So when he broached the subject a fifth time in the spring of 1997, dropping by her apartment en route to a Congressional trip to South Africa, she was ready. “‘Look,’ he said. ‘I’ve been as patient as I know how to be, but this has got my Irish up. Either you decide to marry me, or that’s it—I’m out. I’m not asking again,'” she recalled. “His blue eyes, normally alight, seemed clouded with gray. ‘I’m too much in love with you to just be friends.'”
He’d be gone for 10 days, she continued, but he expected a response upon his return. “‘When I come back,’ he said, ‘I need an answer, yes or no. You don’t have to tell me when. You just have to tell me if.'”
Returning to her door a week-and-a-half later, he asked for her answer. “I could see that he didn’t want to lose me, but he would walk away for his boys,” she said. “I could feel his love, and I knew it was forever, unconditional. I knew that he and the boys had my heart, and we were too intertwined now to protect ourselves from each other. Marriage license or not, we were already a family.”
Months later, it was official.