It was three in the morning, just hours before we would make the journey to New York City so he could get on a plane to England. Days later I would be on my way to Louisiana.
We were just friends at the time, but both of us knew it was more. Who would take the leap?
The answer to that was HIM. Facing the unknown, he took a risk and told me how he felt. I was speechless ... grateful ... relieved.
But most of all, I was in love ... and so was he!
So we made an unspoken promise to be together and then I took him to JFK International Airport where we said good-bye in the international terminal before he kissed me on the cheek and boarded his plane. It was October 9, 1995.
Because we were both in the army, we didn't know when we'd see each other again.
I lived in barracks that didn't allow for private phones, so phone calls were made on a pay phone shared by everyone in the building. We wrote countless letters and even recorded cassette tapes for each other.
Plans were made and in February 1996, four months and 3 days after we said good-bye in that airport, I visited him in England where he was stationed.
Our first kiss (finally) was shared in London Heathrow Airport. Two days later - Valentine's Day - on a moonlit night, standing on a walking bridge overlooking the North Sea in Scarborough, he got down on one knee and once again risked it all.
I said YES!
Our two weeks were fantastic, but duty called and I had to return to Ft. Polk. The wedding date was set. There were more calls on the pay phone, more letters, more cassette tapes.
Four months and two days after he proposed, we spoke our promises to each other in front of friends and family. Our honeymoon was short, but perfect, and after four days of wedded bliss, we once again said good-bye. He returned to England. I trudged back to Louisiana.
Four months and ten days later, we were once again reunited - this time for good - as I stepped off the plane in England and was greeted by my husband, my best friend, my partner for life.
Here we are, three kids, six homes, two cats, three dogs, and 20 years later, still on our journey and looking forward to the next 20 years!