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Nick and Shannon: A Valentine’s Day Story

by Shannon Taylor Senior Investigative Reporter

Sometimes home isn’t four walls. It’s two eyes and a heartbeat. We met about three years ago. Our love story is not some grand, sappy, ooey-gooey love story, but it’s ours and one day when Nick is old and senile sitting in a nursing home, maybe he’ll look at this story, framed on his wall, and remember that we were once young and in love.

When people see love stories on television or read about them in books it’s always some exciting and passionate love story and, don’t get me wrong, we have that, but there’s so much more to it than just passion in reality-isn’t there?

We met years ago through mutual friends, but it wasn’t until a night a few years ago sitting up late with friends playing board games, that we realized that we wanted something more. Something in the way he grabbed my wrist…need I say more?

We were both coming out of toxic relationships and, what was most funny about us getting together, I think, was that both of our daughters shared the same name. What a coincidence that we both named our daughters “Scarlett.”

I was looking for someone that I could trust and who valued my independence, and let’s not get it twisted: someone who could put up with my attitude and sassiness. He was looking for someone he could trust and who wouldn’t cause him unneeded stress. We were both looking for someone that would treat our kids like their own. I don’t know if I have been able to not stress him out since my job is pretty stressful at times, but I do my best. As for the rest, we have both proven that we’re always there for one another and we work through the stress the best we can.

When we first met, one of our favorite things to do was just to drive around old backroads and talk for hours. We’d visit coffee shops and he’s drink hot chocolate while I had coffee, and we’d just talk about anything and everything.

After we moved in together, we involved the kids in everything we did and made it work, despite their age differences—my daughter was 11 at the time and his daughter was five. We’d go skating, bowling, to family fun centers, six flags and road trips.

Everywhere we went I kept a scrapbook of the things we did so that we could all look through the pictures and memorabilia later and think about where we’d like to go next. We have visited various places in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia so far.

When the tornado hit Dresden, we had only been together a year. Nick, without skipping a beat, saved my daughter from being blown away by the tornado. She had reached the bottom of the stairs first that night as we were trying to reach the basement and when she opened the door she was sucked out and we could see the tornado right behind. Nick was able to grab her and pull her back in. I will be forever grateful that he was there that night.

We’re not perfect. We don’t have a perfect relationship—we work on it every single day—and we fight and argue. It’s part of it, but the important thing is that we have always communicated and discussed problems that we have and listened to one another. We compromise. We work things out and do better the next day.

Nick has always shown me that he’s here for both me and the kids. He helps out with housework since we both work and are both often tired when we get home. He helps out with dinner, he pays attention to me, he is never demanding and stands up for me and he always asks me about my day. It’s more than that, though. He’s silly, he’s funny, he’s hardworking and he’s kind.  So, what could I possibly get for someone who does so much? Well, I am using my platform to write a Valentine’s Day story specifically for him to read.

Nick, there is not enough words in the world to describe how much you mean to me and our girls, but I want you to know that you are my world, my life, my heart, my everything. I am so thankful I met you and you make me incredibly happy. So, for this Valentine’s Day and every day from here on out just know that I appreciate you and I love you more than anything! Happy Valentine’s Day you crazy, wonderful man!

I still fall for you every single day, and if I could write about anything in the world, I’d always write about you. What a plot twist you were! It’s you, it’s always been you.


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