations that took him from WP down to Ft. Bragg for most of the summer. Since I had just graduated a road trip was in order. One of my friends and I got in the car and drove from Big Ten University to Ft. Bragg. We spent the week before he had to report hanging out and just spending time together. Later that summer I found a job and he went back to school for his Firstie (senior) year.
I went to WP several more times during that school year and every chance he got, D drove the 12 hours home to see me. Our families were thrilled that we had rekindled our relationship.
In March of 2007 D's mom passed away suddenly. I was really unsure what kind of support he would want from me. I didn't know if he wanted me to let him have his space so he could grieve with his family or if he would want to talk to me about things. I honestly had never dealt with a loss this close before and I didn't know what to do. I let him dictate what my actions should be. It was a terrible tragedy but it brought us even closer together. He has told me that the passing of his mom was what made him realize that he needed to be with me forever.
A few months later, D was set to graduate from the Academy. I boarded a plane with his Dad, Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Brother and 3 cousins. We made it to the East coast and drove up to WP where we met up with my family. Graduation week and all its festivities went well and even though we narrowly made it to the stadium in time we were able to watch D walk across the stage and shake the Vice President's hand.
After graduation, we waded through the crowds of people down to the cemetery (oh yea) for D's commissioning ceremony. After being sworn as an officer in the United Stated Army D got down on one knee and proposed to me (yes, still in the cemetery), in front of his entire family, my family and many others who were there as well. We spent part of the afternoon enjoying the excitement of the day before heading out to dinner to celebrate more.
I was really surprised that he proposed at his commissioning in front of all those people. I mean, I knew that he was planning to propose because I had looked at rings with his aunt. I just wasn't expecting it then because the week after we went on a cruise, just the two of us!
So that is pretty much our story from the time we met until we got engaged. Check back in the future for the engagement/wedding details.
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