Our Sweet Love Story

The first day I entered my master’s program I was so nervous, never in a gazillion years did I think I’d go to graduate school. The first day of class I walked into the classroom with a few others from my cohort. Our professor walked in (super late) and immediately said, “Each of you need to write your name and phone number down on five pieces of paper and then exchange each of them with someone in the class.” Really? I’m just going to hand my number out to some stranger, phffff? But I’m a rule-follower so I did as I was told…

I don’t remember this part but Lucas swears he was standing in line with 4 other guys, the only guys in the whole class, to exchange numbers with me. I’d like to think he’s right, because it makes me feel pretty! J I don’t know if that part is true but I do know that this guy walked up and handed me his little slip of paper with HUGEEEEEEEEEEEE letters and numbers on it. LUCAS ###-####.  He later told me he wanted to be sure I could read it (smooth move eh?). He started asking me if I needed a ride home after every class. After every class I rejected him. UNTIL one day my “good” friends J & D said they refused to give me a ride home that I had to ride home with, “the cute guy.” I was SO mad at them (I don’t know if they even remember this, but I sure do). He pursued me for a while before I reciprocated at all. However, I did tell my mom, on the phone one night, right after meeting him that I had met this guy and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. UGH! I was so upset because I loved being single, loved it!

But I just couldn’t resist his “charm”. He was so adorable and hot and smart and funny and hot! About this time is when I gave him the nickname GQ. He looked like he was straight out of GQ magazine!

We started dating and it has been a fairytale ever since!

Okay, psych, no it hasn’t. It’s been hard; we’ve already been through a lot together. He was deployed to Iraq just a few months after we started dating, right when we were really, really getting close and I knew I was madly in love with him. In fact, he proposed to me right before he was to be deployed, and I said no! I KNOW, I’m the worst person ever! Saying no to a deploying soldier? The nerve. Honestly though guys, I knew it wasn’t the right time, not the wrong person, just not the right time. We can laugh about this story now; even Lucas has said that he’s glad I said, “no” then.

His deployment to Iraq was AWFUL!!! I hated every. single. minute of it. Nope, not going to try to be positive about the whole thing because it really did SUCK. We both struggled tremendously during the year Lucas was deployed; it’s a painful subject in my heart to this day (even though you and I both know the story ends well). I was not a very supportive girlfriend during that time, I was struggling with my own demons in a big way and so was Lucas, thousands of miles apart. It was a heart-wrenching experience in every way and one I hope I learned from.

Lucas and I broke up while he was deployed (okay, that throws a wrench in the fairytale doesn’t it). We went our separate ways and tried desperately to survive heartbreak on our own and fix ourselves. Lucas battled PTSD and I battled severe depression. I am not going to sugar coat this part of my life; it was bad, so bad that I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for over a month. I want/need to share this because there is far too much stigma with mental health and I am a little tired of it. It’s like fighting any other disease and I’m so glad I sought help. It was another one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. I made SO MUCH progress and I really grew to love myself and find peace in my life no matter the circumstances.

Okay, let’s get back to the happy part, geez! Lucas had promised to come visit me when he got back, you know before we broke up and all. But this is one thing about him I love oh so much; he is 100% a man of his word! He called me, a few months after we had broken up, and he had been home from Iraq for a month or so, and asked if he could still come visit me? I WAS SO CONFUSED. I had FINALLY moved on, built up my strength, and even started dating a little bit again. I thought over his request for a while, decided there was no way he was coming back into my life but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I should “let” him come.

Lucas came and it was awkward for about 30 minutes. Then he just reached over and held me and it was like everything was the way it was supposed to be in the world. BUT I did hold him at arms-length for a while, and I think he did the same with me. We took it slow as we really did have to build up our relationship again.

I can tell you this much, our relationship was never, ever the same. Everything was on a new level, a higher level; we were stronger as a couple than we’d ever been before. Our love grew and grew and Lucas finally got the nerve to propose to me again (that’s got to be hard for a guy when he’s already been rejected once before).

The Proposal

I had moved to Louisiana, I took a job at Louisiana Tech University at the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness as the Program’s Manager. I loved this job and it also let me be closer to Lucas while he finished his master’s degree. I had left Salt Lake, and my dance team half way through the year, but I really wanted to come back to Utah for my last dance recital. Lucas came with me, I always loved it when he was around to watch me dance. The first night of the recital, we had just all come back on state for the finale; I was dressed like Cruella Deville, wig and all. I snuck off stage to go to the dressing room to take my wig off (it was itchy and sweaty, J). My sister saw me leave and came running after me, yelling at me, to get back on stage! I was like, “What is your problem, holy moly, I’ll be right back!”I did make it right back on stage and my by now my mom (who owns the dance studio) was giving her traditional end of year speech. Then…she called me to the front of the state. I WAS SO FREAKED OUT AND EMBARASSED. She went on to say to all 500 or so people at the show how her daughter was such an inspiration (ohhh myyyyy gosshhhh). I must have turned 50 shade of red, I was SO freaked out. Then, all of the sudden, everyone started yelling and screaming and clapping. I was SO confused. My mom did not just say something that would elicit this so I started looking around but still had NO IDEA why people were screaming. The next thing I knew I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was Lucas. I couldn’t focus very well because everyone was screaming, especially when he got down on one knee. He had a mike in his hand but said nothing audible, the only thing the audience heard was, “You’re so beautiful!” I don’t even know if he ever asked me out loud but he put a ring on my finger so I assumed it meant he was proposing. Later on he read me a great speech he had written, that he said none of on stage. I’ve never, ever seen him so nervous. It was such a magical moment for me, one I will never, ever forget!

Just nine months later we were married in a beautiful, small, intimate ceremony in Salt Lake City. You can go here to see all the photos from our big day.

Lucas and I have been married for almost five years (March 4th) and we laugh because we feel like we’ve been married forever, like it’s always just been us! I would re-marry him every single day if I could. We now live in Salt Lake City. We love to do pretty much anything together, hiking, eating out, crafting, playing games, ride our tandem bike, and baking (well he bakes and I eat the baked good). We have a good like withOUT a baby; we just think a baby would be the perfect frosting on our cupcake!

The first picture we ever took together.
Tandem Biking

When Lucas proposed.

A trip to New Orleans

Snorkeling in the Mexican Riviera

Mardi Gras

At a banquet of the National Federation of the Blind

Our Wedding Day

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story Deja. I love how you put it all in words. I remember being there at the recital when he proposed. Though I didn't know either of you that well then, I knew it was magical. I love how much love you two have for each other!