|First Date - August 17, 1984|
This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 28th year of dating. Inspired by my Canadian friend, Bonnie Way, who hosted a “Love Story Blog Party” back in May, I decided to share how my husband and I became a couple ...
First ImpressionsInitially, my husband and I were acquaintances at college, St. Bonaventure University – a beautiful small Franciscan University in southern New York State, very close to the Pennsylvania border. I remember him with a camera draped around his neck; he was a photo-journalism major and so, an active photographer for the university newspaper. We never dated in college, but it was very obvious to me that he was a good person. A man to respect. After our overlapping time at St. Bonaventure (1 1/2 yrs.), Chad graduated and became a Marine.
Five Years Later and 2000 Miles AwayFast forward 5 1/2 years … I was a teacher in Texas (New York had way more teachers than it needed and Texas had buckets of opportunity). I had taught for three years in Brownsville, and then decided to try out San Antonio. I had only been in San Antonio for about two weeks when my new church, St. Matthew’s, had a newcomers’ get-together. At this gathering, I met a pretty lady named Kris. As we chatted away, comparing backgrounds, we figured out that her brother and I had gone to the same college! Then, four things happened within about two seconds:
1) I asked what her brother’s name was.
2) I re-read her name tag … Kris Nelson.3) I thought to myself, I wonder if her brother is Chad Nelson?
4) Kris said, “My brother’s name is Chad Nelson.”
I think I knew at that moment. Perhaps I was not ready for marriage while still in college, but at 24 and about to start my 4th year of teaching, the time was beginning to feel right and I knew that Chad was likely as much of a gentleman as he had been in college.
Long Distance Phone CallsWithin two weeks I started getting long distance phone calls from Chad, who was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro in California at the time. He was an aviator, and happened to have an upcoming flight to San Antonio and so we decided to go out to dinner while he was in town. The following month he took a vacation to see his parents … who conveniently lived not too far from me.
Some Roses From St. ThérèseWhile visiting his parents, we spent a lot of time getting reacquainted. Chad surprised me with some airplane tickets; an invitation to visit him in California for Thanksgiving. I knew the subject of marriage was coming. But the rising divorce rate, hence marriage, terrified me. I prayed my heart out to St. Thérèse, asking her to send me a sign of a red rose at some point during the visit to signal if it was God’s will that I marry Chad. When I arrived in California, Chad presented me with a beautiful bouquet of 12 red roses.
Back in San Antonio after Thanksgiving break, quite insecurely, I asked my patroness for a second sign. One Sunday night I asked for a sign of a red rose from one of my first graders the next morning. Low and behold, one little guy had missed the bus and had to walk to school; while walking along, he passed a rose bush and felt compelled to pick one of the flowers to give me. My heart was flooded with amazement when I found that red rose on my desk.
Marriage and FamilyChad and I were engaged four months after our first date, married six months after that, and had a honeymoon baby nine months after our wedding! Two more beautiful sons followed and we enjoyed many years moving about as a military family. Just this past summer, our honeymoon baby got married himself and Chad – my very best friend - and I have now been dating for 28 years and married for 27!
|Almost 28 Years After Our First Date|
If you enjoy how-we-met type of stories, you can find Bonnie’s and a few others at her “Love Stories Blog Party.” And if you really feel inspired, you can add your own story: