I met her on August 17th in 2001. Oddly, I didn't say a word to her the whole day. I constantly tried getting close to her, but never knew what I would've said if I had gotten the chance to talk to her. It was awkward that entire evening.
The following day was a fresh start. However, I again couldn't seem to say anything to break the ice. What was wrong! I never had had this much trouble talking to someone, much less a girl! Since I couldn't seem to do or say anything, Kristine did the work. "Can I draw a cloud on you?" What kinda question is that? A flirty one. I didn't get it. We all piled on a couple of vans to head to a concert and, as I got on the van, she climbed on and sat next to me. It was a marvelous ride. We talked and continued to get to know each other the whole time. As we arrived at the massive outdoor concert, we received our tickets and, subconciously brushing her hand on the way to our seating area, walked and talked with Kristine the whole way. I remember little about the concert, but a lot about the company. The two of us spent the whole time talking and contemplating about the idea of a relationship. The biggest obstacle was the two and a half hour difference between us. We decided before the night was over to give it a shot, leaving it in God's hands and doing our best to make it work.
We continued to date and, two years later, I moved in with Kristine's gandparents as a caretaker for them as well as a potential youth director for Hebron Regular Baptist Church. I never became the youth director, but I did become the teenage class sunday school teacher. Being closer to her made it much easier on our relationship, and we got to better know each other's habits and pet peeves. A little less than a year later, we were wedded. July 17, 2004 was a wonderful milestone in my life. I never want to forget it. We headed off for Arkansas, which would later become our state of residence.
Two years later, we're still residing in Arkansas where I'm attending seminary. Our marriage is strong, God-centered. Our relationship grows, bringing us closer every day. She is, as I found out five years ago, the love of my life. She always will be. I know she's nothing less than a gift from God. Speaking of which, God has decided to give us another gift, one that Kristine is graciously accepting, along with all that comes with it. Yes, it has been trying, but the outcome will be absolutely amazing. Come early to mid March, I may be writing another tribute. But for now, I say four very important and sincere words to my greatest friend: