Five years ago we said “I do.” Funny that I’ve never posted our whole story here, so without further delay…
The Abridged Version:
Congratulations eHarmony, yet another success story! God, thank you for answering many, many years of prayers.
The Unabridged Version:
Captivated by her fascinating profile during the Spring Break free communication weekend in March 2010, Mike initiated communication with Lisa. Unable to see his photos, yet impressed by his choice of heroes, Jesus and Superman, she reciprocated. The normal progression of technology-based dating thus ensued: emailing, texting, phone calling, all leading up to the hot-beverage based first date.
With entirely too much in common and always an abundance of laughter, the connection grew deeper. This man, who was very attentive to this woman’s interests, planned many memorable dates in a wholehearted effort to woo and pursue her.
In April, shortly after the relationship began, issues began to arise with Lisa’s Mom’s health. When Lisa received the news that the Doctor wanted to do more testing that fateful April night, Mike separately but simultaneously could not shake the inclination to go light a candle in St. Monica’s Marian Chapel. Without even talking that night, the Lord was moving within and through Mike to help Lisa. A help-mate. In May, the test results confirmed that the Breast Cancer that Eve had courageously battled against in 2006/2007 had returned in her bones.
During this intense time, it was the prayer and support purely given and received that revealed the truth. It showed what was in heart of hearts of these two people that had both been in search of a great love for many years.
A whirlwind of travel and events were next set into motion. Here are the highlights:
- In July, Lisa took Mike to Florida to meet the parents – a first! Obviously it went well.
- In August they went to New York where she felt moved to return his “I love you’s” a top the Empire State Building, just like in Mike’s favorite classic black and white movies.
- In September, a family wedding provided the perfect opportunity to meet more family and friends in and around her hometown in Michigan. After meeting him and seeing them together, several proposed that Mike & Lisa’s wedding would be next!
- Over Halloween weekend, Mike took Lisa home to meet his parents. Something tipped her off that the family approved when Josie, his Mom, said she wanted “babies” and his sister wondered what the hold up was?!
- Thanksgiving was spent at Lisa’s parents’ home, during which Mike asked for her hand in marriage. Her Father’s only request to Mike was that he could call him son instead of son-in-law, since he was like his fourth son. Her parents later confessed that they had bought Champagne prior to their arrival, in the anticipation of celebrating their Engagement
- Mike & Lisa returned to Florida with nephew, Abraham, to celebrate Christmas. On Christmas morning, before Richard, Eve and Abraham, Mike asked Lisa to marry him. It was a magically memorable day.
Mike’s love and support became vital for Lisa and her family during the hardest part of Eve’s journey. As Christmas approached, her Cancer took a turn for the worse. And over the course of the next month, Lisa and Mike were called to really support her parents. Special arrangements were made, and many family and friends all rallied around Eve as she spent her last days on Hospice, waiting to cross more things off her bucket list. On January 23, 2011, Eve Sanchez was called home – 2 days after her 64th Birthday.
Our family and friends, yet particularly our Mothers played a key role in this journey of the heart. Eve came to love Mike during that short time, and it was a great comfort to her that he would be there to take care of her little girl – something she had prayed for since she was a baby. Mike’s Mother had prayed for the very same thing, and had encouraged him to not lose hope—that someone was out there for him. And Mary, Our Mother, continually was there to lead and guide them closer to love.
On June 24th, the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, we took the next big step along the way: we professed before God and our closest family and friends our love and life-long commitment in the Sacrament of Marriage. And thus the journey has continued, and more chapters will still be written to chronicle our story. We invite you to be the characters that fill those pages as well…