Wednesday, July 14

A Little Love Story... ♥



*Please forgive me for the lack of proper grammar or editing on this post...it is just me talking as if you were in my living room here.*

A lot of people ask me about this, so I thought I'd share it here.

Back in 1997, I was a divorced mom to my then 6 year old son, and at that point, had been in a wheelchair for 10 years. I worked for a company called Atlis Publishing -- no, not Atlas, Atlis, editing medical journals. Yes, it was a thrill a minute. (Not really.)

The last thing on my mind was a relationship.

Back then, everyone was using America Online for social networking, and I don't even think the phrase "social networking" was in use. Regardless, I had the standard profile, which listed my profession as "Editor" and would receive the occasional question about writing, to which I'd reply that I edited medical journals and was probably not the kind of "Editor" they were seeking. One such inquiry came from a guy who asked if I would just look over a little of the story he'd written, and if nothing else, give him my opinion as a reader. Since I was a voracious reader, I agreed.

It was really good and left me wanting to know what had happened to the main character, "Fully Wexler." In volleying back and forth over his story, I found out he lived in Myrtle Beach, SC, a place I'd enjoyed visiting several times since I have lots of family in the Carolinas. We ended up chatting online quite a bit, and at one point he sent me a funny photo of a recent sailing trip he'd been on. It was a ragtag group of guys on a boat, one of which was him, and I got a kick out of seeing it, and returned a photo of myself and my cousin on a recent trip to Deep Creek Lake, MD. I captioned the photo "Not bad for a crip chick, huh!" Since I was sure we'd discussed my disability briefly at some point and I tend to laugh, rather than cry, at some of the more tragic things in my life.
He replied, "What's that supposed to mean?" Then I put 2+2 together (I was actually reclining in a lounge chair in the photo, so no wheelchair!) and realized I hadn't talked about being disabled! Then I wondered why it mattered, or why I should disclose something so personal to a "stranger" -- but by then, was he still a "stranger"? Anyway, so I just went ahead and told him what had happened and that I'd been in a wheelchair ever since. He expressed that he was very sorry I'd had to go through something so difficult, then we moved on to another topic, and it wasn't brought up again.
Around Super Bowl time, he said he'd be in the Washington, DC area for a Super Bowl Party Weekend with some people he'd attended college with, and asked if I would like to finally meet face to face and have lunch. I agreed, but was a little hesitant to meet someone from the internet...it was all so new to me at the time. I told my sister all I knew about him, and when/where we were going to have lunch, just in case.
Then the day arrived, and when my doorbell rang, I went to it and before opening the door, jokingly asked, "Should I let you in? You don't have a gun, do you?" He laughed, and I opened the door, and at that moment, I literally felt my face burning with redness...I was BLUSHING! I offered him a seat, and then we just kind of sat there, staring at each other. It was so weird. *I am laughing while recounting this!*
To break the awkwardness, I asked him to come look at something on my computer in the other room, he pulled up a chair to my desk, and I was next to him, and then HE KISSED ME and it was like this huge EUREKA moment. It all suddenly hit me that I'd been falling in love with him all this time, but denying it, and apparently the feelings were mutual. I will say that a kiss was all that happened that day, as he is the most perfect gentleman in all the universe, but we've been "an item" ever since. I found out he'd researched all he could about spinal cord injury right after he found out I was disabled, because even though neither of us had expressed anything romantic, he'd already had a crush on me and wanted to find out all he may be getting into, falling for someone with my condition. I found this so touching, as I had been married to a man before, who met me after my accident and yet hardly ever asked me anything about being disabled.
We lived 7 hours driving time apart, so it wasn't always easy, but he drove to see me every chance he got. Even one time, around my 30th birthday, when my washing machine broke, he drove the 7 hours to fix it for me.
When he found out I hadn't been swimming since before my accident, and that I was now deathly afraid to, he took me to the pool, and picked me up, then slowly got in, holding me the entire time. He walked around, keeping me in his arms, while I became accustomed to how it all felt. Little by little, one trip to the pool at a time, he helped me shed my fears, and finally, I was SWIMMING and he was genuinely happy for me. He'd given me so much already, and now he'd given me back something I'd missed a lot.
This has been his way from the beginning, and still to this day. One by one, he gently helps me overcome my fears, never making me feel like a loser, or a scared baby; simply like someone who's being held up by love. He makes sure I know he's there to support me, while encouraging me to find my freedoms, defeat my demons, and live life to the fullest. There's so much more, but it's late, and I'm sleepy. Suffice to say, he and I are now living our "happily ever after."

28 comments:

Karen Mortensen said...

This was so sweet. I am glad you found such a wonderful man. You deserve all the happiness you can get.

Angela said...

This was such a sweet love story! :)

Laura22 said...

