The following years were not easy.
I was still a student. I was still living at my dad's. Jen and I were still separated by over 300 miles. (Over a twelve hour trip --one way-- on the Greyhound bus, which pretty much ever spare penny I had went to buying tickets for.)
We did okay. We managed to see each other almost every month. We talked daily. We had extended visits, and went on trips, and, of course, kept going to see shows.
We dreamed about our future together.
In 2005 I finally managed to find a full time job and we were able to start making our dreams a reality. We started planning for our wedding and for Jen's immigration to Canada.
We picked a date for our wedding --July 14th, 2006. We found a venue and started a guest list. Then, six months before we were set to get married a new governement was elected. A conservative government. A conservate government that was including a ban on gay marriage in it's platform. We found out that couples who were already married would be grandfathered, so less than a week after the new Prime Minister took office, Jen and I got married in a small civil ceremony at City Hall with our immediate families. The date, January 28th, 2006, just happened to be exactly five years from the date of our first kiss.
Legally married, we continued to make plans for our wedding. A simple ceremony outside, this time with more of our family and friends in attendance. A reception with delicious food, lots of great conversation, and beautiful speeches from our brothers.
We went back to Jen's hometown and had another reception there, with our friends and family who had been unable to make it to Canada to celebrate. We spent the rest of the summer together. We were so happy.
Then September came and I got on the Greyhound bus and headed back home. The school year was starting and I had to return to work. Jen stayed in Pennsylvania. We made plans to see each other again soon.
That fall we spent countless hours writing essays, collecting documents, selecting photos, and soliciting friends and families for letters to put in to our immigration application. By December we were ready to submit it. We were told to expect to wait six months before hearing about the decision. Just six weeks later we got noticed that a decision had been made regarding the status of our application.