Finally, I got my answer.
We went to the beach together that day after church. I was basically to the point that I was about to burst. Here we were, spending lots of time together, getting to know each other really well, having great fun with each other, but I had no idea where our relationship was heading.
As Tricia and I walked up the dune toward the ocean, I brought up our conversation from a few weeks before, and asked (it probably sounded more like begging) if she had made a decision.
She said she had. She reached for my hand, looked into my eyes (yeah, this is my romantic version) and told me that, as long as I never called her "Pattysue" she thought she would give me chance.
Of course, my heart was racing and I doubt my face could have hidden my happiness if my life depended on it. Of course, I immediately promised to never call her Pattysue again. And, of course, it only took me a few hours to break that promise.
Although I never kept my part of the deal, Tricia did.
And, just as I had told her she would, a few days later she was growing to love me just as I had loved her for so long.
That was seven years ago today (May 27), perhaps even this very minute. The best seven years of Tricia's life!
I love you, Pattysue!!!
Below is our first picture together later that same week.