Love Story Finalists


****** Congratulations to Veronica and Joel our Love Story Winners ******

5. Aileen and Julian – Poetry Proposal

This is the story of how my husband and I got together. He wrote this poem and read it to me when he proposed 2 years ago. We got married last May.

This is a love story I wrote on my own,
my attempt to inspire you with a drone.

I look back and see how much we’ve grown,
And today our journey shall reach a milestone.

Let us remember how we began,
How I became your lucky man.

Once upon a time, at an alehouse we met.
We exchanged numbers, how can one forget?

From group hangouts to a few fake dates,
I thought to myself, what a cool mate!

On to nonstop texts, and talks past midnight,
things took off and it was mad tight.

Slowly but surely, the dates became real!
Bryant Park became our spot to share our feels.

As our relationship grew deeper,
I knew I found myself a keeper.Your heart is the kindest of kind,
Something that is rare to find.You are a true companion, lover, and best friend.
I am excited about our story and may it never end.I hope you enjoyed this poem of love,
Though words simply cannot describe enough

Just how amazing you are, how we have come so far,
And how we met randomly at a bar.

Here I stand without a guitar, and no plans to sing,
But let me tell you one last thing.

If you look long and hard up to our heavenly ceiling,
You might notice a flickering thing,
It shines, it sparkles, and it’s got some bling.

(Cue the drone flying in the engagement ring).

4. Brian and Evelina – It’s a Small World

Evelina and I first started talking to each other in the fall of 2009. I can say this because we have online text conversations dating back to October 26 of that year. We originally started writing each other in a facebook chat room with emails, as we were playing a mutual game together. That soon progressed to hours and hours of online chat talks, and eventually led to Skype calls. In the beginning, we didn’t know exactly what to expect, as we were both over 4,000 miles apart. I was living in Virginia, and Evelina at the time was living in Denmark. I had never been to Europe, and she had never been to the United States. But as time grew on, we would soon find out that there was a lot more in store for us than we had originally expected.

My Danish roots can be traced back as far as 1620, and my great grandparents first came to America in the early 1900’s through Ellis Island in New York City. They came to America individually and 7 years apart from each other. They settled in the state of Washington, and that’s where they met. Having these Danish roots was a starting point for us since Evelina was currently living there.

During the course of the next 3 years, Evelina and I relied heavily on emails, message rooms, and Skype calls where we could both talk. We talked about anything and everything. Having this type of relationship with only talking, provided us the time to really get to know one another in depth. We also found out how much we had in common, and how similar our values and goals were. In the beginning we both were struggling with the fact that we were so far apart, and how would we ever make this relationship work. But we couldn’t tear ourselves away from wanting to speak with each other as much as possible. I personally couldn’t understand how to maintain and nourish a relationship where no physical contact took place. We couldn’t kiss, hold hands, or even go out on dates. Many times over the course of these 3 years we had come to find out about some strange coincidences that we shared as well. Some of which included our parents being married on the same day, and how similar our lives and upbringing actually were.

We were both in college, and when I finally graduated, I had to make the first move and see what this was all about. I planned a two-week trip to Denmark to see this woman I had come to be so attached to. Evelina and I finally met face to face on December 23, 2011. We got to spend Christmas and New Year’s Day together, and we had the time of our lives. We were inseparable, and finally got to do all the things a normal couple took for granted. I was in heaven. The struggle that I was having in the United States with having a long-distance relationship finally made sense. I had finally found the last piece of the puzzle I needed for this relationship to make perfect sense. This is where I belong! I had come to see Evelina again in Denmark, in the summer of 2012, for a 2-week visit as well. It was during this visit that I made a decision to propose to her. I bought a ring and placed it on her finger, and asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we both knew we still had some struggles ahead of us with figuring out the distance issue, and the time associated with that. We knew we were in love, and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I had finally made the switch, and got a smart phone. This way we could call and text each other anytime we wanted, not just when we were logged in online.

During the course of the next 15 months, I had some setbacks. My grandmother, and my little brother had passed away. When my grandmother passed, I received a small box of personal items of hers that was sent to me from Oregon. One of the items inside caught my attention. It was a postcard dated August 12, 1914. It was from my grandmother’s father to his brother. I didn’t understand what was written because it was in Danish, but when I showed it to Evelina, her jaw nearly dropped. The postmark on the postcard was from Sørbymagle, a town 7km from where Evelina lived. The town in Denmark (Slagelse) where she lived with her family, and the same town I went to first visit her. Little did I know when I first went to visit her that I was walking around the same exact town of my ancestors! The passing of my one and only brother was a tough life experience for me. Evelina and I had already started making some plans before this, and those plans included me moving to Europe. It would be tough for me to leave my parents, but they would at least have my brother close by. Now that I was their only child, it would be even more difficult. My feelings for Evelina were not the issue, as we both were very much in love and wanted to be with each other. I was struggling with the guilt of leaving my parents alone in a world without their children. I know I would only be a plane flight away. But I would lose physically being there for them and helping them when needed. My father just turned 70, and my mother will be 69 later this year in March.

Evelina and I both knew that we wanted and needed to be with each other for the rest of our lives.

Evelina has said early on in our relationship that her home was in Denmark/Scandinavia so I knew I was the one having to move.

