Kaitlyn and Paul
How We Met
I met Paul in 2007. We had always been part of the same friend group but somehow never crosses each-other’s path. I was leaving our High School hockey game with a friend and getting a ride home from my her cousin. I ended up sitting next to this kid I had never met and we started talking. He was telling me about a girl he was dating and that he felt like their relationship wasn’t working out, so I gave my amazing 15 year old relationship advice on how to make things work with her. Apparently I was terrible at relationship advice because a year later he was asking our friends to set us up on a double date. We went to go see Bolt and we were the only people in the theater. I have no idea what happened in that movie because we talked through the whole thing. I had the best time and I knew that night I met someone special. I started practicing my signature with his last name a week later in math class.
How He Asked
Paul and I went though the rest of High School together. We went to college together and had a great time. Unfortunately, in 2012 Sandy hit New Jersey and both my mom’s and dad’s homes were destroyed. I had to leave school to help get everyone get back on their feet. I got a full time job in a town nearby and I told Paul it was important for him to finish his degree. He went back to school as I was back in our home town. It was extremely hard but we got through it. After he graduated he had a hard time finding a job. He decided to follow his dreams of joining the military. May of 2016 I decided to check off an item on my bucket list and went skydiving. Unfortunately, during my tandem jump the parachute collapsed and the instructor and myself fell 50 ft. I was airlifted to Atlantic City Hospital where I was lost twice.
I didn’t wake up for 3 weeks and when I did I learned that I suffered severe internal injuries, broke many bones and couldn’t walk. When I was finally coming to terms with what happened I got very distant. I pushed everyone away especially Paul. He was scheduled to leave for the Air-force in the middle of summer and I was in no position to go with him. I was scarred, couldn’t walk and completely dependent on the people around me. I told Paul to go and we’d figure out what was next later on in life. But he didn’t take no for an answer. He pushed to see me as much as possible. He would come and watch Stranger Things with me and paint my toe nails since I couldn’t reach. He would take me out in my wheelchair for ice cream and dinners. He never let me feel uncomfortable in public. He even carried me on the beach and carried me into the water because he wanted to make sure I was able to feel the Ocean at least once.
The time came when he was suppose leave for the Air-force and I still wasn’t walking and didn’t want to hold him back. He left and things were in an awkward spot. The months passed and wrote back and forth constantly. I was becoming more myself and he was doing great. December 3rd my sister was having her gender reveal party. She said she wanted to take pictures by the water. We were taking pictures and someone tapped me on the shoulder. I was scared to turn around because I thought it was going to be some guy trying to get in our picture. I turned around and it was Paul. And I was walking. I held onto him forever and when I finally let go he gave me a bouquet and got down on one knee.
He gave me the most beautiful ring and my first thing I say is..”Thank God I got my nails done!” I’m great at making moments awkward. My entire family was their and in on the secret. And to top it off he was stationed in New Jersey. Although there’s still a lot of hurdles we need to get through, I am so lucky and happy he fought for me even though I didn’t feel like I was enough.