No one ever thinks that they will meet the love of their life in high school but that’s exactly what happened. It was the early 2000s when I moved to Woodbridge, VA to finish high school. As I was navigating my way around the new school I caught the eye of a curly haired cutie by the name of Trey. Trey knew my cousin and asked who I was. Later that day, on my way to lunch, my cousin casually mentions “my boy Trey told me to put him on with you.” Just as we enter the lunchroom, I see Trey sitting at the end of the lunch table. I looked at his hair both curly and poofy and thought ‘who is the chia pet’. I looked at my cousin like “really!?”. But fate stepped in and the two of us locked eyes. Trey had a smile so sincere he looked like a kid in a candy store and from there all I could think was “hmmm, interesting…”
After meeting in high school, we dated. Though we did not stay together then, we remained good friends. As we grew into adulthood one thing that we always remembered to do is check up on each other for our birthdays. Almost like we were subconsciously linked and staying relevant to one another as the years passed. Who knew that this little habit would lead to a lifetime of birthdays being spent together! In 2018, I entered a new chapter in my life. I was finally allowing myself to be more free, vulnerable, and spiritual. I would take weekly hikes at Great Falls with my co-workers. On one walk I can remember having what I describe as a “way too vulnerable moment.” I spoke about the things in my life that I would have never been comfortable saying to anyone. Putting it all out there, all of my insecurities, all of my hurt and unhappy feelings. I said them out loud and claimed that I just needed something new. God answered the sincerity of my outburst with the one thing that I needed most, a true friend. Shortly after that hike, I received a call from an unknown number. The man on the other line called me by a name that was an endearing gesture shared only between us, Renée. Shocked by the voice that I heard, I quickly told the caller that I would have to call him back. My heart raced and I felt confused. It wasn’t my birthday… I have always favored this man but was nervous that maybe this wasn’t the right time for me. Long story short, I never called him back. Thank God that he was persistent! Trey placed a second call a few weeks later. Not really knowing what to expect he broke the ice by saying “Dang, I’m still waiting on that callback.” The two of us shared a laugh and proceeded to catch up with each other. At the end of the call, Trey asked me to lunch and I agreed. While at lunch, we continued to catch up and share stories about where our adult lives had led us. This time it was me who knew that there was more to our connection and wanted to find out where this rekindled friendship would lead. Over the next few months, we talked daily on the phone and went out on dates. Trey was always a perfect gentleman. He was very clear about the vision that he had for our relationship. He wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. He was looking for someone that he could share his life with. Someone that he could talk to about anything and share his future with. Even though I wanted those things too, I told Trey that she would never get married!! In 2019, our faith and love grew stronger. Just days before we were scheduled to leave Puerto Rico, I found out I was pregnant. Scared that this news would ruin our trip and terrified of the unknown plans that needed to be made for our lives, I told Trey. His reaction to the news brought a calm over me. Never had I felt so loved, accepted, and protected all at once. This now meant that it was time for the two of us to merge families and the kids were introduced. It was such a relief for us to see how well our children were accepted by our new love. The months ahead were great. In July, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, and I was placed in the hospital for immediate observation. I remained there for 6 days before our son was born. Born early our son was in the NICU and we needed to be strong for each other and our family. Trey was the rock for the family and especially for me. Our faith grew stronger and so did our love! This experience set the pace for what our future would be like together. We are inseparable…Friends first, always supporting each other and having fun too!
The date was August 27th, 2022. The mood was set. Trey and I were on a rooftop bar overlooking the Santa Monica Pier. The lights, night sky and music were all just the perfect place to unwind and enjoy each other’s company. I was getting a little tired and asked to move on to the next place, but Trey knew this was just the atmosphere he needed to pop the question. He convinced me to have one last drink with him before we left. I agreed and Trey got up to “get the drinks.” Only when he returned his hands were empty. That’s when I noticed 2 waitresses walking our way. One waitress was holding Trey’s phone and the other had the drinks that he ordered. A little confused, I turned towards Trey and as I did, he grabbed my hands and began to get down on one knee. That’s when he said “I think that you have been Ms. Williams long enough. You have been Ms. Williams for 36 years and I want to know if you would like to be Mrs. Whitlock moving forward?” I was shocked and admittedly a little anxious. I snatched my hands back and demanded that he stop playing. I even asked if “this was a joke” and as I was uttering those words, he was pulling a box out of his back pocket. He responded by simply saying “baby I’m DEAD serious!” Unsuccessfully choking back tears, I said YES! Trey placed the ring on my finger, and we proceeded to enjoy the rest of our night! Here we are preparing to celebrate our union a little over a year later! Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Thank you for all of your calls of excitement and encouragement. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
Life is better with your best friend and that is why I am marrying mine!!! We both have always said that this was God’s plan, not ours! So baby, as long as you are rocking, I am rolling! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7