how the new guy saved me. a valentine story.

I was 22-years old and I thought my life was over.  I am seriously not trying to sound too dramatic here, but my world changed overnight and I was thrown, in a huge way. 

I had a boyfriend all through my senior year of high school (I know, totally stupid) that was a good guy from a great family.  We started dating in May of 1981, and by the end of that Summer I was head-over-heels.  He was different from other young men.  He was very strong in his convictions, almost pig-headed in my mind, and didn't swear or drink or do things that I saw a lot of other boys his age doing.  Cute too.  More like handsome, with thick brown hair and brown eyes.  I was a lucky girl.

We graduated from high school in 1982 and I stayed in state to go to a small private college, while he went off to Utah to attend BYU.  Remember, I was not a member of the church at this time, and didn't quite understand the draw of this place.  After about 6 months we had a conversation on the phone that had this as the theme: I can't marry anyone outside the temple.  Finally he was bold enough to challenge me to find out about his church, and why his family was close and focused and happy.  I took him up on the challenge, and by January 1983 I was making the 2-hour drive from the Shenandoah Valley back to my home to have the missionary discussions with his family.  It felt good and right, and even though my motivation, initially, was a future marriage, by the time I was baptized in July of 1983 I knew I had found what was right for me in my life.

We spent another semester apart, and by February 1984 he was off to Japan to serve a mission, and I was making plans to transfer to BYU, where I could be immersed in the gospel and the culture I had now become a part of.  Of course, I also knew that after a time we would be reunited and eventually married.  During those 2 years I wrote to my friend regularly, even a few times a week.  I confided in him about my new faith and my feelings of commitment to him and to the church.  It was a time of pure growth for me and I had purpose and plans.

Forward to May of 1986.  The homecoming.  I spent 6 weeks that summer in San Antonio, where his air force family now lived.  It was dreamy and wonderful, and I felt the prospect of joining them becoming more and more real.  We were engaged, and then I went home to finish the summer with my own family before heading back out to BYU for my senior year.

I stepped off the plane in Salt Lake, and he greeted me with anticipation.  Me and my big permed hair, hoop earrings, and worn out jeans.  Hey, it was the 80's and everyone was doing it!  Before the week was over we had ordered and bought the diamond ring.  The next day, to celebrate, we went to eat at his newly-married brother's place.  Then it crashed.  Within an hour of getting there he was sick to his stomach.  He went outside and I followed.  He looked at me and said it was over.  He didn't feel like he should for someone who was getting married.  He called it off, the day after the diamond.  We both cried.  I screamed at him (a first) which felt so weird because we never had arguments.  He took me home and I did an immediate reassessment of my life. Finish school back home in Virginia?  Move out of the complex where we both lived?  Stay in bed for the rest of my life?  After 5 years, and decisions that had changed my life forever, I was facing a new reality.

Six weeks of yuck.  I stayed in bed a lot.  I was starting my student teaching and it was all I could do to get through it and not melt into a pool.  Really, it was bad.  My almost-in-laws called me every few days to ask how I was.  How do you feel about the church?  Are you staying at BYU?

In mid-October my roommate, maybe out of sympathy, I think out of love for me, set me up on a blind date.  He was funny and 100% attentive to me.  He asked a lot of questions and told me about himself, so that by the end of the night I was happier than I had been in weeks.  The fog was lifting and I felt hopeful.  By Christmas I was getting flowers and phone calls back home, and by March we both used the "L" word.  Married by July '87, he still calls himself my rebound.  He may have been, but he loved me in a saving way, and I have been blessed to have him as my husband for these 24 years.  I am blessed and loved and happy.

38 comments

AnneMarie | February 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Great Valentine story! Thanks for sharing. And here's to 24 more years!

Momza | February 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

oh how inspiring! Thanks for sharing those tender memories. Happy Valentines!

BriannEm | February 14, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I know that story. It sounds a lot like my own. Except the guy I was seeing wasn't LDS. He seriously thought about it. Decided not to. Two months later I got the courage to break it off. A month later I met the man who saved me.

roxy | February 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Lovely story, Kazzy. It's amazing when life takes us somewhere better than the place we thought we wanted to go. Happy Valentines!

Stacy | February 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I adore hearing peoples' love stories. What a great one. Thanks for sharing it with us today.

Gideon Burton | February 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Rebound

what happens is you find the world is hard,
that things you thought would stay dissolve and leave,
that people you have loved can leave you scarred,
that there is always time enough to grieve.

what happens, if you let it, though it's slow
and indirect, is providence, is grace,
divinity so subtle, yet He knows,
and finds you as your hoping starts to waste

what happens is imperfect, yet enough
to stoke the embers of your dimming light,
another comes whose had his share of scuffs
yet when you are together, dark grows bright.

