Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Love Story

Hi All!!!
Thanks for keeping up with me and my life. I have great news to share! AJ and I were recently nominated as finalists for a multi-vendor wedding giveaway. We submitted our story. And I think you would all agree that it is a pretty good one. I'll post it here.

But please check out http://aflowerfetish.blogspot.com/ and vote for "Martina and AJ" in the comment box. I think it will show up as 0 comments right now, the blogger needs to approve. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE! It's super quick and easy.




So here is the story... Happy reading!

AJ and Martina:
AJ and I met three years ago while doing one of the things we love most—serving others. This was no ordinary encounter because this service project was defined by my Cambodian heritage and my religion. As we helped translate English and Khmer for missionaries going out into the field, a connection began between us. AJ admitted he was shy to ask me out and only with the extra push of a friend did he garner the courage to ask me out on our first date. So much has happened since the pitter-patter of our hearts began during those first realizations that there was something special between us.

Over our first year of dating, our love and ability to support each other through thick and thin grew and manifested itself through typical events and activities of college students, such as school projects, finals, and meeting each other’s families. Yet nothing could prepare us for the challenge that we would encounter in our second year of dating.

Our relationship grew exponentially when tragedy struck on February 5, 2009, the day that I was involved in a snowboarding accident.  I went off a jump during my snowboarding course and hit the hard and icy surface with such force that left unable to feel or move. I was rushed to the hospital on life-flight, barely conscious.  AJ was notified and he was there at the hospital as the helicopter landed. The doctors prepared to conduct surgery on me immediately. As I drifted in and out of consciousness, our fear of the prognosis increased because neither AJ nor I knew what to expect. Two days later, when I was conscious again, I learned of the severity of my fall’s impact. I had shattered aspects of my vertebrae, and severed my spinal cord. I would not be able to walk for an uncertain amount of time.

I struggled with my new reality at first, spending many days in the hospital crying in despair. I lost a lot of hope and questioned things in my life. I had a hard time grasping how I would be able to pursue my life goals, or how I would continue with my life after this accident in such, what I thought were at the time, unbearable, life-changing conditions. The lowest point of my life was when my doctor came to me and declared my injury, permanent.

I had my bouts of depression, feeling alone and hurt in this experience, as everything was happening so fast. But I realized how lucky I was because AJ was always there by my side. He came to visit me everyday. He even sat in the waiting room on the difficult days when I did not want to see or talk to anyone. He was always there to encourage me and help remind me that miracles occurred in different forms. He helped me realize that the miracle of this incident was being able to find myself during my darkest days, overcoming this obstacle, and also becoming a stronger person. While even some of my extended family members had their doubts about our relationship because of my physical state, our relationship grew stronger nonetheless. We have learned how to handle new challenges and have become each other’s greatest companion.

It has been almost two years since my accident. I continue to struggle with miniscule tasks of daily life, such as getting in and out of the house and using the restroom, which is why I often rely on AJ to help me with these daily tasks. He has been quite positive and eager to learn how he can help me, and he tries his best to accommodate me. Being with AJ through this life-changing obstacle has made all the difference, and ultimately, our love has served as armor, shielding us from the storm ahead.

Although we knew after the first year of my accident that we really loved each other, financial difficulties have prevented our marriage. We are both full-time college students and work part-time jobs to support our education. To add to our financial obligations, my medical bills during the months I spent in the hospital total more than a couple hundred thousand dollars, and our school loans have also accumulated. Financially speaking, marriage has been a difficult thing for us to consider, and it seemed like a farfetched idea. In spite of these financial burdens, AJ proposed to me this December, after three years of dating. Throughout these years, our love for each other has been severely tested, but has been solidified.

So far in the wedding planning process, we are planning a very low budget wedding, which will be enough to celebrate with our families and friends on this very special day of our lives. But this is also why we hope that people will consider the eventful journey of our love story, and help us have the wedding of our dreams.

AJ and I have stuck together through my difficult accident, and our love for each other has flowered to untold heights; we continue to face financial difficulties with inevitable medical and student bills, and our wedding poses additional costs; AJ and I feel we are deserving of the help that SAS and vendors are offering, and we ask for your help and vote. Thank you.

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