This love affair truly began on August 10, 1977 late at night in Chillicothe, Ohio when Harold Harris passed away quietly in his sleep at the hospital. His soul left this earth to join the Lord in Heaven.
While waiting to enter the Gates of Glory, it is believed that he met a man, Theodore Roosevelt Brown of Ashland Kentucky, whom also had passed away this same day. Their chance meeting on the journey home to Heaven, would set in motion a love affair that can only be explained as a leap of faith, tears of love and a binding friendship intertwining two families for eternity.
As they journeyed to reach their final destination, these two soft spoken men of God struck up a conversation and bonded quickly sharing stories of the loved ones they left behind. They found a common chord; each had a young twelve year old grandchild, one a boy and one a girl, whose heart was aching for their grandfather. The men promised that the children would find one another and unite their families on Earth. The seed had been sewn and a promise was made. The men had God on their side because he had been listening to their hearts, the tales of youth and hopes for bright futures, hopes for love and happiness.
The trails would be separated by states; family dynamics; religious upbringings and life choices too but if there’s a will, there was certainly going to be a way. Somehow the paths of these two youngsters would cross eventually. Time passed. Each of them had grown up, dated, fell in “love” then had broken hearts. The freshmen year of college came and went with all the highs and lows of becoming adults and growing up.
The wheels would finally begin in motion when Monica decided to transfer to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where Tab was already a student. She met some fraternity boys in class and found study partners. This is the first step towards Tab! Her study partners were members of his fraternity and on a chance meeting in the Student Union while having lunch they are introduced and say “Hello.” They cross paths a few more times in the Union and spark up a conversation about how, per Tab, “Men take all the risk in asking a young lady out! They put themselves out there for rejection. Just once, I wish a girl would ask me for my number 614-xxx-xxxx.” Monica quickly asked, “Is that a hint? Am I supposed to write that down? Hold on, let me get a pen.” She has never forgotten that conversation, nor the phone number that led to it all. That evening she called him. They had made a connection and set a date! Their first date was April 7, 1987.
The seed that had been planted so long ago would now be tasked to be nurtured by someone special, Mary Rose Lucille “Wisconsin” Davis Harris. Three weeks after their first date, Monica headed off to Chillicothe, Ohio to visit with her grandmother, Harold’s widow. Monica had spent a pleasant weekend swapping stories, talking about her new Bo and attending her family church where her other grandfather, Rev. Melvin Woodard Sr., was the pastor. She said her goodbyes and headed off back to OSU when she found herself, 20 miles from town and her car broke down. She received a ride back to her grandmother’s home from a kind stranger. Stranded, scared and frustrated she reached out to Tab about her situation. He became her prince charming! He drove from Columbus, 45 miles to her aid at her grandmother’s home. Mary immediately took a liking to him. He had charmed the most important individual in Monica’s life and he had shown himself to be a true gentleman. Once the car was ready, Mrs. Harris whispered to Monica, “I like him. He’s a keeper.” Little did Monica know, she would be right. The seed was sewn deep! The two continued to date.
Now it was Monica’s parents turn to meet him after 2 ½ months of dating. Monica’s parents thought he was kind but her dad kept his reservations about this new young man wanting to be with his daughter. “What makes him different from all the rest?” he would ask. He quizzed him about his family; what he wanted to do with his life; where was he headed?” This behavior and skeptic approach went on for a few months. Monica’s grandmother spoke with them about how she saw something in this one that made him special. She told them she liked him from day 1! Then they eased into liking him too.
One night Tab tells Monica that he’s had a dream. The two of them will have three children – two boys and a girl in that order. Monica laughed because she only wanted one child. She told him it was just a dream. He told her no, it was clear. She just didn’t know how right he would be! Two years later, the two would be married on the same day as her parents celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. Shortly after, they see the doctor and an ultrasound’s scheduled. When they are told it’s to be a boy, a cheer of yes, yes, yes is heard down the corridor. Their first son would be named Theodore “Theo” Anthony Brown II and would be born on Monica’s 25th birthday. He would have the best of both of them. Almost two years later they welcomed their second child, a son named Grant. Then another two years and one week exactly they welcome their daughter, Courtnae. The dream is complete. Monica didn’t know how Tab knew, but he just did.
Over time, they kept finding dates in common between the two families. Finally, during a rare conversation with her father in law, Monica discovers that Tab’s other grandfather had passed away August 10, 1977. She is stunned for a moment, she knew that date! It was her own grandfather’s death on that day she remembered. It hit her that very moment, grandpa was looking out for her still. Too many dates, coincidences, people, her children falling in line like dominoes. There must be a reason and she had discovered the magic that was making it happen. She shared her discovery with her Grandma Mary to only receive a smile. She said, “I knew I liked him from that first time he came to my home to help you child.” She felt that tug just like Monica and they declared it must have been a promise of love made in Heaven just for her!