'Bachelorette' Alum Emily Maynard Says Husband Shares Birthday With Late Fiance, No Longer 'Day of Sadness'
By Tina Smithers Peckham
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Monday was a bittersweet day for Emily Maynard Johnson.
The former Bachelorette star revealed that her husband, Tyler Johnson, actually shares a birthday with her late ex-fiancé and 12-year-old daughter Ricki's dad, late NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick.
Emily took to Instagram on Monday to share a series of family photos, featuring the couple with Ricki and their three sons, Gatlin Avery, 4 months, Gibson Kyle, 18 months, and Jennings Tyler, 2. The 32-year-old reality reality star explained that she can finally "celebrate this day again."
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EXCLUSIVE: At Home With Emily Maynard, Says She Never Sought to Be on 'The Bachelor'
"April 2nd used to be a day of sadness for me, as it’s the birthday of Ricki’s dad and it would remind me of all the celebrations his family and I missed out on," she wrote. "But because of God’s redemptive love, I’m able to celebrate on this day again."
She continued, detailing the kismet moment she found out Tyler and Ricky shared the special day.
"On our first date when Tyler told me his birthday I felt in that moment, as crazy as it sounds, God sitting in heaven smiling at me," Emily said. "Now, five years later, he is absolutely nothing short of the best thing that’s ever happened in my life. Tyler, to try to put into words how special you are would be a disservice to you, but I hope you never doubt how much joy and love you bring into all of our lives. I pray every day our kids will have your heart. And looks. :) I love you to all the stars and back. HAPPY BIRTHDAY @mtylerjohnson!"
Emily was just 18 years old when Hendrick died in a plane crash in 2004, just before discovering she was pregnant. Following his death, the I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love author got engaged to Brad Womack on season 15 of The Bachelor and later to Jef Holm on her season of The Bachelorette -- before ultimately marrying Tyler in 2014.
For more on the reality star's life following her stint on the ABC series, watch the video below.