You are a truly lucky woman Michelle (and he, obviously, is an equally lucky man). What a touching story (not because of your disability but because of one man's ability to see one woman's strengths, weaknesses and humanity (and I assume vice versa). This does not happen too often.

jenny_o said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us, and may you have many, many more years of happiness together.

PoohsKitten said...

I never knew this! What an awesome story! You guys are definitely made for each other. *hugs*

Myrna R. said...

Michelle, your story is beautiful and beyond that you are. That's why you met up with such a great man. You both deserve happiness. Thanks for sharing such an uplifting story. Sigh. I love romance.

Michele Chastain said...

Hey everyone...I am so glad I shared this now. :) I have loved seeing your responses so much! I truly believe I'm one of those who've been blessed with special and unique love story. Our nephew recently got married, and they are so incredibly in love...and my hubby and I told them that getting married is like having a lifelong sleepover with your very best friend! :)

DLC said...

Michele,

I'm one of the lucky ones to have seen your relationship first hand over the years. You both are so amazing!!

Love you both with all my heart!

-Diane

Manzanita said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, wanna buy a duck. What a creative person you are and I like the way you tell a story.How wonderful that you met a man who loves and honors you. Ater 80 years of life, I've found that "honoring" each other in a marriage is the most important ingredient. I'm following your blog. Manzanita

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Thanks for visiting the Old School. You have a beautiful blog! I'm your newest follower.

Lua said...

What a fabulous post. Love is such a special thing & when it's found we've got to hold on! :) Thanks so much for sharing...[visiting from LBS tea party]

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

This is an awesome story. It's a great thing when you can write something that truly makes a reader want more, enough to go digging through the blog!

Leaza in Denver said...

Stopping by from LBS. I really like your blog...so much substance! Very refreshing compared to all the "mommie dearest" blogs out there. :) Thanks for sharing your message.

I, myself, have lived through trials and tribulations....uniting with my biological dad, dealing with a mom who suffers from MS, a divorce, etc... It's great to inspire each other...

Take care and keep blogging. :)

Leanne said...

I just came to leave you a note and I'm going crazy because I SWEAR I already left you a comment on this post on Wednesday. . . BUT IT'S NOT HERE!!! AUGH!!! I'm so sorry . . . I think I said something about you being the original "You've Got Mail" couple, or something like that!!! Augh . . .

Anyway - I am returning now after reading your comment on my "God Box" post and I just had to say that I completely understand when you wrote that He just takes care of you. I have told my husband that for years, that God always does take care of us. When we have been down to our last pennies and not sure how we'd get $ for Gas - we'd all of a sudden get a rebate from something in the mail that we weren't expecting. He ALWAYS takes care of us ... in so many ways. Just had to say that. I'm so sorry my earlier comment on this post is not appearing (you KNOW I have comment problems!!!) I loved this post so very much.

The Insatiable Host said...

I am not sure if this is the PMS talking, or the bag of chocolate chip cookies I am dreaming about. It possibly could be the pint of Haagen Daas that I have been pining after...whatever the fact may be, this has to be the single most amazing, romantic and true test of love I have come across in a while.

THank you for sharing this...amazing story. I love that you got back in the water! I love that you could use your washer and dryer after he fixed it for you...le sigh.

Oh, and thanks for findin my blog too!!!

Danon - The Insatiable Host

http://insataiblehost.blogspot.com
http://pantypyramid.blogspot.com

Joann Mannix said...

What a testament to true love! I've been wandering through your blog and I have to say, what an incredible story you have. To rise up, time and time again, in the face of adversity is so incredibly admirable. You are one amazing woman and I am in awe.

Kelly and Ryan said...

This is such a beautiful story! I know you and Doug have a wonderful marriage, and I'm so happy that you got your "happily ever after."

Janet said...

That is really a great story!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

misssrobin said...

What a beautiful story. You are truly blessed.

Marie said...

What a great story, happy every after indeed. :)

LBDDiaries said...

What an achingly beatuiful story! It truly touched my heart and I am so glad I came over here from SITS to check you out on your SITS day! I love love stories! Off to check your other posts out now - congrats on SITS day!!

Stefanie said...

What a wonderful story...and a great reminder that sometimes life gives you a present when you need it most - we just have to keep our eyes open and be willing to put a little trust out there when something like that happens. I am so very happy for you!

Marilenn @ StudioAlcantara.Com said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing!

Stopping by from SITS :)

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

How incredibly romantic! I love that he just leaned over and kissed you like that!

Happy SITS Day!

Cheers :-)
- CoconutPalmDesigns

CK said...

OH MY GOODNESS! THis story is A-MAZING! You've got me in tears, dang it!

CK said...

I just love what you say at the end about his love for you.

The BabbyMama said...

What a beautiful 'how we met' story!!

Angie said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

Happy SITS day! I'm sorry I missed it.