Bryana and Darnel

Image 1 of Bryana and Darnel

How We Met

August 2010 – I played volleyball at Savannah State University, and we had just finished my very first pre-season. My best friend Whitney and I went to a small informal gathering that the Men’s Basketball team was having. Sitting on the stairs, there was a cute guy that I had not seen on campus yet. I told Whitney that he was cute, but I was way too shy to walk up to him and speak. After ten minutes of her convincing me, I did it. I walked up to him and said, “I like your shoes”. That conversation about shoes led to a conversation about hometowns, families, interests, majors, etc. Before we knew it the gathering was ending, but we were just beginning. Darnel and I have been inseparable since.

how they asked

On Friday afternoon, my family and friends began arriving in Chicago for my graduation. I was obtaining my Masters in Counseling, and was elated to be spending the weekend with my loved ones. Darnel arrived on Friday evening, making the “crew” complete for Sunday’s celebration! On Sunday morning inside the gorgeous Chicago Theatre, I walked across the stage and obtained my degree. I was more than grateful that the majority of my family was able to witness this milestone in my life. After taking pictures with my classmates and family, we finally headed back to house that my mom rented so we would have enough space to eat, celebrate and relax after the graduation.

Image 2 of Bryana and Darnel

When we all got settled in the house, Darnel and I walked to a local pizza place and picked up food for the family. When we got back I was in the kitchen frantically trying to get the food set up so everyone to could eat. My mom was rushing my out of the kitchen for a family prayer, but I was so focused on getting things prepared, as I know we were all starving. I finally walked into the living room and my entire family was holding hands in a circle ready to pray. Usually my dad leads the prayer, but this time my mom said, “Darnel, how about you lead the prayer.” I instantly got nervous for him. He began praying and thanking God for bringing us all together to celebrate my graduation. At the end of the prayer, I began walking back towards the kitchen, but Darnel put his arm out to stop me and took my phone from my hand. It was in that moment, I knew exactly what was happening. Tears immediately began flowing!

Image 3 of Bryana and Darnel

Darnel spoke about how much I have genuinely loved him from Day 1, and the challenges we have faced. We have been together for 6 years, but 3 of those years have been long distance. It has not been an easy road, but as a team we were able to make it. The only thing that was racing through my head was, “this can’t be real?” He then got down on one knee and said, “I really want you to be the woman of my dreams forever and ever…Will You Mary Me?” As I fell into his arms I simply said, “Of Course!” Darnel asked my dad for his blessing the day before the proposal. My dad’s smile in the background of this picture speaks for his answer!

Image 4 of Bryana and Darnel

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