It should be noted that the third time our lives intersected, could quite possibly have been the fourth or fifth. We are likely to never know for sure, but Liam and I both realized, after we’d been dating for several months, that we lived abroad in Ireland at the same time. This would have been the spring of 2001. Liam spent a year studying in Dublin when he was a junior in college. I spent several months living and working in Galway, on the west coast.
I spent my twenty-third birthday in Dublin (Liam celebrated an epic twenty-first there as well, a month earlier). Could we have passed one another on the street? Spent time in the same pub, sitting across the room from one another without knowing? It’s unlikely, I know, but not impossible. I’ll forever hunt through old photos looking for proof. If nothing else, it’s a nice shared connection we have. Oh, and also, we both played the trumpet for many years.
The next definite time we came face-to-face was Easter weekend 2002. I had been living and teaching in Boston at the time and was unable to make the trip home to Pennsylvania to visit family. So, my college roommate—yup, Kerry again—who was living in Chicago at the time, but hails from Western Massachusetts, invited me to spend the weekend with her and her family.
Who should happen to show up to the holiday celebration, but—cousin Liam! And, I actually remember sharing a beer with him and his siblings, as well as with Kerry and her older sister, on the outside deck after church. I remember sunshine and laughter and shared talk of their grandmother, and favorite memories they had of spending time with her.
I remember also, buying a last minute outfit for the occasion: a black, floral skirt, and a hideous Pepto-Bismol pink, rayon cardigan to go along with it. Looking back now I think: Ugh. Either I had really bad taste, or I just gave in to an impulse buy. Either way, that outfit is not how I want to remember making a possible impression on my future husband.
What was he to think of this young woman? This close friend of his cousin, who, while not toting sticks and strange knit dolls, on her way to a raging party, looked like an Easter egg explosion in pastel pink, never a color I’d choose to wear today.
Somehow, after three brief meetings, impressions of a positive nature must have formed in our collective hearts and minds, because by the fourth and final chance meeting, we were ready to finally begin a relationship that consisted of more than just brief encounters every couple of years.
It goes without saying I’m so glad we did.