I am laying here in bed listening to the rhythmic sounds of Cary's heavy breathing, a fan whirring in the background, and Disc 3 of Castle Season 2 playing in the DVD player. Three things that I have to have in order to go to sleep. However, pretty much any disc of any season of Castle and any disc of Psych is interchangeable. I have to have the fan, and most importantly, I have to have my Cary.
March 25th marked our 12 year wedding anniversary. The end of August/First part of September of this year will mark the 17th year that we met. June will mark our 16th year of being together, officially, like in the same state and everything.
Ours is not a magically romantic story, and it's one that we don't typically share with others. Now that we're older we care less about what others think, but a few years ago when people would hear that we met on the...wait for it....Internet *insert gasps of horror and frightful looks here*, we would get many raised eyebrows, shocked looks of horror, sometimes even audible gasps.
No, we didn't meet on a church website. Nor did we meet at LDS singles, or any other singles site.
I was in high school, new to the Internet, in an AP Technology class, creating web sites, blogs, and school homepages. On a whim, my friends and I decided to venture into Rockweb.com. I just googled it and it's no longer an active chat client.
It was a pretty full chat room, and my friends and I decided to go with cartoon character "handles" as to avert any unwanted attention from the trollers. There were a group of folks on the chat that started becoming Internet friends, pals. Cary's handle was Mutt and he was one of them. We had no "interest" in each other and I honestly can't remember how we got started on private chats. But, eventually we did. We hit it off. I thought he was funny and sarcastic, humble and witty; things that I still admire about him.
Private chats turned into emails. Novels, really. I loved them. I couldn't wait each day to get to my AP Tech class so that I could check my email to read his latest letter. They weren't love letters at first, just friendly emails. Emails turned into snail mail....Oh I how LOVED the snail mail letters. They became lovey, mushy-gushy, but not for a long while, after the phone calls. Very, Very expensive phone calls. Months and thousands of dollars later; phone calls, emails, and snail mail letters turned into a visit.
Cary came to visit me in Arkansas in June of 1996. I remember clearly the moment he stepped off the plane. I remember what he was wearing, the look on his face, his beautiful, kind eyes, and his accent.
Oh, that thick, delicious New Zealand accent made me swoon! I remember looking into his eyes, and him saying, "Amanda?"
I think I was mute. I just stared into his eyes. He grabbed me in the biggest, warmest, love filled hug and I knew.
I knew I would grow old with this one.
So many years have passed since then and so much has changed in our lives from that moment in which time stopped in the airport that hot, June night in Arkansas.
I now have my Eternal Companion, my very best friend, the love of my life.
The years are passing, the gray is showing, the love is growing stronger, and we are happy.
Heavenly Father really does know what he's doing. During my most difficult trials I have had to have complete faith that He does. It's been difficult. Really difficult.
But, all things happen the way they should.
How else could one explain The Story Of Us?