Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and all kinds of couples will be celebrating their love for one another and the special things about their partnership. The fact that each story behind every relationship is truly unique is what makes love so special. With plenty of Valentine’s gifts leaving our studio over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting nostalgic about our own relationships and the memories we have.
Here are our ‘True Love Stories’. Today, Verity recalls how her husband Lex was always the one for her.
I first met Lex when mum and I moved back to the UK after years spent living abroad. I was the new girl at school and had been placed into Lex’s form. One day in class, I had explained to my friends that I was feeling very poorly. Later when I returned to my chair, I found a chocolate bar a note that said ‘Hope you’re feeling better soon, Lex’. I was so surprised and when the other students noticed and the teacher remarked that it was a sweet gesture, I will admit I did feel a little awkward and embarrassed. But as I thought about it, I realised that Lex had been playing close enough attention in the occasional conversations we’d previously had, to remember the things that I liked.
Lex and I continued to be friends and although in the back of my mind I think I knew that he wanted me to be his girlfriend, at that time I didn’t really think of him in that way. When we were in Year 10 we both went on our work experience placements, mine was at an art gallery in town and his happened to be very close by. Every day, he would be waiting outside for me at lunchtime and for the first few days, I was so shy I would hide in the back and eat my food indoors. Eventually, the manager noticed him waiting for me and went outside to speak to him. He found Lex to be very friendly and because he admired his persistence, he encouraged me to go outside to see him. For the rest of our placements, Lex would call by each day and we would go out and spend our break together. This is when I started to wonder about how I felt about him.
The following year before school had ended, we were officially a couple and we went to our prom together. Although we were studying different subjects, we attended the same college and spent all of our time outside of class with each other. Although we’d only been together a few years we both knew that wherever we ended up in the future, we wanted to be together. That fact would underpin our first big life decision. I had always planned on going to University to study textiles but the best ones were far from home. We eventually agreed that because the foundation of our relationship was built upon time spent together, it was clear that it something we were not willing to sacrifice. So we both studied locally and it ultimately ended up being the best decision for all of us, because it set us on the path towards the work and life balance we have today.
Around this time, Lex left home and moved in with friends, I stayed living at home with Mum and was helping her with the business, in the early days of Sparks and Daughters. Lex spent plenty of time at our home and quickly felt like a part of our family, spending birthdays, even Christmases with us. When Mum was diagnosed with Cancer he was constantly at my side, supporting all of us when we needed to pull together the most. His caring and thoughtful nature, just like the day when he left me that chocolate bar at school, was exactly what I needed.
In 2013 we moved in together and not long after we welcomed our first dog, Bruce. We both knew that we wanted to start a family, though Lex had always spoken about it like it was a far-off thing. So when he said he thought it was time, I was so happy. We celebrated the following Valentine’s Day on a weekend away together, our last as just the two of us. We were going to eat dinner in the restaurant but because pregnancy made me feel so ill, we ended up spending the evening in our hotel room. I took a shower and when I walked back into the room, Lex was stood there, with a lit candle in his hands, and written on it were the word’s ‘Will you marry me?’. I was completely surprised and wonderfully happy, of course, I said yes!
Our daughter Tilly was born a few months later and just as I always knew he would be, Lex is a wonderful Daddy. Now that we are three, time spent together as a family continues to be the glue that holds us together. We have been this way for more than half our lives now and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.
Next: Part two. Hear @nannasparks Deborah’s story about her second chance at love came with perfect timing