The date was Saturday April 4th, 2015. Easter weekend. Tara was staying at her parents in Port Dover with her daughter as was their tradition for this holiday, so I agreed to make the drive west from Hamilton.
Tara recommended meeting in Simcoe at The Barrell Italian Restaurant and it was settled. We were finally going to meet.
Wait. Let’s take a few steps back.
We actually ‘met’ for the first time on Social Media. Twitter I believe was the first social platform where our clicks crossed paths, followed by Linkedin and then Facebook where Tara will say I started stalking her. Apparently I had liked a couple of her pictures by accident as I looked into who this person was who was stalking me first.
Tara worked for a charity called The Mark Preece Family House as the house manager when we met, using social media to increase the communities knowledge of the house itself and their fundraising events. I was a newly elected official for the local school board, also growing my connections within the community.
I went for a tour of the Mark Preece Family House a few weeks after we started talking and brought a friend with me, with the intention of putting together a team to volunteer an afternoon of our time to cook a meal for house guests. Although the team event didn’t happen, I was definitely both inspired at the house’s purpose, and twitterpated by that first in person meeting. It was springtime after all.
So although that tour of Tara’s workplace was the first official time our eyes met, it wasn’t an opportunity to just stare into one another’s eyes and share who we were, our dreams and the story of our pasts and kids. It was more of an occasional ‘wow’ as I took an opportunity a couple of times during the tour to notice how beautiful she was and what an amazing smile she had.
So where were we. Aw yes. Simcoe.
I had a bit of a cold that evening and wasn’t feeling the greatest, but none-the-less I made the trek with nerves on high alert and full of anticipation at the thought of just staring into her beautiful brown eyes for a few hours.
We talked for what seemed like minutes but we were definitely there for a few hours chatting the night away. Although I had caught glimpses of her during the Mark Preece visit, my heart fluttered with an opportunity to just sit there quietly and take in every inch of this not only beautiful woman, but someone who you could instantly tell was sweat and sincere on the inside.
I could have stayed there all night with my hand on hers in the centre of the table, but the cold meds were wearing off and the Easter Bunny would come early. When we arrived, the restaurant was fairly busy, but it had almost cleared out by the time we asked for the check.
I can’t say that I remember if we partook in a good night kiss. I want to say no because I hadn’t been feeling well. I can picture a couple of very early kisses between us, including a rainy evening overlooking the lower city from Sam Lawrence Park, but this otherwise romantic can’t put a finger on that first smooch. I know it melted my hear though. They still do.
Tara and I would eventually volunteer to cook a Mother’s Day feast for house guests at Mark Preece. I also met her parents for the first time when they came to the House to cook a meal for guests as well. I fell in love with them too that day and that respect and love for Iwrin and Dianne and all of Tara’s family and friends, has only continued to grow.
My memory isn’t always as good as it never was, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Until Tara proves me wrong of course.
Our recollection of these early interactions may vary slightly, but 4 years later these are but small details in the wonderful adventure that has played out since those early virtual discussions.
It’s not easy blending families, but every trial and tribulation is worth where we have come and everything that will follow.
I love you T-Dawg.