WHy Nala?

It feels like a decade ago now...  With each day since Sabrina passing feeling like a week...

I first met my true love, Sabrina Ann Wall, at Orlando Code Camp / Day of DotNetNuke in 2011.  That year, the Orlando Code Camp organizers agreed to co-brand/co-host the annual mini-convention.  I had known mutual friend, Ryan Morgan, for several years at this point, and he was a staple speaker at most of the community-based Florida technical conferences.  We'd always expect to see him, but until then, it was just him.  I remember vividly that year when he walked into the common area.  He came with a posse.  It wasn't just him any longer.  It was him and at least 6 other people.  I knew none of them yet, but I could only see one...  It was Sabrina.  I saw her and nothing else.  It was like a slow motion movie and still was when I would recount this with her later, and still is to this day.

Sabrina and I stayed in touch since that moment, but nothing romantic.  Always professional.  I didn't fully realize it yet, but I felt much more.  I could tell that there was something different and special about her - and I didn't even know her yet.  Even so, something was inside me.  Something deep inside me knew more than my brain could let on.

We loved to play The Simpsons: Tapped Out together We loved going to Napa and tried to every month

It would be about a year later that Sabrina and I would realize that we had been harboring feelings for each other.  I can't recall who said it first, but once we admitted what we felt, the rest became history.  We began a journey of deep, passionate, and intense romance.  Something that story books are made of...

We met each other a year before.  We mostly lost touch with each other, only speaking here and there.  

A year later, we found each other again, and she instantly showed me who's boss.  Not in any crazy, mean, or perverted way.  She just had a power over me.  Something that I still can't find the words to describe.  I knew from that moment that I would do anything in the world I could to make her happy.  

This reminded me so much of the story in Lion King.  Simba and Nala know each other in the beginning and are friends.  They lose touch for a while.  Then, when they come back together, they are drawn to each in a way that only the truest of loves can be.  She was my soulmate, and she instantly became my Nala.  I called her no other name (except when others were around).  

She was my Nala, my lioness, always making sure her lion was fed, and always a badass (even though she'd never show it intentionally).  And I was her Simba, her lion, making sure she was always safe and needed of nothing.  Above all, I made every effort I could to make sure she could just be herself... She hadn't done that in many years. 

I'm almost 40 years old, and I've never felt anything that remotely approached the feelings I had for my beautiful, sweet, caring, smart, and incredible Nala!  The 3 years we had together were beyond any shadow of a doubt the most fulfilling, rewarding, and loving moments I've ever experienced in my life.  I treasure them every moment of every day still.  

I love you, Nala.  Always have.  Always will.