22 Years Of Walking Our Shared Road

Gregory and James, 2000, first family Thanksgiving in the Hancock home

Today James and I celebrate 22 years of walking a shared road together.

We met at Borders Books (University Avenue) as I sat at a table with a newspaper, a book about Wyoming, and a mug of coffee. A guy came up and asked, “Anything happening in the news today?” I was having my first conversation with James.

We had nodded and smiled at each other over the weeks as I stopped at Borders where he worked after first coming to Madison following a teaching stint on the East Coast. But that day as he took a break, ate a cinnamon roll, and chatted with me something remarkable started.

That evening we had our first date which included dinner on State Street and some humorous conversation. I dropped James off at his apartment door with a kiss on the cheek. Corny perhaps, but true.

Two weeks after we met he attended six weeks of summer classes at Middlebury College in Vermont. Each evening we had long phone conversations where we really got to know each other. By the time he came back to Madison I knew he was the person I wanted to spend time with, and he wanted to call this city home.

Two years to the day after we met, we picked up the keys to our first apartment. I had never lived with anyone before and was pleased to know he had a touch of OCD, too. Over the years we moved into our Victorian home, did some traveling, and planted some gardens but every day there is one constant. That is laughter. It abounds here during the day and every night before we fall asleep it bounces off the walls as we just chat.

I really think there is one special person for everyone, and Lord knows I waited and wondered if I would ever find mine. James has been my best friend, partner, and soulmate all these years, and I love him very much.

Our shared road continues.

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