The Story of Us

Each life has a great story; today I’ll share mine with you.
Blake and I met each other in May of 2007 when I was an almost graduate of high school and he was an almost graduate of college. I was actually hanging around his best friend, so one night we went to Blake’s house and we said hello, and that’s all I remember from that night. I left with his friend, and that was that.
*This next part I do not remember at all and it could be related to the fact that I had over 30 grand mal seizures in college, which caused me to forget quite a lot, or it could be that Blake made this next part up. I don’t know if the truth will ever be known…*
Apparently some time after the “Hello, nice to meet you,” we became Facebook friends. We messaged a few times, and had talked about meeting up for dinner. Perhaps in my mind, this was just a hypothetical, probably-not-ever-gonna-happen scenario since Blake went to a college 90 miles away from mine. In his head, Blake was a little more committed. So, according to him, I cancelled on him in a message the day (night?) we were supposed to meet. (Hey, nothing good could have come out of a 23 year old driving 90 miles to have dinner, not lunch, with a 19 year old in a city where he knew no one else.) So he decided then that I rhymed with witch and we could no longer be Facebook friends.
Four years go by without a thought of that boy.
In the summer of 2011, I was again hanging around one of Blake’s friends, this time a former co-worker of mine from high school. He asked one night if I wanted to go to Blake’s house, I said sure, I hadn’t seen him in a long time. It was a great night, we all laughed, I thought Blake was funny, and we repeated the next night.
This was two and a half weeks before I was to leave for Costa Rica to begin my student teaching semester. And in that time, Blake and I developed a great fondness for each other.
I left for Costa Rica, and felt miserable. I couldn’t even enjoy the country like I should have because I missed my new crush so badly. Still, I tried hard to focus and tell myself that he was just that, a crush, and he would be there when I came home four months later. Meanwhile, we sent emails multiple times daily, Skyped almost nightly, and he even sent me songs of the day! I was impressed.
Then, being lonely and needy as I am, I made The Mistake under the justification that Blake and I hadn’t defined our relationship status yet. Shortly after, I sent some emails, shed several tears, made up some excuses to my professors, and hopped on a plane back to Georgia just 3 weeks after I had arrived.
sand letter
A few days after my return, we were already saying those three words. A week later on my mom’s back deck, he spoke the line I will never forget: “When we get married – not IF, WHEN – …” I was ecastic. Someone actually wanted to marry ME, someone who actually treated me WELL, someone who I actually WANTED to marry.
The first week of October 2011, Blake and I took our first trip together to visit some friends in the mountains of North Carolina. We had a wonderful time. On the way home, Blake and I had a heart to heart talk. We both opened up, and I heard him really talk to me for the first time about his father passing away three years prior. He told me how much his dad meant to him, and that he taught him many things. He also told me something extremely important: he had promised his dad before he died that he would name his first son after him, William.
In that moment I knew that if I ever had a son his name would be William. I accepted it, liked it, loved the meaning behind it. Even though Blake and I had only been dating a short while, I knew he was the one and I was so excited to be able to share in honoring his father’s memory.
Fast forward three months to my college graduation. It was a beautiful December day complete with all of my loved ones. Lunch afterwards with my papaw, mom, and Blake was great. I left with Blake.
Because I had been a little worried, to be on the safe side, I took a pregnancy test that evening that read… PREGNANT.
Wait, what does that say?
 Oh my God.
After riding the roller coaster of emotions of that night, the next evening, Blake and I went to dinner. On the way, we were discussing our options. “I know it’s crazy and scary, but I can’t help but think, what if it’s little William in there?” He squeezed my hand and gave me a soft, adoring half smile that said, you remembered.
THANK GOD IN HEAVEN – AND BLAKE’S SISTER AND MOTHER – we decided to stay pregnant.
We began attending church together in January.
Blake and I got married on the beach in Panama City, Florida on March 4, 2012.
On April 3, 2012, Blake’s mom, sister, and my mom all joined us in the ultrasound room to find out the gender of the baby.
“Here’s the femur, here’s the shin bone, the feet…”
“Now do you want to know the sex of the baby?”
“YES!” I think we all shouted.
“Okay…looks like it’s a little boy.”
Blake squeezed my hand tightly and we all cheered with tears in our eyes.
William Tifton McManus was born August 12, 2012.
What’s your story?

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