It was the winter of 1986 and I was eight years old. The stage that had held beauty contestants all night changed and suddenly there was a band. Five … or was it four… I can’t be sure… teenage boys filled the stage. I don’t remember much about that night except one thing – A blonde boy who was sixteen on that stage and I was sure I was in love with him.

My father was a teacher at the high school so I sent my mother to get the band’s signature. Not because they were famous because they weren’t – after that night they’d never perform again. They were a simple high school rock band. But that blonde boy would stick in my head for years to come just as his signature would hang on my wall until I became a teenager.

Time went on and whenever I heard my older brother or father mention the boy’s name I clung to every word. His life was one of adventure. I was fascinated by the places he went and I loved hearing about him.

Eventually I grew up and moved on in life.

Fast forward to four years ago, I received a hand written letter from the blonde boy who was now a man. He was congratulating me on my success. He too had a book published and he knew how hard it was. We had never actually spoken before. I still didn’t know him personally, I was just an old friend’s little sister, but reading his words was like closing a chapter from my childhood. I figured we would never speak again.

That was the history.

This is the present.

On September 1, 2015 I separated from my ex husband and filed for divorce.

The first of November 2015 he began openly dating a woman from his church.

Up until that point I hadn’t dated. I took his decision to date as my pass to send a letter to the man who had sent me one a couple of years ago. He was no longer the blonde boy from my childhood crush but a man who shared my love of the written word. We began emailing once a week about writing, books, and eventually life.

November 29, 2015, I was driving home from Nashville and stopped for the night to stay with my Aunt in the town I had grown up in. I asked him if he’d like to go to dinner to finally meet in person after all these years.

He said yes.

And as he likes to tell it, lightening struck that night.

He was by my side the entire month of December while I sat in a nursing home with family watching my grandmother slowly fade away.

He became a constant in my life. Someone I could count on and I missed him when we were apart. He made me smile and laugh, while never expecting anything in return.

In January, when he stood beside me at my grandmother’s grave saying whatever he could to make me smile while my heart was breaking, I realized I loved him. It was real and true love, not the little girl infatuation from 1986. So when I found out that I was pregnant with his baby, I didn’t freak out or panic. I knew everything would be okay. When I told him we were going to have a baby, his eyes filled with tears of joy and that was all I needed to know.

Since I filed for divorce, I’ve tried to keep things private but opening my world to my readers is a part of my life. My life is changing in so many positive ways and it was time I shared it with you. Our little girl is due November 10 and, even though the situation might seem less than ideal to some, we can’t wait to hold her in our arms. Things happen for a reason and I’m thankful for the gift of another daughter.