Three years ago today, Atticus and I met for the very first time. But before we get to that story, I need to rewind about six months. I am living in Chicago as a first-year teacher in a volunteer teaching program. I teach 6th grade on the south side. Use your imagination.
I was feeling very isolated, mostly because all I did was go to work, then come home and do more work, thereby insuring I had few friends and little fun.
I decided on a whim around new year’s (2007) that I would sign up for Catholic Match, and online dating site with forums on faith issues, designed for Catholics. My actual thought was, “Maybe I can meet someone who will buy me dinner or a drink.” I did not have high hopes at all. I mean, who meets any one they’d be serious about online?
Back to February 2007. I was nearing the end of my rope with the school I was working at, and was about to cancel my subscription to the CM site, as I hadn’t really met anyone who fit the bill even for drinks or dinner. One day I got this little message from a man who was a law student at Notre Dame, who noticed that I mentioned my affinity (I think the word was “obsession”) with Notre Dame football, and that I was in Chicago.
He seemed nice enough, though at first I thought his profile was a bit on the boring side. To make a long story somewhat shorter, we began to exchange some emails back and forth, and within about two weeks, I knew that I was very interested in meeting him. Around the same time, he mentioned that he would be coming to Chicago for a legal seminar, and would I like to have brunch that Sunday? (He confessed to me after we were engaged that he signed up for the seminar so he would have a reason to suggest we meet up!) Of course I was excited to meet him and see if he was as intelligent, funny, and kind as he came across through email.
We arranged to meet after Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, and then have brunch. We met on the steps outside the church, and the very first thing we did together was pray a decade of the rosary before going to eat. We ate, we talked, we connected. It was a very memorable, very exciting, very beautiful day. And it was three years ago!
Atticus and I began talking several times a week and seeing each other every few weeks, taking the South Shore Train between Chicago and Notre Dame. We became very close, and it was pretty clear to me after only a few months of dating that he could be the man God wanted me to marry. But we took things v-e-r-y s-l-o-w.
Summer of 2007 he was in Indy doing an internship for law school, so the megabus replaced the SST as our means of seeing each other.
By the fall of 2007, we were seeing each other nearly every weekend, and talking every day. It was becoming more and more clear to me that any future I imagined for myself included him in it.
I knew for certain that I wanted to marry Atticus around Christmas 2007, when I was home with my family, and he was with his. I knew because for the first time in my life, when I was with my whole family for Christmas, I felt as though something/someone was missing. And it was because he was not with me.
We got engaged in April 2008 (April 11th to be exact!), on a rainy, cold day in Chicago, where Atticus had to practically force me to take a walk with him along Lake Michigan. I thought he was nuts because he wanted to take a walk by the lake when it was cold and raining. But eventually I relented, and little did I know how much I’d be feeling sheepish for protesting! He proposed to me in a beautiful little inlet along the lakeshore trail, with the downtown skyline in the background.
We had a nine month engagement (which was about 3 months too long!) and were married January 3, 2009 at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, where I grew up.
Atticus is my hero, my lover, and my best friend in this world. He is the one God made for me, and I couldn’t have chosen anyone more worthy of my heart. And it all started three years ago!