We love stories. Every couple has one. One of our favorite parts about being wedding photographers is meeting with newly engaged couples for the first time and hearing theirs. The newness of it. The freshness of it. The excitement of it. We can’t get enough of it! But, at the end, our couples always ask, “What about you?” So, we decided to share our story, too. From the high school bleachers to the end of the aisle, here’s our story from “I noticed you” to “I do.”

Part 1: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Part 2: You + Me = Us
Part 3: Friday Night Lights
Part 4: The Little Black Dress
Part 5: The First Kiss
Part 6: The First “I Love You”
Part 7: Senior Prom
Part 8: Graduation Night
Part 9: Saying Goodbye
Part 10: College Days
Part 11: She Said Yes!
Part 12: Our Wedding Day

That morning. That hot summer morning. That real, painful mourning.

He loved her. His dreams had changed.

Jordan’s Honda Accord pulled up to Amy’s driveway. The same car that he’d driven her on dates. The same driveway where he’d kissed her goodnight. He was leaving for college in California. She was going to college in Arizona. They were determined not to let the distance divide them, and this was the first day of a four-year test. She waited there in her pink pajamas and monster slippers (the ones he’d given her as a gift). She pushed her elbows into her waist, crossed her arms at her chest, and rested her hands on her mouth, as if holding her stomach back from getting sick, holding her heart together to keep it from breaking, and holding her tongue in to keep it from crying out. She held herself. She glued herself together to keep herself from falling apart. (There would be months of that ahead for both of them.) She couldn’t hide her swollen face. She couldn’t hide that she’d cried all night. She couldn’t bear that her perfect world
was changing, coming to an end as she knew it – as they knew it. Her love story was leaving for college. His was staying behind. And there was nothing either of them could do about it. He squeezed her tighter than he ever had before. She always fit perfectly into him like a puzzle – now more than ever – and she melted into him. Her body gave way to her emotions. She shook and sniffled. Her muscles relaxed and became limp. He held on tighter, lifting her up for support, nuzzling his nose into her warm neck where her hair had stuck from the sweat and the heat. Her body emptied enough tears for a lifetime onto his shoulder, marinading it with memories. And, again, right there on that driveway, time stopped. The saddest season of their story had begun in the same place it all began, and neither of them were prepared for the pain ahead. So, in a haze of heartbreak, Jordan kissed Amy, and, for the first time, they said goodbye.

From the moment he said goodbye, something was wrong with Jordan, and by the time he arrived on campus for soccer preseason, he’d slipped into a deep depression that lasted months. He wasn’t eating much. He wasn’t drinking much. He wasn’t talking much. He dedicated every ounce of energy to being normal in public, and then he’d return to his room to sleep the day (and the pain) away. Life before Skype and smart phones and reasonable cell phone bills didn’t make it any easier. His text messages were limited, and neither one had free cell phone minutes until 9 o’clock each night, so he and Amy set up iChat dates to type to each other in between classes, and wrote letters and emails back and forth (and still have copies of them) to pass the time. At night, Jordan threw on his sweatshirt, walked to the top of the campus’s hill, watched the fireworks explode over Sea World, and talked to Amy on the phone for hours.

That was his routine. That was his new life. And he hated it. Every minute of it. Because she wasn’t there. He tried to snap out of it. He tried to rationalize it. Everyone seemed to judge it or wish it away. But he missed her. Plain and simple. He was suffering from the kind of depression that no doctor could cure: heartbreak. He couldn’t spend four years of his life living this way. So, he made the decision to leave. To come home. To abandon his dream of Division 1 and professional soccer. The critics were harsh. The voices were loud. The gossip started almost before it began. But he didn’t care. He loved her. His dreams had changed. He couldn’t live without half of himself. So, at Christmas, he packed up his Honda Accord and drove back to where he belonged: home.

This is a snapshot from a brief visit Amy was able to make to San Diego to see Jordan, when time stood still and for a quick moment, they were just Amy and Jordan again.

To keep reading, click here: Part 10: College Days

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1 comment

    Suzanne Taylor

    This literally made me cry...the fact he gave up his dream of soccer to fulfill a much bigger dream of being your warrior and future husband. I've read each of your entries about your story and I'm simply in awe. I wish we chatted at CONNECT this year. Your story is so wonderful. I pray my 17 year old daughter finds her true love and has just as an amazing story. Best wishes and may God continue to shine down on your love.