Our Love Story
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The most important phone call of my life
On Christmas Day we attended a service at St. Francis Episcopal Church - where my maternal grandparents had been members, had a signature McManus holiday meal with all the trimmings and enjoyed the delight of my 5-year-old nephew Jack and his younger sister Olivia as they opened their presents with wide eyes and squeals of glee.

Later that evening, after dinner, I went down to my bedroom to make perhaps the most important call of my life. When I dialed Amy's cell phone, it rang in Midlothian, Texas, where she was visiting her cousin Jennifer for the day.

Providentially, when her phone rang, her parents were literally just walking out of the door, after having gathered for the signature Holzer holiday meal.

You see, not surprisingly, when Amy's mother Deanna had discovered that Amy was talking to me again since Hurricane Rita, she was legitimately concerned. After all, I had broken her daughter's heart once before. If I were Deanna, I would have reacted in exactly the same way. She was the mother hen protecting her little chick.

Earlier on Christmas Eve, her mother had said, "Amy, he'll never commit to you. He says he wants to get married, but I don't believe it," Deanna complained. "You say you're just friends, but I know, deep down inside, I know you still love him. He's selfish. Just move on."

We started out with some small talk. I had sent Amy a couple of presents in honor of the birthday of our Savior. One of them was a basket of a variety of Green Tea Lotions and perfumes. She wasn't wild about them. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right? I loved her honesty. I've never understood why people pretend as much as they do, especially with a spouse or a fiancé.

I couldn't contain myself any longer. I felt as though I were a tall mountain and the hot lava, from deep inside the molten earth, was ready to turn me into a fiery volcano. I just had to spit it out.

"Amy, I want to wake up next to you every day for the rest of my life. I am head over heels, madly in love with you. And I want to grow gray together with you. I want you to be my bride and the mother of my children."

There, I said it. And it felt so wonderful.

I heard nothing but silence on the other end of the phone. She was literally speechless.

"Helloooo! Are you still there?" I asked aloud.

"Well Peeps, helloooo, this is just about everything I ever wanted to hear from you. I don't know what you've done with Adam McManus, but would you please put him back on the phone? I can't even believe that you're saying this," Amy said, sounding almost faint. "My hands are clammy. I can't breathe. I think I'm hyperventilating!"

She told me later that she was thinking to herself: "Oh my gosh. My friends are just going to die. My parents are going to die."

That's right. Who would have thunk it? Adam McManus finally woke up from his 18-month-long self-induced coma.

We talked for four glorious hours. About how God had used my parents in such a dramatic way to confirm that she was the perfect match for me. About our deep and abiding love for one another.

And, in the midst of our romantic call, Amy, who was now holed up in her 4-year-old cousin's bedroom for "privacy", had to contend with all of the kids charging in and out of the bedroom, chasing each other, and making loud sounds with their new Christmas Tonka trucks.

"Amy, I love you and I can't wait to start our new life together as husband and wife."

"Adam, hold on a second. Graydon, stop hitting your sister. Matthew give that toy back to Hallie. You have to share with your sister.'

Meanwhile, I thought to myself that God had a pretty funny sense of humor. This was divine justice. I'm finally stepping up to the plate, professing my undying love to the woman of my dreams and she's having to act as referee with the little tykes in her extended family on Christmas Day.

"I'm sorry Adam. Can you say that again? It's just a little crazy over here."

Peace that passes all understanding
I went to bed that night and slept like a baby. Everything was right in the world. We had declared our mutual unconditional love, one for the other. What a gift. I thought of my favorite Bible verse. Genesis 2:18: "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for Adam to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" Amy would be my helper. And she was more than suitable. She was perfect!

The next morning I text-messaged her this line: "I love you Amy Michelle."

Continued >> The shock waves continued for Amy

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