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This is our story.
{in a nutshell}

Joel and I met when we were just 14 years old. Instantly I knew he was someone special. We dated a short time but remained friends throughout our teenage years. I don't mean distant friends that say "hey" in the hallway. I mean we were glued at the hip (along with my sidekick best friend and 4-6 of Joel's guy friends all the time). We took youth trips together and I desperately tried to get his attention again.

 

We went our separate ways after high school, but fate would have it that when our lives were turned upside down, we would reunite and become friends again. For years we were in and out of contact, but in December of 2012 we finally got it right. By the following February, we were engaged with the sweetest proposal. We were married in September 2013 and we moved to Florida the summer after to look for better rehabilitation options for Joel after an accident that left him paralyzed, non-verbal and a ball of fire with his quick whit and sense of humor. 

In 2015, the internet found us by way of our re-created 1st Dance when Joel stood for the first time since his accident and danced with me to our wedding song. Joel began painting by mouth to help support us and I cared for him around the clock. Quickly, we found a means to make a life of our own. He used his profits from painting to put a down payment on our 1st home together in 2016- a sweet old farmhouse in Jacksonville, Florida. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started classes to adopt a child from foster care in July of 2017. By the following August we were able to call Freddie, the sweetest 14 year-old boy, ours. 

 

Hard times would strike again in middle January of 2019 when Joel decided to continue his hand at recovery and wanted eye surgery to correct his double vision. Shortly after, during his recovery at home, he stopped his battle with late, on-set depression and his earthly body, and cheerfully entered heaven's gates to walk the streets of Gold after a heart attack. 

Freddie and I are starting a new season of our lives, remembering what is behind us but striving to what is ahead. We are clinging to the words we have been left with and are eager to see Joel again one day, forever.

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