I picked Tricia up that Saturday evening around 5 in my beat-up, 1993, Chevy S10 pickup truck. Actually, back then, it wasn't such a bad ride (and if Tricia was going to be staying in NC, she'd need to get used to riding in pickups), especially compared to the dirty, worn-down, beat-up state it's in now.
Tricia had never had a "boyfriend" and had only been on a few (maybe even one?) "dates". That was a good thing, because I had not dated much either. A girlfriend in high school, another brief "relationship" that previous spring as a freshman in college, and a few unpromising dates here and there left me with little experience to work with outside of my natural charm and good looks...
I can't tell you how nervously excited I was. I used to be incredibly shy and quiet, especially around girls, and I can remember a time when too much good conversation with a new person would literally have my body shaking (like I had the shivers from being cold) because I would feel so nervous...I was very shaky that night.
If I haven't mentioned it yet, in my mind, Tricia was just about the most beautiful girl I'd ever met (and certainly had the luck to actually talk with, much less spend any meaningful time with). To be completely honest, my original "this is the girl" thoughts from our first meeting were almost entirely spurred on by her beauty, BUT, the little time that we had spent together since that first day had shown me that she had a personality to match.
We went to dinner at the Coastal Cactus where we spent at least an hour having the usual get-to-know you chit-chat. It was during this conversation that I learned that Tricia was adopted and homeschooled (she was still finishing up her last classes)...I had been homschooled as well for several years (and we both turned out "normal" I might add), so we had plenty to talk about...and that she was very serious about her relationship with God.
I also learned of Tricia's CF, which to me, at the time, sounded pretty scary. But, as she always does, Tricia made it sound like it was nothing more than any other part of her life...no different than her love for animals or her dislike for our "boring" beaches (as compared to the Jersey shore which is sooooooooooo much better, or so she told me)...it was just a part of who she was. That struck me, and I remember thinking that, if I had a terminal illness, I'd for sure have a different outlook.
After dinner, we drove over to the "Lost Treasure Golf" where I was working at the time (which meant I could get in for free putt putt, which all but guarantees a good first date). I really wish I had a picture... I'm pretty sure I behaved like an idiot...familiar surroundings and pretty girls used to do that to me (and still often do when it concerns Tricia). I'm sure Tricia would have lots to say about that if you asked her...
To say that evening did nothing to squelch my feelings for Tricia would be an understatement...I was still shaky after I dropped her off at her house and said goodbye. The only thing I remember about that night is wondering if she was feeling shaky too.
Young love! I'm glad you "caught" your girl! Thanks for sharing, Nate. Debbi/Aspiemom
I LOVE hearing people's stories about how they ended up together. It never gets old. =)
While you didn't mention T in this segment of your story...I mentioned last night, when I saw him, that I was starting to think he must be the most charming man around. He laughed, of course. I love hearing your story, thanks for sharing something so personal with so many.
pretty cute! again you are pretty lucky with you girls! its great to be in love and to remember those feelings you had when you first realized it! i love to do that often!
This is so sweet and your precious baby will love reading this some day! I'm a bit of a blog lurker but am still praying for you three all the time!
Tricia & Nathan,
first i have to say oh my gosh,what a head of hair,when my children were born they had to wait at least two yrs. & then I am not sure they had as much as your BEAUTIFUL SWEET Gwyneth Rose has right now !! =) =)
The new pics of your PRECIOUS child & your LOVE story just keep getting better & I am LOVIN' IT.
Of Course I am Still & Will Be Praying For You Guys
Your sweet Gwyneth is so beautiful. You and your girls are in my prayers....being fairly new to your blog (yet admittedly borderline stalker now, ha!), I find your family's strength and your honesty inspirational and humbling. Thank you for sharing your story.
I'll bet Tricia fell for you as soon as she saw your sweet ride. I tease my husband all the time that I only married him for his car. Thanks for sharing the latest installment of your story.
~Sara in MD
I am really enjoying this. :)
he,he,he. This is precious.
Great story of the two of you!!! It brought back very real memories for me as well. My husband and I did the same exact thing! Dinner and mini golf on our first date!! And it will be 16 years of marriage for us tomm.
I, too, am loving your "how we began" story. Although, I have to admit that while it isn't integral to the story, I'd love to know more about how the cf was revealed to you. I guess it's becasue I'm a cf mom wondering how my little one will handle this as she grows. First dates as a teenager are awkard enough, how exactly do you slip "Oh yeah, I have a fatal disease" into t he mix. I love that you said i t was just part of who she was. No big deal. That's what we hope for. As I've said before and others have too, Thank you for sharing your story...all of it. You can not imagine the impact you have having on others dealing with cf, and others who had never heard of it before they fell in love with Tricia and Gwyneth (well, and you, too, Nate).
Tami in Wisconsin
Oh, and the pictures of that beautiful baby with nothing on her face...breathtaking. SOmeday, Nate, you're going to have another BEAUTIFUL young woman on your hands, this time as her Daddy! And rest assured, there'll be some goofy guy with a pick up truck wanting to take her out!
I pray that one day I too will be blessed enough to find a Husband who will love God even more then he does myself.
We women just love it when men like us so much that they act like nervous funny men. It's CUTE (even though I KNOW men don't like being called cute). We're always flattered, and we always laugh, laugh, laugh at you because we're JUST US and flattered.
Love reading the chapters of your courtship! Keep 'em coming! Thanks for sharing, too.
You all have such a sweet story! I can't wait to hear the rest!
Thank you so much for writing this. I am reading it with that goofy look on my face that you get when you read about love or watch a love story on TV. The best part is that your story is real!
You are cracking me up. Can't wait for Part 5.....please don't give us any honeymoon details...(wink)
I love reading your story. You sound similar to my husband :) We also went to dinner and putt putt on our first date.
Gwyneth is a cutie. Isn't it great to see her whole face! When my boys had nothing on their face, I couldn't take my eyes off of them.
Praying for your family.
How sweet :)
Love reading your romantic story! ;-) It is fun hearing how a couple ends up together. Thanks for sharing, Nate.
I stumbled upon your blog today and have been mesmerized by the beauty and wonder of you all. Three beautiful people, inside and out. And such true love pouring out of all of your words. Baby Gwyneth is very beautiful--I'm so glad you got to get some pictures of her without her gear on so we could all see the precious face. I'm praying for health and strength for all of you and for the lung tranplant to happen soon, soon, soon.
I've really enjoyed reading your story! It is great to have a story like this. The Lord has blessed you both.
You definitely have a knack for writing - I can almost see this unfolding in my mind. I can't wait for Part 5!! My oldest daughter is married but I hope my youngest daughter finds someone just like you! Deeply committed to God and his family - the perfect guy!!! I can't wait til Tricia can start blogging again so I can get to know her better, too!! You guys (and Gwyneth) are in my thoughts and prayers daily and I also check on Alice. Here's to hoping you guys have an exceptionally great weekend!!!
Susan in WV
I love this!!! I was also homeschooled and hey I turned out normal, beside that slight twitch I get when I have to talk to people! J/K!
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