Alexus and Cooper

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How he asked

August 21st, 2016, my high-school sweetheart sent me on the scavenger hunt of any girl’s dreams. Instead of heading to date night, I walked in to find my amazing sister, mama, and future sister -in-law waiting with two notes and a half of a dozen roses. One note was Cooper writing to me about the fairytale hunt that was about to unfold, and the second card was clue #1.

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The first note read: “So today is the day you have been waiting for…the day you get the ultimate surprise you have been hearing about for over a month now (what I previously presumed was my 24th birthday present). But like all good things in life, you are going to have to work for this one! Follow the trail of clues to get you to a once in a lifetime surprise. Have fun beautiful and I will see you soon!! I love you, Cooper”

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Clue #1 read:”My bad side got that one…now my good side is jealous, so it looks like you are going to have to give me another one (the excuse he gave me when we he wanted another first kiss). I guess that torso wasn’t that elongated (the excuse I gave him not to give him another first kiss). Through my ugly tears, I guessed right and we were off to B&L high-school parking lot; the spot where Cooper and I shared our first kiss as little 16 year olds. There, my future brother-in-law, in his smiling glory, waited on me with clue #2.

Clue #2 read: “Our love is like this food…sometimes it’s sweet, sometimes it’s hot, but it is all the time good. The 1st of many meals I have bought. I should have known it was going to be downhill from there!”. This clue sent me to our first date spot, Wiz’s Eatery in downtown Batesburg. We arrived to see my amazing future father-in-law with clue #3.

Clue #3 read: “A business everybody is dying to get in!” That sent me to Cooper’s grandparents business; Milton Shealy Funeral Home. Through much much more ugly tears, Papa and Grandma handed over clue #4.

Clue #4 read: “The one person who I would die for you to meet. I know you are everything she dreamed my perfect woman to be and she is surely smiling down on us today!”. As if I hadn’t cried enough at the time, Cooper was sending me to his beautiful mama’s graveside. At her grave I walked up to discover another rose and clue #5 sitting on her memory bench.

Clue #5 read: “Been curing hangovers since 1941. Right by the place where I will be spending the next many years of my life basically living in (Lexington Medical Hospital).” This time, as if I wasn’t anxious enough, he was sending me to Grouchos Deli, our favorite American binge spot, all the way in west Columbia! If it weren’t for the “stall her” texts, we would’ve arrived a lot sooner to see my crying daddy, brother-in-law, grandmama, and uncle that had me my last clue; clue #6.

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Clue #6 read: “It’s always on the run. Catch it and you will end up in the Atlantic.”
He was sending me to the beautiful Riverwalk park in downtown Columbia, the town where I completed my undergraduate degree. At the end of this beautiful final spot, the absolute love of my life had almost all of our amazing families and friends waiting for me.

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Here, I walked to my last clue. Inside an engraved bible with my future name and our handy bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11, was a note labeled “The Finale.”

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It read “Over 7 years ago, I never knew I would start dating the woman who I would spend the rest of my life with. Our love story started out as high school sweethearts…then to making it through being at 2 separate colleges…then through a couple of non-thinking fools that were trying to screw up God’s perfect match…to moving 2,000 miles away to a 3rd world country where you prayed for the water to be on…and now, to this. These next chapters are only going to get tougher, but I promise to you and God that I will work hard every day to never let this love story end. I promise to make you the happiest woman in the world. Let me call you sweetheart, because I’m in love with you.”

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When I looked up through my tear filled eyes, he was getting down on one knee, and through a nervous voice and shaky hands he asked, “Alexus Nicole Blease…Will you marry me?”

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It was finally happening.

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This man the Lord had sent me 7 years ago was asking me to spend the rest of my life with him, was down on one knee proposing with the most special and beautiful ring, and was asking to make me the happiest girl alive…

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I said absolutely!

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Special Thanks

Judy Kay Bryan
Photographer