Right around Thanksgiving in 2017, I got a notification on eHarmony about a cute blond with green eyes. Smiles were exchanged.
Over the course of the next month or so, Laura and I chatted online. We learned tidbits about our interests, family, faith, work, and pets. I’ll admit that I was hesitant, I was nervous about dating again. But as we talked and our conversation grew, I knew that we should meet.
Our first date was in late December, on one of the coldest nights ever. We met at a Starbucks in Canonsburg. I remember walking in from the bitter air and anxiously looking for where she would be. I found her in a leather chair in the back corner of the coffee shop, with her legs crossed and what I would quickly learn was a tea in hand. (Yep, tea in a coffee shop, always for Laura.)
When I sat down, I was blown away by her gorgeous eyes and smile. That’s what I noticed about her first, her eyes. I never actually made it to get my own coffee; we started chatting and never stopped. Before I knew it, she had to leave for a haircut, and she was out the door! I walked quickly after her and stopped her in the cold for a minute and got her number. Phew!
Since that first date, our relationship grew quickly. Many walks in the snow with Charlie. Over the course of a few months, I caught myself realizing that this time, things were different. We connected in a way that I never had before. Everything just felt right. We talked about it too. “It just feels so right, right?” We would say. I don’t think either of us could believe it, but we didn’t want to question it and just enjoyed the ride.
We spent more and more time together, multiple dates per week, sometimes. Then in March, Laura invited me to join her on a family vacation to Disney World. We had only been dating for a little over 2 months, but I was so excited to be with Laura and that she felt comfortable enough to ask me to join them. Honestly, I would have, and still will do anything or go anywhere she asks me to. We had a blast. And I loved getting to know her family, which helped me understand even better why and how she became the strong, good, Christian woman that she is.
About a month after the Disney trip, things were still going great. I had scheduled a regular physical checkup with a new doctor, which I had been putting off for sometime, and Laura helped encourage me to find. On Monday, April 2nd, I went for my physical and the doctor told me that just to be sure, I should get some blood tests and a scan done. On Tuesday, I had the test and the scan and then Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, I met with the specialist to find out that I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and needed to have surgery the following week.
I felt like I was hit by a bus.
But Laura was there with me.
She was the first person I told.
She never left my side. Not once. She was amazing. A rock of encouragement. She was there from the day I got the news, through my surgery, and through my two months of chemotherapy that followed.
I’m truly thankful to God because I know that one of the many reasons He brought Laura into my life was that He knew I needed her to get through this trial. And now that I am ever thankful to be cancer free, thinking back on this journey that I never imagined I would have to go through, I knew that if Laura would stand by me through all this, she would stand by me through anything.
In other words, I needed to “put a ring on it.”
In July, just a few days after I finished my last chemo treatment, Laura and I took Charlie for a walk at Lindenwood. As the sun set, I stopped her on the hill, with Charlie as my wing man, and I got down on one knee and asked Laura to be my wife.
Our wedding was such a special day. There was so much anticipation and excitement leading up to it. The day went by beautifully. We had some rain showers for good luck (which is typical in Pittsburgh) followed by some great food, dancing, and enjoying the Pittsburgh Cookie Table. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We are now enjoying newlywed life, and are excited for what’s in store!