Shannon and Nolan

Image 1 of Shannon and Nolan

How We Met

Nolan and I met during my sophomore year at St. Joseph’s College. We were both members of different athletic teams at the school and started spending time together after soccer and basketball practices. He was funny and sweet and I really liked spending time with him. The day before Hurricane Sandy, he finally asked me for my number and when he texted me I responded with, “Who is this?” just to throw him off (I thought I was pretty funny). After ensuring him that it was me, we texted all day while the storm brewed. My family and I had stayed home despite the evacuation warning, and the last thing I texted him that night was “I think my house is on fire.” The phone died and we had to leave our house through the chest deep water to safety. That night, my family lost our home.

Image 2 of Shannon and Nolan

Sometime the next day, I was able to get my phone working and get back in touch with him. When I returned to school the next week, he surprised me with a care package of gift cards so I could buy food and clothes for myself. The months after that were very difficult mentally and emotionally for me, and he was there and supported me through every breakdown and panic attack. He never complained about anything that I needed, and the amount of care he showed to me was indescribable. We learned so much about each other and shared so many interests. After about a month or so, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend and I was overjoyed. Our first official date was at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, NY. We drove out in my mother’s not-so-trustworthy minivan and he was nervous the whole way that it would break down and he would have to meet my parents for the first time in this unfortunate situation. Nevertheless, we made it to (and from) the aquarium and had a great time together.

Image 3 of Shannon and Nolan

Since then we became inseparable. We watched each other’s sports games, made new friends, and did so many fun things together. We spent our weekends visiting other aquariums, zoos, attending concerts and going fishing. We both helped each other graduate college and make advances in our careers. We went on memorable vacations, gained new loving families and were there for each other when we lost loved ones. There’s no one who I’d have rather spent the last 5+ years with creating all these wonderful memories.

Image 4 of Shannon and Nolan

how they asked

This past St. Patrick’s Day, Nolan mentioned to me that his parents wanted to spend a weekend in Long Island with his goddaughter. They were asking what would be fun to take her to, and I suggested going to the Long Island Aquarium. We decided to go with them while they were there and get dinner with them afterward. Little did I know that while I was chasing a 6-year-old around the aquarium all day, he had this whole plan already put into place. Towards the end of our time there, he suggested we watch the shark feeding. While waiting, a diver went down in a cage right in front of us. There was no feeding…she held up a fish-shaped sign that said, “Shannon, Out of All the Fish in the Sea, Will You Take the Bait and Tackle Life With Me?” I turned around and Nolan was down on one knee asking me to marry him! I was so surprised and happy I couldn’t hold back my tears. I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!!

Image 5 of Shannon and Nolan

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