She heard the door to her Latin classroom click open over her professor’s voice.  She turned to stare at the interruption not knowing that moment would define the rest of her life.

Every love story is different and every love story is special – this one is special to me.  This is the story of how Sara fell in love with Bubba and Bubba fell in love with Sara – Mom and Dad to me.

He was late to class, of course, but his tardiness meant he caught the eye of the pretty blonde in his class.  He hoped she was smart, too as there was no way he’d pass Latin without some help.

img_4348As it was, there were not enough textbooks for everyone in class so they had to share.  Dad used book sharing as his excuse to call Mom.  He called to exchange books – it was Saturday and he asked to the football game that night.  He’d already called some girl named Elizabeth and been shot down.  She considered turning him down, too, as she didn’t want him to think she didn’t already have a date.  But his cuteness won out and she said yes.

It was an away game that required special permission from the dorm mother to return after curfew.  She wore a pretty dress, as the times required.  But my mother is ever sensible and wore loafers and brought along her pair of heels.  She wore the heels to the game and after he kissed her goodnight she decided to leave the loafers in his backseat – just in case he needed an excuse to call and see her again.

She need not have gone to the effort – as he called her again quite quickly.  She had to say no to his next date request – she had a blind date.  He was not pleased.  She went on her blind date and was miserable the whole time. But not as miserable as my Dad who called the dorm repeatedly wanting to know if she was home.  Apparently, this is where my sister and I get our jealous streak. After that, they were never apart.  One date and glance in Latin class – that’s all it took.  To think, if that Elizabeth girl had said yes I might not be here…. now that would be a tragedy.

They met in August of 1967.  She was a sophomore and he was a junior at Northwestern State College in Louisiana.  One night that November as they drove to dinner he said “I told my mother I was getting engaged at Thanksgiving.” To which, she replied “Why would you tell her that?”

He said “Because I am – whether you or are not.”

Romance was alive and well in 1967, folks.  Alive and well.,

He worked for two weeks on an oil rig to buy her ring and gave it to her that Christmas.  Eight months later, on August 24, 1968 they were married.

img_3942The rest is Woodard family history – four years later they welcomed my sister and then four and half years after that they made a miracle and I was born.

I’ve heard this story a million times in my life but it wasn’t until adulthood that I realized most love isn’t love at first sight.  Most of us aren’t quite as sure of ourselves and our decisions as my father was.  But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the idea that somewhere, somehow a door is going to open and my great love is going to walk in.

So here’s to opening doors….