It’s near Valentine’s Day, and around this time of year, while everyone’s thinking of roses and chocolate, I think about weddings. About one very special wedding I attended, and, no, it’s not mine. It wasn’t in the grand fashion of Prince William and Princess Kate’s. But it is my all-time favorite wedding because it brought together a couple deeply in love who almost didn’t make it to the altar.
The wedding I want to tell you about involves two of my longtime friends. When we were in high school, my friend was voted the most beautiful in our senior class. Long dark hair, and eyes, she was simply …well, beautiful. Men fell in love with her the moment they saw her. What’s more, it was hard for us girls to hate her because – dang, she was just so nice.
Her life wasn’t easy. Many members of her family had gone through divorce. Perhaps that’s why, whenever any of the men she dated mentioned the “M” word, my friend put on the brakes and ended the relationship.
She was well into her twenties when she met my husband’s former roommate. To this day, I haven’t met a much better looking guy. With brains and charm, he’d make a perfect cover model for any of our books. He had so much going for him that in his senior year in high school, he was voted most likely to succeed. No, he didn’t go on to become a male model 😉 he became a mechanical engineer.
So you can imagine, when these two met, not only were they the talk of the town, they were simply the most beautiful couple imaginable.
The years passed and my friend and my husband’s roommate got closer and closer. It appeared that finally, finally, she would accept a man’s proposal and settle down.
Until the afternoon he went out dirt biking, rounded a corner, met a four-wheeling truck head-on. Tossed off his bike, he landed a few feet away without a scratch on him, outwardly. But, inwardly, he would later learn that he’d broken his neck. Who knew that morning when he walked into the garage to load up his dirt bike that it would be the last day he would ever walk again.
My hometown is small, and even though cell phones and texting didn’t exist back then, we didn’t need them. The news spread. We did what friends do in times of crisis–rallied around them. He was such an athletic guy–to be bound to a chair for the rest of his life was bad enough. But he further learned that due to the extent of his injury, he would never be able to have children of his own.
This was just incredible, beyond anyone’s belief. In a matter of 24-hours this couple’s life had changed forever. People held their breath and the tears began to fall. As you can imagine, he didn’t feel much like going on during that time and slipped into a deep depression. And the last thing he wanted was sympathy, particularly my friend’s, the woman he’d fallen in love with.
From that point on, he pushed her away. Hard.
He went away to a rehabilitation hospital, and because of the amazing shape he was in, he was discharged in three months. Members of the staff said that had it been someone in less stellar physical condition, it would have taken him months, maybe even a year, to recover.
He came back in a better frame of mind. He also discovered that although his life would be different, it was far from over.
Did I mention my friend is beautiful, inside and out? She never once walked away.
My husband and I were living in Colorado when we received the couple’s wedding invitation. The perfect couple was still perfect, and he was still most likely to succeed. To date, it’s the happiest, most emotional wedding I’ve ever attended.
They’ve been married many years now.
May we all find someone who loves us so unconditionally and with the same indelible spirit. Since I blog once a month, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day in advance.
Do you have a favorite wedding you’ve attended? What’s your story?