Rebounding all our lives from constant shock.
resilient as our fingers interlock.

I love you, baby.

Becca | February 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM

That is an altogether beautiful story. I'm glad you and yours have been happily saving each other for these years.

(*um, and holy cow - the sonnet? You win, sista. You win.*)

TechnoBabe | February 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

The first guy was wise enough to end the relationship to free you both to find mates to truly love each of you. Your husband sounds like a gem.

Julie | February 14, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I loved hearing your story and I loved reading "Rebound" on this Valentine's Day. Thanks for sharing this part of you two.

Melanie Jacobson | February 14, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Aw. . . you made me all weepy on Valentine's Day. Love this story.

Melanie Jacobson | February 14, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Oh, just your husband's comment. He is The Bomb.

Barbaloot | February 14, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Whoever says rebounds don't work out needs to talk to you:)

Kimberly | February 14, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Loved in a saving way. Oh yes.

So sorry you went through that hurt, but so glad you have that sorrowful contrast that your current joy can shine against.

Happy V-day.

Marianne | February 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Man. I never get tired of hearing that story. You guys are something special.

Marianne | February 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM

And HELLO!! G--tell Dennis I could use a nice sonnet every now and then...

Valerie | February 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

What a great story! You lucky girl, you!

Kathy Cowley | February 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Such a beautiful, sweet Valentine's story! I love it. Both you and your husband are amazing, wonderful, people, and I'm glad to know both of you, and know that you have each other.

Juliana | February 14, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Aww so sweet! Thanks for sharing!

T | February 14, 2011 at 5:22 PM

I love this!!! and the comment that completes it...

okay... so maybe me and my sweaty eyeballs aren't completely cynical today :)

Connie | February 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM

What a wonderful story for Valentine's Day! Glad he saved you! Love his comment.

Heidi | February 14, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Ah, goosebumps! Ain't life grand?

Bossy Betty | February 14, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Bless the broken road! Thank God for unanswered prayers and all that!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and the new guy too!

Lara | February 14, 2011 at 7:28 PM

wonderful story! I love the way life works...the network of choices that lead to things we never anticipated, but are so wonderful!

Garden of Egan | February 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM

I totally love that story!
I'm sorry you had a few tough years, but wow look at what you gained!

bricolorful | February 14, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Being a rebound myself, I can appreciate his love for you. :) Thank you for sharing your personal introspection. Your rebound himself mentioned it in class today fondly and I had to take a peek ;)

Joanie | February 14, 2011 at 9:32 PM

I loved hearing this story again. Hope you and Gid had a wonderful Valentie's Day.

Miss Brandy | February 14, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Well now you've both got me teary eyed! You are so wonderful and have the BEST family!!!! Thank-goodness you didn't marry old what's-his-face!

The Way I See It | February 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I love the ending to your love story.

Rebecca | February 14, 2011 at 11:54 PM

What a beautiful story! Goes to show how a rose can grow out of a pile of. . .dirt. This post made my heart smile. You both are such a sweet couple!

LisAway | February 15, 2011 at 2:35 AM

What a wonderful story! I can't imagine the pain of that kind of rejection (not sure that's the right word--at least a change in the biggest plans of your life) but I bet it was worth the happiness you found for your ever after! And his sonnet made me feel tearful. SO awesome.

Jenny | February 15, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Beautiful, inspiring, and well said!

*~Petra~* | February 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Wow, that is amazing story! And thank heavens I didn't miss seeing his comment. You are one blessed lady. :)

wendy | February 16, 2011 at 1:47 PM

although that must..we I KNOW it was, very painful for you, aren't you glad he didn't go through with it if 'SOMETHING WITHIN HIMSELF' just didn't feel right.
see....I married my first husband KNOWING it wasn't right for me, but did it anyway.
not a good idea.
and look at what you have now. I know your husband must adore you as do your kids.

crazy how things happen sometimes.

wendy | February 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

ok. your husband is awesome.
what great words of love from Mr. Rebound.

Charlotte | February 16, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I love this story. Very sweet.

Erin | February 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Awww! What a neat story! (Those few weeks were miserable, of course, but I guess sometimes we have to experience the miserable so we can also experience euphoria.) Thanks for sharing.

Lola Sharp | February 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM

This story and its honesty moved me, K. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Also, I hope you give extra hugs to your roommate who introduced you to your husband. :)

Love,
Lola

Bonnie | February 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Been thinking after Sunday's lesson about how healing miracles are like pushing the reset button, letting people start over, how repentance and tragedy are sometimes similarly "resets." This was beautiful. It helps some thoughts lately coalesce. Thanks.