This is the story of two people who were still trying to figure out how and if they would fit together when their lives were changed forever and they fell in love. The two people? Me & my husband, Clint. I ™ve always wanted to tell this story and I never have. I ™ve shared how our entire story began with a bet. And how I gave him the just friends talk before we were even dating. But I have never shared this ¦ until now. I was in Austin for a long weekend visiting my girlfriends from college. There was Mexican food, lots of drinking and catching up on good times. I missed those girls so much. It was just like old times. Except it wasn't. Because all of their boyfriends were there ¦. And mine wasn't. At this point I knew I adored him & that I wanted to spend every moment with him. But he wasn't there. I gushed about him. The girls could all see it in my smile. They knew I was enamored and that he was someone special. Although I don't quite remember, I ™m sure they teased me about the non-stop texts. I didn't care because I loved being in Austin but a piece of me was back home and I missed him. We went to bed that first night and said our goodnights & I miss yous. He was going to a party with all of our friends and was really looking forward to it. I was going to geek out with my girls the rest of the night and go to bed. There were no I love yous ¦. Yet. That next morning I woke up to so many texts and phone calls. {paraphrased} Please call me back. I really need to talk to you, please call. Are you up yet??? It was early still, probably 8:30 or so but I knew I needed to call him. He's dead. Andy died last night. ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦.. His childhood best friend had jumped in his car drunk & upset and hit a tree. My heart stood still. I didn't know Andy. I had only met him 4 or 5 times, but I knew enough to know that he was one of the most important people in Clint's life. I ached for him. I wanted to hold him & cry with him. I offered to pack up my stuff and drive home. He insisted that I stay. All of the friends were together and he didn't want me to ruin my weekend. {how selfless}. I did stay. It wasn't the same but I was with my best friends and Clint was surrounded by people who knew Andy. They could do so much more for him than I could, right? How could I possibly comfort him the way they could ¦ we had only known each other a mere 3 weeks. But we both had that nagging feeling that we needed to be with each other. I drove home first thing that Monday and he was at my apartment the second I got back into town. Finally, I could hold him and cry with him. He told me that he had been counting down the time until I came back. I was doing the same. The days that followed are a blur of dinners with friends, tears, wakes & a funeral. It was a hard time and I felt like much of an outsider. People had lost their son, their boyfriend and their best friend and I felt a little bit like a voyeur. I felt that I shouldn't be watching all of these people grieve & be in pain because I didn't understand the depth of their loss. But Clint needed me, so I was there. He was a pall bearer and on the day of the funeral I got a flat tire leaving my apartment complex. I mean, of course I did. The whole day was sad and bizarre. But I was there for Clint and all of our new friends. And after the funeral was over we went back to my apartment to breathe and be alone. We talked about Andy and various other things. And that day, in the midst of tears and sadness, we said I love you for the first time. After that day we were never apart. We moved in together 5 months later, bought a house a year after that, got engaged the first night in our new house, got married a year later and found out I was pregnant two months after getting married. We always moved fast and possibly a little out of order but we both knew it was the right thing. Our romance was a whirlwind, one filled with so much sadness in the beginning but so much happiness in all of the moments since then. I once asked Clint if he had ever talked to Andy about me. I wanted to know if Andy died knowing that his best friend would be taken care of & loved. He did & I take a lot of comfort in knowing that.
One of our first pictures taken together. Clint is wearing Andy's memorial shirt. It reads "Firebirds - In Loving Memory of David Andrew Denning"

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