I met Cass one summer in St. Louis. We spent our days wrapped up in that spicy summer love we all crave, but at the end of the day it was always a meeting of two old souls. He grew up in small town Alabama and me in the northwest corner of Missouri. He went to Auburn and I went to Mizzou. Crossing paths has been the single biggest blessing in my life.
On our very first date, he told me about the worst day of his life: He was in his freshman year of college when he got the call that his dad, his best friend and sole confidant, had been in a fatal car accident. I’ve never in my life missed a person I’d ever met until his father. He was a big, fun-loving guy who loved his children to pieces. You can feel the impact his life had in the stories his friends and family tell.
On the first day of the New Year, Cass was driving me down to eat some king crab legs at his mom’s house – it was a family tradition. It was already dark and so, so cold out. He pulled off the road and into the Memorial Gardens off the highway Tennessee. He grabbed my hand and said, “I want you to meet someone.”
We stood there at his daddy’s grave and tightened our grip on each other’s hands in the silence. My tears streamed while he let me have the moment that I had silently craved since I met him: to meet his dad.
He let go of my hand and reached in the pocket of his t-shirt and pulled out a beautiful, simple ring. He looked at me and said, “I wanted to come to my first best friend to ask my last best friend to be my wife.”