Of the eight years we have known each other, we have spent four together. We met in York, England in October 2002, studying for Masters: I from Yorkshire, he from Memphis. Twelve months later he returned to his job in Chapel Hill, his Southern ‘courting’ that year so gentlemanly I was oblivious.
In August 2004, visiting for someone’s wedding, he said can I hold your hand? I said Yes. In October, at the NC Zoo, we said This could be serious. On New Year’s Eve, drowned out by York Minster’s bells, we said I love you. On Easter Day 2005, on a bench by the lake in Memphis Botanical Gardens, he said do you want to be Mrs Jones? I said Yes. On Guy Fawkes Day, 5 November 2005 we married in York, and there were fireworks. We had spent five weeks together.
In late August 2007 his old boss in Chapel Hill offered him a job. We spent a week on the tiny Hebridean island of Barra, walking on white sand in soaking Scotch mist. A month later he left and over the next 16 months, at the mercy of the US visa application process, we met three times.
On 20 January 2009 Barack Obama was sworn in and at the US Embassy in London I swore to tell the truth and was declared a Legal Resident Alien of the USA. We arrived back at RDU on 4 February 2009 and will try never to be parted again. — HBJ & CDJ, Hillsborough