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For some, love is a thing that builds up gradually. For D.C. author and poet Bill Lantry, it happened all at once. He recalls the exact moment that he fell in love with his wife, liturgical singer Kathleen Fitzpatrick.
"I had just taken you to lunch right by the capitol," recalls Lantry, speaking to his wife. "And I spent two hours telling you every bad thing I had ever done in my entire life so you would know everything, and I would never have to hide anything at all from you. And you didn't run away screaming."
Exhausted and elated from this experience, Lantry drove with his future wife back to the campus of Catholic University, where they both attended school. He recalls stopping at a stoplight 400 yards south of the Basilica, as she put Franz Biebl's version of "Ave Maria" on the CD player and began to sing along.
"I looked around at the trees outside and the sun was shining and you were so beautiful and your voice was so beautiful," says Lantry. "And I looked at the little clock on your car's dashboard and it said 1:54 in the afternoon. It was a Friday in late fall, and I completely fell in love with you at that moment. It was over — that was the end of that."
That moment was transformational for his relationship with Kathleen, but was also the inspiration for some of his written works. He would go on to publish a book of poems called "The Structure of Desire" about his love for her.
As for what the future holds, Lantry is characteristically poetic.
"I just want to feel that energy flowing through you that I feel every day," he says. "I just wanted that all the time, forever."
This interview was recorded in Arlington, Va. at StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. To find out more information and to reserve a timeslot to tell your own story at the StoryCorps MobileBooth, visit StoryCorps.org.
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