“Every year in early May, in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta, there is a great block party. The roadway is closed off, and you are given a bracelet. It’s always a great way to get the summer started. After spending a few hours with friends one year, I decided to join another group across the street.
A significant skirmish awaited me as I stepped outdoors. Several individuals were running in different directions, including a cop running towards me. It was total mayhem. I noticed a young man my age sitting alone on the ground with his head buried in his hands. As a result, I went over to see if he was OK. It was a decision that would change my life for the rest of my life!
As I soon discovered, the scuffle began when this man was attempting to break up a dispute between his friend Tim and a very unpleasant stranger. While telling Tim and the other person not to fight, the stranger sucker-punched him in the face and fled!
‘Are you all right? Let me have a look. I said, ‘Move your hands.’ I noticed blood on his face and hands when he moved them. His face had collided with the stranger’s fist, leaving a large gash above his eye. People rushed over, bringing napkins, rags, and a chair for him to sit in. The officer ran over and announced that an ambulance was on its way. As I held the napkins to his face, I looked around and noticed that his pals were nowhere to be found. He was all alone.
‘Hey, the ambulance is on its way. ‘Do you want me to accompany you?’ I inquired. With a shake of his head, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation. ‘No, no, no.’ It’s all right. ‘I’m OK,’ he replied. ‘Listen, when I was in high school, I had the same injury.’ It’s possible that you’ll be there till the early hours of the morning. I’d be happy to accompany you so you’re not alone,’ I informed him, recalling the 6 hours I spent alone in the ER following a cheerleading accident. ‘Well, if you don’t mind, that would be fantastic,’ he said after some reluctance.
When I asked him his name, he said Cody Johnson, with a T. ‘OK Cody Johnston with a T,’ I said with a giggle. When the ambulance arrives, I’ll accompany you and act as if we’re dating.’ I discovered a little more about this guy when the ambulance arrived, and the medic began asking questions. He was approaching his birthday, he was from Ohio, and he worked as a structural engineer in Atlanta. The EMT recommended that I ride upfront with his partner, a cheerful woman who immediately discovered I didn’t know the injured man in the rear of the truck.
‘Do you know who this person is?’ she inquired. I felt utterly humiliated and began apologising right away. ‘I’m sorry,’ she says. I was in such a horrible mood since he was alone and…’ ‘Well, at least he’s cute,’ she replied, cutting me off with her chuckle. ‘Perhaps he’ll get your phone number!’ I reasoned that the woman might be onto something. Blood and sweat were all I could see during our first meeting. Under all the napkins, I hadn’t gotten a good look at him.
When we arrived at the hospital, and I realised he would be fine, I began to examine him more closely. I thought to myself, ‘OK, he looks kind of tall laying there on that stretcher.’ I could see his glittering blue eyes as they cleaned away the blood. His deep dimples began to show while we conversed with the doctor. He was adorable.
His phone kept ringing while we were waiting. I noticed Rebecca’s phone number was being called a few times. I assumed it was his girlfriend, but he later clarified that she was a friend of his. He urged me to respond and inform her of what was going on. ‘Hello, um. Kristin is my name. Everything is in order. I’m with Cody at the ER, and he’ll be getting stitches soon.’ ‘OH MY GOSH,’ she said before I could finish. ‘I’M HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!’ Rebecca, his friend, steps in about 10 minutes later, phone in hand, camera pointing towards the bed, and giggling hysterically. ‘Do you mind if I photograph this?’ I’m so glad she arrived and had that brilliant idea because now we have images from our wild night together!
I added the two of them on Facebook after Dr Raj stitched him up and sent him on his way, telling them I hoped to see them soon. The next day, I received a wonderful message from that handsome injured stranger, thanking me for my assistance and asking if he might take me out to dinner as a thank you for being there that night, but only once his face had healed a little!
A few weeks later, we went on our first date.
He even joined me on a family beach trip the following month, and I believe it was then that I truly fell in love with him. During the vacation, he was a lot of fun to be around, laid-back, and got along swimmingly with my entire extended family. I could tell right away that he was a man who prioritised people, valued the essential things in life, and worked hard to ensure that he could live the life he desired in the future. I knew I wanted all of those qualities in marriage and knew he was the one for me right away. Since then, it’s safe to say we’ve been inseparable!
In May of 2012, we first met. Since then, we’ve gotten engaged in New York City in March 2014 and married in Atlanta in 2015.
In 2016, we gave birth to Sawyer’s first child in the same hospital.
Teddy, our second kid, was born in the same hospital in 2018! It’s turned into a custom.
It’s amusing to think that an accidental encounter could be so providential and irrevocably alter the path of two people’s lives. I thought I was assisting a stranger at the time. It turns out I was setting myself up to fall head over heels for the man of my dreams! I would have missed the entire encounter if I had left a minute earlier. He might have encountered a different kind of stranger if it had been a minute later. He might not have recognised me from the incident if he had accepted my offer to go to the ER.
The more I talked with Cody those first few days, the more we realised we already had a lot of shared friends. Indeed, we had been on the verge of meeting for over a year at several events we both attended! I genuinely think we were supposed to meet at the appropriate time after seven lovely years together and two beautiful children.
You never know what is ahead in life, but if you listen to your heart, pray hard, and pay attention to minor signs and suggestions, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself on the path that God has prepared for you.”
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