Natasha – In June of 2012, Paul came to our house to spend some time with his best friend, my brother Sean. Though we had known their family for years after our original meeting in 2004 and had established a growing friendship as families, he and I had never really interacted one on one as friends.
During that visit, Luke (my then future brother-in-law) flew out to New Mexico and surprised my sister Chantée with a marriage proposal. In the sweet days that followed Luke and Chantee’s brand new engagement, for the first time we had one on one conversations and spent time interacting simply as friends.
During one memorable conversation weeding in the garden with Luke and Chantée, we talked about the then retiring space shuttle, the Dream Chaser, and other space vehicle prototypes. After the visit was over, Paul took advantage of the opportunity and emailed me with more information about one of the prototypes we had talked about. I emailed him back, and we continued to email back and forth in the many months that followed. While it was mostly casual communication, we still learned much more about each other’s walk with God and daily lives.
I had not been in the habit of maintaining regular email correspondence with male friends. But in the context of the growing friendship between our families, our casual correspondence seemed natural until…