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Key to their marriage? ‘Pray over each other — and fix his plate sometimes’

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BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY

Special to the Birmingham Times

“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Barnett Wright bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

ROGER AND SHANNON EADY

Live: Pleasant Grove

Married: Oct. 9, 2004

Met: Oct. 3, 2003, at Legion Field during the Miles College vs Stillman College football game. Roger was a policeman working the game as security, and Shannon was there cheering for Miles College, her alma mater.

“I was at my post in the stadium, watching the game and Shannon and her niece kept passing back and forth to the concession stand, and every time she walked by she would smile and I thought don’t nobody go back and forth to the concession stand that many times, that quick, so I said the next time she passes by I’m going to make conversation… I stopped her and asked her to come talk to me,” Roger said.

Shannon remembered her niece saying “auntie, that guy keeps on looking at you, and I said, ‘I’m not really interested in a police officer’, so I kept walking. I was wearing some cute new boots [that weren’t broken in], so I kept on going [in a hurry to sit down] but I did say, ‘let me check him out one more time’, and that was when he asked me to come over and talked to him,” Shannon said. “The next day I was back at the stadium to attend the ‘Battle of The Bands’, and I saw him again… We exchanged numbers, and after that, he made contact and went out on a date,” Shannon said.

First date: The following week, at Ruby Tuesday’s in Five Points South, and then to movies at the Wildwood theater on Lakeshore after dinner.

Shannon liked Roger’s style, “he looked totally different out of uniform, he had on some Timberland boots and jeans and a nice shirt,” she said. “The date was very nice, he was a gentleman, the conversation went very well, we talked and laughed a lot. He’s very family-oriented, he talked a lot about his family back home [in Louisiana] and that was very impressive to me. He opened doors, we ordered the same thing [a fried chicken salad] and we went to the movies that night after dinner. He was very respectful of my time because he knew I had to go to work the next day and I liked that he was considerate. We also liked the same kind of music: old-school hip hop, Dave Hollister [90’s R&B singer] and 90’s R&B,” Shannon said.

“After we left dinner the night was still young so we ended up going to the movie theater at Wildwood and saw ‘Once Upon A Time In Mexico’. After the movie we rode around Birmingham in my Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, just talking and listening to R&B,” Roger said.
“We still watch that movie till this day,” Shannon added.

The turn: By January 2004, the relationship had progressed as they spent quality time, dating, working out together, and meeting each other’s families. Roger took Shannon home to Natchitoches, Louisiana with him in July 2004 for his family reunion.

The proposal: Valentine’s Day 2004, at Roger’s friend’s sister’s wedding.

“At the wedding, it hit me that this [being married to her] was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I got down on one knee, and said, ‘Shannon I want to do the same thing we’re doing here today, I want you to be my wife and my best friend, will you marry me?’ At the reception, they had cupcakes with little golden rings on the top, and I took the cupcake ring and told her I wanted her to be my wife,” Roger said.

Roger said they did not put on a show for the wedding attendees. “My bestie friend, his girlfriend at the time, and his grandmother were sitting at a table with us, and I did it right there in front of them,” he said. “Nobody else knew what was going on.”

“I was excited and surprised, he’s my best friend, he has the strength of a tiger and he is so awesome so I was happy to marry him,” Shannon said. “I said, ‘yes’, and he put the cupcake ring on my finger, and I gave him a kiss.”

“We still have that cupcake ring today,” Roger said.

The wedding: At Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Pratt City, officiated by the late Dr. Reverend Bernard Williams. Their colors were cream and lavender.

Most memorable for the bride was “getting married and having my whole family in one picture,” Shannon said. “Both sides of our families were in the picture, even the pastor, everybody was squeezed into one photo. It’s beautiful to look back on and see our blended family.”

Most memorable for the groom was the first sight of his bride. “When her father was bringing her down the aisle, and I turned and saw her coming I was at a loss for words, I was starstruck,” Roger said. “And when me and my groomsmen were sitting down in the waiting room, and I saw they all had purple cummerbunds, and I had on a white one, I wanted to know why I couldn’t have a purple one like everybody else,” he laughed. “It was a joke, we all still laugh about it today.”

The couple honeymooned in Atlanta and stayed at “a four-star hotel in downtown” Roger said. “It was the one upstairs in the CNN building, and that was my first time in Atlanta.”

Words of wisdom: “Pray, communicate, laugh, and don’t give up,” Shannon said. “You have to pray over each other and don’t give up during the hard times. And fix his plate sometimes,” she laughed. “I was told that by an older couple.”

“You have to be a protector, a provider and you always got to pronounce your love for your wife. And as a man, sometimes you have to let go of your ego and not be afraid to show your true emotions. When you fall down, this is the person that picks you up,” Roger said.

Happily ever after: The Eady’s are a blended family with three children: Marcus, 35, and Myles, 22, from Shannon’s previous relationship, and Christopher, 28, from Roger’s previous relationship. They also have two grandchildren, Aaliyah, 19-months, and Christian, one month.

Shannon, 50, is a Riley native, and Fairfield High School grad. She attended Miles College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, and is currently in pursuit of her Juris Doctorate at Birmingham School of Law. Shannon works for the Fairfield Housing Authority as Executive Director.

Roger, 53, is a Natchitoches, Louisiana native, a Natchitoches Central High School grad, and is currently in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree in public administration, with a concentration in law enforcement administration and criminal justice at Northwestern State University of Louisiana [online] and is a sergeant with the Birmingham Police Department.

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