Childhood Moments grew into a Lifelong Love

I was only 5 years old, sitting in the living room floor with my big sister. We were watching television when the door bell rang. We both looked to see who was at the door. My father opened the door and it was a teenage boy. We didn’t pay much attention to him, and continued watching our show. My father introduced us to him as one of his karate students and they went upstairs to practice.

A few years later, I was helping my mom work in the yard. She wanted to go buy some plants so we headed out to her favorite local nursery. While we were there, mom was speaking with the owners and a young man came over to help put our stuff into our car. Mom introduced me to the owners and the young man. “This is Larry, one of your Dad’s karate students. And this is Frank and Sandra, they own the nursery and Larry is their son.” Mom said. I don’t remember my response, but it was probably something that any normal young kid would say. Once again, I paid him very little attention.

Fast forward about 10 years, I am now 20 years old. I am a single mother to an amazing 6 month old baby girl. My father’s high school garage band is having a reunion concert. I have been a singer the majority of my life, so they asked me to join in on the concert fun. It is January 8th, 2000. We are playing our concert at Neil’s Bar in Midtown Memphis, TN. There are tons of people at the bar to enjoy the music and have a blast from the past. My Dad introduces me to some of the people that he invited from work and from his karate class. I meet this ridiculously handsome man named Larry. We talked for a few minutes and then we are both pulled away by someone or something so our conversation was stopped short. I was seeing someone at the time. However, I thought about Larry again after this night. He was so easy to talk with, and so good looking. But obviously, it wasn’t meant to be since we both got pulled away, right? At least, that is what I told myself. I continued dating that other guy for a few more months. Then things came to an end with him.

I decided that for the time being I just needed to be by myself. Focus on the needs of my little girl and my own needs. It felt good not worry about dating or trying to find “Mr. Right”. Months went by and I was really enjoying my time on my own. One Wednesday while I was at work my desk phone rang, my sister was calling to tell me something very important. I took a few minutes out of my work day to talk with her. She was going to be moving away soon to be with her boyfriend at the time. So I did not want to miss out an the opportunity to chat with my only sister. Shocked my sister said, “You won’t believe this! Dad tried to set me up on a blind date! Some guy named Larry from his karate class.” I couldn’t believe it. I mean she was about to move to Nashville with her boyfriend. Then she drops another bomb on me. “I talked to him for a long time last night, and I think that the two of you would be perfect for one another. You really should let me introduce you to him.” she said. I quickly shot her idea down. I reminded her that I was trying to just spend some time on my own, just me and my little girl. She was taking a friend to lunch with Larry. She didn’t think that they would hit it off though. She asked me to at least think about it. I agreed and went on with my work day.

That afternoon I left work early and picked up my little girl. I had to be at my sister’s house because I was house sitting while she was out of town. I pull up to her house and there is another vehicle in the driveway along with hers that I didn’t recognize. My daughter and I walk in and find my sister sitting in the living room with Larry. They had just gotten back from their late lunch. They were chatting for a few more minutes before he headed home. She introduced me to him and my life has never been the same. As soon as our eyes met, I had this amazing feeling come over me. We talked briefly and then my little girl started dancing to some music that my sister had playing. He took my little girl’s hands and started twirling her around and dancing with her. My heart just melted. I was trying so hard not to allow myself to feel what I was feeling. I couldn’t help it though. He seemed perfect. That made me worry even more.

It’s Thursday night, I am still at my sister’s house. Just finished getting my little girl into bed. I am relaxing, watching some television when I hear the house phone ring. I run to answer it and see Larry’s name on the caller ID box. My heart skipped a beat! I answer the phone calmly. I try to remind him that my sister has already left town, and he informs me that he didn’t call for her … he called for me. We talked for hours. It was so wonderful to be able to talk with someone about anything and everything.

We had our first date on Saturday night of that same week. He came over to the house so I would not have to find a sitter. We ate dinner and watched a movie that he had rented. Then I was officially hooked. We spent time together almost every single day. After a few months, he introduced me to his parents. I was terrified, but it went very well. They seemed to like me and my little girl sure liked them! I was head over heels in love with him. We felt like the perfect family unit.

It wasn’t long before he asked me to marry him. We chose March 3 as our wedding day. We had to go to a weekly pre-marriage counseling session with the preacher for a month before the wedding. One of these counseling sessions happened to fall on Valentine’s day. Our very first Valentine’s day together and we would not be out on some romantic evening together, we would be spending it with the preacher. We stopped on the way there to have dinner and we even got a special dessert. He still wanted to make our first Valentine’s Day special even though we had business to take care of. Two weeks later we were married and our two separate lives were joined together to make one family unit.

This year we celebrated our 13th Valentine’s Day together. We truly are a perfect match. If it wasn’t for a botched blind date set up, we may not have found each other so soon or at all! I can’t imagine my life without my other half. I know that I lived 20 years without him, but the last 14 years have been so much more right with him by my side. All of those brief moments that we had as younger kids didn’t mean anything at the time they occurred. But now when we look back on it, they sure seem significant. Larry jokes around about how he has had his eyes on me for a long time. I can’t help but love his sense of humor!

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