We met in May of 1999 when I was on summer break from KWC (Kentucky Wesleyan College). For those that remember me when, in March of that same year I lost my boyfriend Anthony to a car accident and one week later my grandfather (who I was very close too) passed as well. So needless to say I was not in the mood for a real relationship at that time in my life.
During college I worked for a restaurant chain called Tumbleweed, there's still a few left, but not in TN to my knowledge. I worked at the one in Owensboro, KY (during school) and Hermitage, TN (for breaks from college). At the Hermitage store I met a hostess there that insisted I meet her boyfriend's roommate. Since she was 17, she was a little set up happy and I told her again and again no. One day she begged me to take her to Campbell to meet her man and I had arranged to have dinner with another friend of mine (who was a guy, this is where you need Chaz's side of the story, it's pretty funny). Anyway I took the girls to meet her boyfriend and that's when I met Chaz. Which by the way Chaz and the girl's then boyfriend will tell you I tried to blow them off. But to Chaz's luck my dinner plans when cancelled. So Chaz invited me to dinner. I remember my first impression of him was that this guy is hilarious (which is still true today). After dinner, I went back and met my friend and hung out with him. I was told the next day Chaz didn't stop talking about me and that he totally wanted to go out with me again (trying to sound young and cool, here).
Since I wasn't in the mood to date I just kind of let him go. Before I knew it he showed up at my work again and again and again. Eventually I caved and went out with him again and again. I insisted that we just be friends and Chaz was fine with that (so he said). But before I knew it everyone called him my boyfriend and we've been together ever since.
When Chaz asked me to marry him, I think I was the only one that was shocked. It was quite funny. He was getting ready for his first deployment and that might have been his catalyst but whatever it was I am glad he did it. I told him I wouldn't marry him until we got through that first deployment. I was scared I couldn't hack it as a Army wife. We decided I would finish my last semester of college and then marry him after he returned. He left on Aug 16 2000 and I went and finished my last semester. We had originally planned to get married in June 2001, but on Labor Day 2000 Chaz called me and said he wasn't waiting that long. He wanted to get married as soon as he got back. So I voted we just go to the Justice of the Peace and get it over with and then take a big trip. He thought that over called again and scratched that plan too. So on my Christmas Break I went to that cute little chapel on Briley Pkwy and decided it was small enough for me and large enough for him. I have to be honest I just wanted it to me, him and a few witnesses. My college friends and mom and sister will tell you all about this. But my cute hubby vetoed me and invited his entire company and at least half of the state of Oklahoma and probably Texas too. Seriously Chaz invited more people to the wedding than I did. Looking back now, I think it's really funny, at the time he had me a little stressed out, But who's not stressed when planning a wedding. Oh and did the stress come (that's a whole other story). Somehow we both made it that church on Feb 23, 2001 and began our family. It's definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. We had around 25 people at our wedding and less than that at our dinner that followed. It was a great day!
In two days I am pleased to say I am tenured. It is now cheaper to keep me. Chaz has told me he'd be an idiot to let me go, I'd have to agree. But I cannot and will not imagine my world without him in it. For 12 years I have had to let the Army take him in and out of our lives and the one thing I am celebrating is that the girls and I can finally have him. This accident is only a tragedy if you let it be. Here's how I look at it. Chaz and I have always stayed true to each other because we knew that one day God would let us finally be together without deployments. Chaz is the love of my life. There will never be another like him and I am so thankful God made him for me. Someone in Afghanistan tried to take him away and they failed. They only took his legs. We still have him and most importantly his spirit. God has blesed so many brilliant people with the technology to make him walk again. God will help us on this road and before I know it, this will all just be a memory. I can close my eyes and see us at our wedding day, or see Deryn or Ryann when they first enetered our lives. All of those things happened years ago and soon we'll be able to say the same with this accident.
Thanks again for your prayers and support!