On a bit of a steep learning curve I started my 'chiefship' and help plan some of the remaining liturgies before the school year finished and I headed home for the summer. My take on Charlie; kind, soft spoken, very smart ~ and (according to a couple of friends) well suited for the priestly vocation he was considering after medical school.
Sophomore year finds me with tough classes but enjoying our meetings often held on an enclosed bridge between two buildings as Charlie and another committee member worked late in their labs. Early in December Charlie and his housemates hosted a Christmas party for the music group he sang with and other Newman friends. Deciding that there were not enough meat-free options for me and another friend who was also a vegetarian he quickly made a dish of meatless stuffed peppers, I thought there was plenty of options but the peppers were delicioius. We then spent much of the post-dinner/gift exchanging talking together.
Since most of our student community went home for Christmas but still wanting to celebrate a bit of Christmas together it was the custom to hold a CAMC (Community Mass in Anticipation of Christmas) at the end of finals. As it happened the Mass was on the day I was leaving to go home, so after Mass I gave my fellow committee members Christmas/thank you cards since I was well aware of how much I still had to learn and how much I appreciated their hard work. When I gave Charlie and thanked him I received one of the best compliments of my life "Thank you for being you". I was late but had no trouble running the whole way back to the dorm to meet my mom. I then spent part of the drive home and my Christmas break wondering if perhaps something romantically was starting between us.
Late January found us on a retreat together where hugs came easily and even hand holding, I rode back in his car and thanked him for the ride with a kiss on the cheek. Then in February a party thrown by my roommate for her then boyfriend now husband's birthday that I invited several Newman friends but only Charlie came and the yearly med school Spoof where we sat together and talked for a long time after became in retrospect our first two dates. After which we purposely and exclusively dated and on the 3rd date kissed!!
Shortly after we had started dating I went home for Spring Break at the end of which was a blizzard and my train back to Philadelphia from Alexandria was cancelled, however trains were running north of DC so my dad drove me to a station in Maryland to see if I could find a seat and my mom (speaking with him for the first time) called Charlie who was to pick me up at the train station to tell him of the change in plans and that I would call for a ride when I got back to the city. So I arrive back and got into line for the phone (oh those pre-cell phone days) and looking back up from setting my suitcase down what should I see but HIM walking across the train station towards me.
And across a crowded train station whatever doubts I had about being with someone eight years older and considering the priesthood vanished; I was in ~ wherever this was going ~ I was in.
the tale from here to proposal last eight years and spans fours states; and so is for another day.
|a rare one of us together|