My husband Brady and I had what some people like to call a classic love story. We met at a young age and became high school sweethearts. I was a sophomore in high school and he was a big, bad senior. I still remember the first time I saw him. I was sitting in geometry class on the first day of school my sophomore year when he walked into the room. Even though we had never met I knew exactly who he was.
You see during the previous summer Brady and his brother decided to throw a house party while their newly married parents were on their honeymoon. It was the summer before their senior year. While I was not in attendance, half of our little high school was. Long story short the party ended up getting busted by the police and all the students who were there had to call their parents to come get them. Naturally the school found out and any students who attended and also played sports had to be suspended from several of their first games for the fall season. This affected me because I played soccer and some of our best seniors happened to be at that party. It didn't take long for anyone and everyone who was not in attendance to hear about the event. So back to the point, when Brady walked into the classroom that day it was not just me who knew who he was. Everyone knew who he was.
We didn't begin dating until late January that school year. I had gotten to know him better through class and mutual friends. One weekend we somehow ended up having a phone conversation. I thought I accidentally called him trying to reach someone else, but his story is that he called me so we don't exactly know how it happened. Either way I developed a crush that weekend. I spent several days trying to talk myself back out of it. I remember thinking to myself that Brady was way too much of a class clown for me to date. Looking back, that was a ridiculous thought because his humor and personality is also what drew me to him.
Once I had gotten past my insecure thoughts I was determined to make Brady mine. I always told him that if it wasn't for me we would have never got together in the first place. He never said otherwise, so we'll assume I'm right. Anyway, my plan was to make up excuses to hang out with him one on one. That week I asked him to give me a ride to a basketball game with some excuse like I didn't know the directions or it would save on gas. Both of those reasons held truth so I wouldn't say I lied. The following weekend I made sure to show up to a party he asked me to go to, but only for a short time (I still had to do some playing hard to get after all). It wasn't long at all before our attraction grew. I was wide eyed for him and he seemed to be the same for me.
We continued to date throughout my high school years. I would have never said this then, but looking back I was clearly in love. I still remember being at sleepovers with classmates of mine and listening to them talk about how they were going to marry their high school boyfriends one day. Those are words you would have never heard from me. I thought it was ridiculous for any girl to think she would actually end up marrying her high school sweetheart, especially me. But fast forward about 9 years and there we stood, side by side, saying our "I do's".
Our relationship over the years was never perfect. In fact we both tried to end it on two separate occasions. He broke it off with me once and I with him once and after that we considered ourselves even. We made valiant efforts to be apart; spent months away from one another, dated other people, and attempted to move on. In the end we just could not deny the love we had. It was special, it was real, it was effortless. I used to joke with Brady about how many times I would tell him I loved him on any given day. I promise I'm not exaggerating when I tell you he probably heard those words from me 10-15 times a day, every single day. I know some people say that when you abuse your words too much or over use them they begin to mean less over time, but the truth is I could never tell him "I love you" too many times. He was my babe and there was no need for him to go a month, week, day, or an even hour without me reminding him of that.
After many years together, ups, downs, and all the adventures in between, the boy finally decided to propose on March 31st, 2013. It was Easter morning. We decided, with a little pushing from Brady, that we would get each other Easter baskets that year. I was fairly ecstatic about the switch because this was my moment to one-up him on gift giving. I went to buy his basket, filled it with all his favorite candies, and even bought him a brand new hat. Easter morning came along so I drove to his mom's house for our basket exchange before we had to go to my family's for the holiday. I proudly handed him his gift filled basket as we went to sit on the couch and he did the same for me. I looked down at mine to see one giant egg sitting right in the center. As I went to open it I found another egg (think Russian nesting dolls). After the first one was opened his younger sister, who was only 3 years old at the time, eagerly showed me some of the items the Easter Bunny brought her. While I opened another egg, she interrupted to show me more of her treasures. This went on until I finally reached my last egg. It was the prettiest egg out of all of them I had seen. I opened it up to see a gorgeous ring sitting inside. In shock, I wasn't sure if this ring I was staring at meant what I thought I meant. I looked up at Brady who said with a smile, "Well? Will you marry me?". Still in shock, I said yes. We then had the opportunity to go announce our engagement to all of our giant families in person.
We set our wedding for May 17th, 2014. It was an absolutely beautiful day. We had a great, big Catholic wedding at the church where we both grew up attending. It's wild to think we didn't know each other before high school because of that. There were roughly 350 guests in attendance that day and I think about 250 of them were family. We may have invited the world if there wasn't a budget to work with. It's a difficult thing to cut a guest list down when you're marrying what seems to be the most popular guy you have ever met. Brady was everybody's friend because Brady treated everyone he met the way they ought to be treated, with respect, kindness, and love. I've heard many people say recently that they have never heard a bad word spoken about Brady, and aside from anyone who has ever spoken with me while Brady and I were in an argument, that is probably a true fact.
As I walked down the aisle that day, with so much excitement in my soul, I couldn't wait to see his adorable one sided dimple smile. Our hour long Catholic ceremony seemed like an eternity while I waited to share our first kiss as husband and wife. It really was a magical day. I would maybe even dare to say the best day of my life. I never needed a wedding to know that I would love and cherish Brady for all of my days, but getting to spend it with so many people who are dear to us made it that much more remarkable.
We agreed to take on the world together as one, ready for every adventure that came our way. Little did we know the suffering and heartache that approached us. My husband passed exactly one week ago today. And today, on Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful that Brady and I had nearly 6 months of complete wedded bliss before my world was forever changed. Our love story as one may have ended last week, but my love for him will be with me for eternity.