A little back story on how Harold and I first met/started dating-
Harold is very best friends with my cousin Tommy. Tommy’s mom Meredith and I are first cousins. Tommy and Harold are both from Georgia and I live in Florida. For a long time Meredith thought that Harold and I would make a good couple and Tommy agreed. One day Harold and Tommy were talking about red heads and Harold made a statement that he would never date a red head (little did he know he would end up marrying one), and just like that redheaded cousin Rachel no longer had a chance.
Time passed and one weekend Harold was home from West Point spending time with Tommy. Somehow I was brought up in conversation and sparked an interest (I owe whatever ridiculous and probably made-up good comments that were said to Tommy and Meredith) as the boys along with Meredith’s help plotted on how the two of us were going to meet, fall madly in love, get married, and how Harold and Tommy would then officially be family.
On September 13th, 2012 I received a very odd yet endearing Facebook message from some boy that I did not know and only assumed was a distant cousin as our only mutual friends were family members. After several Facebook messages and finally connecting the dots I was intrigued to say the least and only wanted to get to know Harold more. A lot of my friends can tell you how funny and random we thought it was that a very handsome cadet at West Point who is on the baseball team was randomly (or not so randomly) messaging me. After a funny incident thanks to Tommy, Harold got my number and we texted for 2 days non-stop before Harold called me for the first time.
It was a Sunday night and I had just gotten out of my sorority chapter when my phone started vibrating, I was excited and terrified at the same time. That night we talked for 6 straight hours on the phone and must have learned just about everything important about each other. As crazy as it seems this was certainly the pivotal moment when we both knew that whatever was going on between us was very different than anything that we ever knew or expected. We talked about our families, our goals, God, our past, and a lot about the difference between sorority and West Point life.
From that day on Harold and I talked on the phone and started video chatting for hours each night (he was basically a superhero for staying up all night talking to me and waking up only hours later for formation). I had invited him to my sorority date function in November and this was going to be the first time we met in person. Once again I was out of the loop as Harold decided to come up with a whole new plan to surprise me on October 20th. He contacted my two littles in my sorority and planned for me to “go to the beach” with my little Morgan for the weekend. That night I went over to Morgan’s and my other little Lauren decided to stop by to introduce me to the guy that she was talking to at the time (now her boyfriend). That day Harold had told me that he was going into the city with the boys and would not be able to talk to me until very late at night, I didn’t even think twice about it. A little after midnight Harold finally called and just a few seconds into our phone call Lauren and Greg walked in the door. Trying to be polite I told Harold that I would call him back once I was able to meet Greg, he replied with “Why would you call me back when I am already here,” and opened the door and walked right in. I was beyond surprised and immediately got up and hugged him (my entire body was shaking and lucky me I was in my PJs that consisted of an oversized camo shirt and running shorts with no makeup or my hair done). Later that night Harold looked at me and said “You’re my girlfriend” and I replied, “I am?” and in the cutest way he said “wait do you want to be?” and of course I said YES!
From then on Harold and I had adventures upon adventures as we met each other’s families and friends and fell in love. We are long-distance both from home to home and from school to school, but we fought through (and still are) the tough times because we know what we have is so special. While I love the crazy way that Harold and I came to be together, I did not share this story with you because I like it, but because I don’t want people to lose hope that a true loving and healthy relationship can exist. Love stories aren’t just for the movies or Nicholas Sparks Books.
Unfortunately too often people settle for something that they believe to be “the best I can find or deserve” and thus pass up the opportunity at finding true love. I could have easily settled in a previous relationship without even knowing I was settling because I had created an image of our relationship that I loved the idea of, and looking back we both would have been so unhappy if we tried to make it work.
You can have a crazy kind of love too. Our story is bizarre and very different but what makes it truly a crazy kind of love is how pure it is. As random as it seemed, I spent over a year before meeting Harold healing my heart and working constantly to be right with myself and right with God before I was even close to letting someone into my heart. He did not selfishly give himself to girls that he met, but prayed and waited for me. A quote he always liked and strived to follow was “be the person the person you are looking for is looking for,” and ultimately doing so brought us to each other.
Don’t settle for something less than what you truly deserve. Seek God first and foremost and the rest will follow.