Today, 11 years ago, Daddy Brown and I stood before a small group of family, friends and God and vowed to love, obey, honor, and cherish each other for the remainder of our days. Vows that to this day are the most precious and important words ever spoken to me by the love of my life.
There has to be a beginning to every relationship and ours began back in our teenage years. Although Daddy Brown and I lived within 5 miles of each other in a small town in Middle Tennessee, we had never officially met. Well, we were in a karate class when we were little kids, but he mostly kicked my butt and laughed at me, so we really didn't have a hopeful future. We went to separate schools and separate churches. Only by a mutual friend did we have an official chance meeting. An awkward introduction in the 10th grade at a Friday night football game that ended up with Daddy Brown teasing me over a silly stuffed animal I was carrying for a social group I was apart.
I'll be honest, I didn't give Daddy Brown a second look...I didn't. Daddy Brown was a big athlete. Many of the girls swooned around him, but I didn't. It wasn't that I didn't find him attractive or interesting, it was that I was dating someone else and had been for almost a year. My eyes were not open to anything beyond that initial meeting. However, Daddy Brown told me long after we were married that he knew there was something special about me. He called me shortly after we first met and I remember my sister telling me some guy that sounds like Forest Gump was on the phone. He was so polite, he even called me ma'am. We here in the south do have an accent. Because I just wasn't interested, I actually just blew him off.
Over the next couple of years, we crossed each others path and exchanged pleasantries. He dated other people and so did I. The summer we graduated high school, I went to the movies with a friend and Daddy Brown was sitting on the curb of the local theater with his friends. We passed them with a wave and a smile. Later that night, my friend and I were enjoying ice cream at Baskin Robbins and Daddy Brown drove by in his silver Mazda RX-7, I still love that car. I yelled out his name as he drove past. Not knowing who had called out his name, Daddy Brown circled around and drove in. We all shared some small talk. He joined us as I ran an errand to Kroger to pick up rice for my mother. I had a friend that worked at Krogers that was chinese and his nickname was "Chops". I walked in and asked Chops where the rice aisle was located. Because Daddy Brown and I didn't go to the same school, he thought I was actually making fun of a china-man. He still makes fun of me for calling a chinese guy "Chops"...but that really was his nickname!
A few weeks later, I was washing my car in the driveway. I was not expecting to see anyone that day and I was not looking very presentable. To this day, I'm still a little embarrassed as to my attire. Daddy Brown was visiting a friend that lived in my neighborhood and happened to drive by my house. Being the gentleman that he is, he stopped and offered to help me. He teased me about the poor job I was doing and we laughed and giggled and smiled. Over the next couple of months, we talked on the phone, shared a movie or two and a few meals. We began to develop a friendship.
Then one day, he came to visit me at my house and I remember the moment I looked at him and I lost my words. I couldn't remember what I was saying, what I was going to say or what to say for that matter. I could hardly breathe. He was getting ready to leave and I kissed him. Yes people...I kissed him. It happens. In my mind, I had to know if he would kiss me back and...he did. From that moment on, it has been a journey together. We dated for 4 years and then we decided to spend the rest of our days discovering everything we could about each other, about life and about what was in store of us.
On the day of our wedding, I remember thinking, today I will be married to the man of my dreams. Married to the man that God has given me. What a gift, what an honor, what a life. When I stood at the back of the church with my dad, I remember looking at my husband to be and I cried. My dad looked at me and said, "Oh...it's not too late if you don't want to do this." I told him, "This is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing." Such a good Dad!!! My sister gave me a handkerchief and said, "I think you are going to need this. " Within 15 minutes, I became Mama Brown.
It would be nearly 8 years before we began a family. That was truly by design. Daddy Brown and I wanted to enjoy each other. We wanted to be just the two of us for the only time in our lives. When we got married, we had been together for almost 5 years but we needed to really get to know each other before starting our family. I think all newly married couples should wait and I'm glad we did. Of course, when we became pregnant and told everyone we were expecting, we shocked everyone...I'll share that in another post.
So...on this day, at 3:15p, we will have been married for 11 years. Not only am I in love, but I'm in like with Daddy Brown. I can honestly say, Daddy Brown continues to surprise me. He continues to make me laugh and smile. He continues to comfort me when I cry and he continues to make me feel like I'm the most important person in his life. I hope I do the same for him. I hope I am the best wife and life partner he could have ever imagined. I hope that I'm the person his parents prayed for their son. I pray we have the best years of our life ahead of us. I can't imagine our lives any different and I can't imagine it being any better. He is my best friend and he is my rock. 11 heavenly years down and hopefully many more to go.