Tomorrow, Nancy and I will be celebrating 11 years of marriage. Where has the time gone. I am thankful for every step that we have made. We have two wonderful children, we have owned two homes (not at the same time), we have wonderful in-laws, we both love God first and foremost, and the list could go on. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share our story from my perspective.
First of all, even from a young age, I always imagined a family, beautiful wife. Sometimes, I really struggled with the fact that I was ready for all that to happen, but it wasn't. But, I am so thankful to God that at the beginning of my life, he knew that a few short years later, he would create my soulmate. I was always told by folks that "You will know". I really didn't believe that....but it IS true.
In February 1997, I was chaperoning a group of teenagers to Premier Winterfest in Lancaster, PA. On this particular afternoon, our group decided to have lunch at Bob Evans. When I was seated with some from our group, my attention was immediately caught by this cutie sitting at a table nearby. I didn't think too much about, because I figured with my luck that she was a teenager from Maine or something like that. However, upon check out, I ran into Candie Taylor, whose husband Rob, was a great influence in my teenage years, primarily through youth camps. As we were checking out, I noticed that the "cutie" was with Candie's group. I didn't ask anything then, but I wanted to. I also knew that her church was only about 45 minutes from me.
The Information Gathering
That evening prior to one of the events, I had one mission, find Candie. I had to know first, how old she was. It mattered because this was a teenager event and I wasn't a teenager. Nonetheless, upon on finding Candie, I was pleasantly surprised that the "cutie" was not a teenager. Suddenly, I forgot what I had come there for, to help watch teens. My mission changed. It was now about me finding out more about her.
That's right....what was I supposed to do? I was too much of a wimp to approach her, so I followed her in particular from one of the sessions. I just had to look at her. I wasn't going to harm her....but I had to look at her. I really didn't count on her having any interest in me. Also, upon the conclusion of the conference, I was waiting on our charter bus and saw her getting ready to leave, so I made a point that I needed to get off the bus and find someone that I acted like I knew. (Also, I felt sorry for her....I was in a nice big charter bus....she was getting packed into a little grey car....it really looked like sardines packed in a grey can....all they would have to do was peeled back the top....)
The Phone Call
That week, I had finally gotten her phone number....but there was something wrong....I didn't know what to do with it. I had never actually called someone that I had never met or spoke to to go out on a date. Candie assured me that she would say yes....and she did. February 15th, 1997 we were scheduled for a first date.
The First Date
I remember driving "all the way" to Franklin to take her "all the way" back to Chesapeake. We were both scared to death. She tried to get in a truck at her house that did not belong to me, then I couldn't get my key to turn in the ignition. I literally felt as if I was going to throw up. We did manage to get on our way. We were off to Olive Garden. I can remember how self concious she was in eating spaghetti. I can take you almost to that table. We went to a movie and honestly, I don't remember what it was. (I think we went to a movie) I honestly was just mesmerized with this girl. And even the fact that she would go anywhere with me.
It Never Stopped
I immediately knew that she was going to have to run me off before I would ever leave her alone. I was quickly thinking that she was the "one" that I would know was supposed to be my wife. She became what I thought of every second of the day. I actually begin begging God that she was "the one". I am not joking. I begged him.
In May of the year at her twin sisters wedding, I saw Nancy walk down the aisle, and I leaned over to Candie and told her, "I will marry that girl". I already had the date picked out, because it was on a Saturday, February 14, 1998. In July, I finally got the nerve to ask her to marry me. (I had never had done that before, you know). Again, I was ready to throw up....in a good way. I pretty much failed on the Romantic part of asking her to marry me (the park on Clay Street in Franklin). I just had to get it done. (I would have probably asked her at a trash dump if that was where we were.)
February 14th, 1998
Only 364 days from our first date, I was getting ready to realize a dream that I had always had. Other than my Savior saving me, this was the greatest blessing in my life. That special day was somewhat of a "blur". The nerves, the people, so much going on. But I cherish everyday that I am allowed to share with the most beautiful woman in the world. I often say that she really got the short end of the deal. If she did or she didn't, I know that I have blessed much more than I ever deserved.
I Love You
Nancy thank you for a wonderful 11 years (really 12). Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for two beautiful children. Thank you for always standing by me. YOU ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. I rejoice in our past years together, but I look forward with great anticipation of what is ahead of us. DREAM BIG!!!!
6 years ago