Story by Matt Kennedy
Brian Melton isn’t ashamed to say he might have been a little “full of himself” when he first got to know his future wife, Valarie. He worked in auto sales and had to project a little confidence to get the job done, but pursuing Valarie was an experience that humbled him, made him work, and made him a better person in the end.
At the same time, Valarie wasn’t sure about a relationship or making any kind of long-term commitment to a man. Brian stayed patient, though, and first got to know Valarie at a party she hosted. He was very much onboard with her plans to build a friendship and spend a little time together with no pressure or expectations.
That was just fine, Brian thought, because he just felt lucky to spend any amount of time next to Valarie, regardless of its meaning. What ended up happening is they started to bring out the best in each other. Brian wasn’t the cocky salesman in her presence, and Valarie slowly started seeing that it might be OK to think about love again.
They turned a corner together and just celebrated their 10th anniversary last March. They also have two sons, Thomas (8) and Samuel (4), who are now the focal point of their lives. Brian and Valarie started slowly and worked toward a life where they continue bringing out the best in each other.
“She is a good, loving mother and wife, and likes to really take care of her family,” Brian said. “She is open to learning new things, caring, understanding and loyal. She’s got a really big heart.”
Valarie shares that with Brian, and she especially has a big heart for her children. She works long days as a respiratory therapist, which are only getting longer in the face of a pandemic, but always has time, love and attention for them. Valarie gives both her boys individualized attention and takes them on little “dates” whenever she can.
Work is busy and nerve-racking at times now, so Brian and Valarie are as grateful as ever that the family is staying safe and healthy. And no matter how much stress or pressure she faces, Valarie is still there to spread fun and positivity.
“Everybody likes her,” Brian said. “She’s not negative. She’s got a really good, fun attitude. She’s a special girl, that’s for sure.”
Valarie is a special girl that lifts up Brian and their family and makes all of them better. He loves their family with Thomas and Samuel, and he appreciates that Valarie loves and accepts his other two kids as if they were her own.
Through hectic days at work and a full house at home, Brian realizes he probably doesn’t express that appreciation for Valarie enough. But he and the kids know how much she does to love and support them and make their family whole.
“I appreciate her honesty, her commitment and her loyalty,” Brian said. “do tell her that sometimes, but not enough obviously. She is an amazing wife and mother who is loyal and puts all of us first.”