Evelina did not want to move to the United States, so the only other option was for me to move to Europe and marry this woman I loved. By now, Evelina had taken a job in Norway, and this is where she is living and working at the present. I have come to spend time with her twice in Norway. For 17 days in October of 2013, and just recently for 28 days (New Year ’s Day 2014 through January 27, 2015). Evelina would like to marry each other, and so here we are. Applying for a fiancé visa, and getting the necessary paperwork approved so I can get a visa and move to Norway.

Evelina and I were finally married on September 24, 2016.  7 years later.  It was a wonderful wedding and was held in Denmark.  We are now living in Oslo, Norway and will be coming to the states in late June/early July.  I am a U.S. citizen.


3. Jacki and Ray – High School Sweethearts

Ray and I were high school sweethearts but the way that we met in high school is absolutely amazing and I love to tell my story!  I remember that I was a very distressed teenager and at the age of 14, I was suicidal.  I simply did not see another way out.  I poured out a hand full of different tranquilizers that I had been prescribed at different times.  I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up.  I asked God to reveal himself if he were there, otherwise, I would go ahead with my plan.  Almost at that moment, the telephone rang and it was my best friend.  She wanted me to go with her to a high school talent show.  She knew that I loved that sort of thing and if I didn’t want to go, she would know that something was wrong and probably thwart my plan.  So, I reluctantly put the pills back into their bottles and said I would go.  I could carry out my plan when I returned.
That’s when I met him.  He was 16 years of age and sat a few seats down from me.  I was smitten the moment I saw his smile.  I had never felt that way before.  I was so happy and it was as if he was the only one who existed.  I saw a light surrounding him, but the lights were already off in the auditorium and there was no light yet on the stage.  I still remember hearing the words “this is your husband” go past my ear as if on the wind. It didn’t startle me and seemed perfectly normal and I actually answered and said “oh, okay”.  Then, I looked around to see who had spoken and saw no one.  Everyone was looking straight ahead at the stage in anticipation, but Ray and I were looking at each other.  I changed seats with his friend so that I could sit closer to him.  We giggled and flirted and talked throughout the show.
Then, after the show I didn’t see him!  I was panicked and nervous.  I had to find him!  I hadn’t even asked his full name.  Fortunately, my friend knew it.  As soon as she told me, I went flying down to the school office and squatted down to sneak behind the counter where I knew the student cards were kept.  I opened a drawer that corresponded to his last name and pulled out a handful of cards.  I saw three with his name on it and did not know which one he was.  So, thinking I heard an adult coming, I took all three and ran, leaving a trail of cards behind me and an opened drawer.  That night, I called the number on one of the cards.  I was willing to call them all to find this boy again!  I asked if he remembered me from the talent show and talked about a few things that we said and it was the correct Raymond Harris the first time!
On June 2, 2016, we celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary and are looking forward to our continuing honeymoon of a marriage.  I love him so much and know that he is a gift from God.  Everyone has always said we were the perfect couple.  I believe that we are! The pictures are ones that we took together on a recent European cruise at ages 60 and 61.


2. Harneet and Avneet – Love at First Site

I met my husband, Avneet, through an online Indian matrimonial website. I had been a member for many years and was feeling fatigued as the process usually required a significant amount of unfulfilling effort. I was usually getting to know a number of guys at once as that was the only way to determine which of the potentials were really worth pursuing. However, some of the conversations were like pulling teeth, and I usually could not wait to get off the phone. I had gotten to the point where I was finally content with myself sans a life partner, but still remained a member on the site so my parents would know that I was still “actively” pursuing a mate. 

Avneet messaged me on the site with what had to be the most enticing pickup line ever used on a girl; “You should really read Atlas Shrugged.” The most ironic thing about all this was that I was actually in the middle of reading this book. It became our link, and we hit it off tremendously. Our conversations were free flowing and I never wanted to get off the phone with him. Even though we had such a beautiful introduction to each, our relationship wasn’t always smooth sailing but I have to thank my lucky stars that everything that stemmed from our relationship was the result of my heart guiding me and not society, parents, or the mind. I was able to differentiate between the voice of my mind and the voice of my heart, and it was the beacon of light that only the heart can give that showed me the path forward in the ocean of our relationship. I said Yes, had a short engagement, and got married last October.

1.Veronica and Joel – Puppy Love

Joel and I met in early June of 2013 while walking our dogs at our neighborhood park. For the first few times, our dogs would pull us towards each other and when we crossed paths, we would have short, small talk about our dogs and then go about on our own ways. Joel had a blue-eyed Siberian Husky named ‘Smoke’ and I have a golden colored Yorkie named ‘Bobo’. Smoke was a big dog that weighed 75 pounds and Bobo was a small dog that weighed 7.5 pounds. After a few more encounters, I decided to stick out my hand and I said, “Hi, I’m Veronica.” Joel responded with a firm hand shake, “Hello, I’m Joel.” Soon we found out that we actually lived 2 houses down from each other!

So we had lived only 2 houses down from one another and didn’t know it because for 8 years, I attended Butler University’s pharmacy school in Indianapolis. It’s about 3 hours away from Chicago and I would only come home for summer and winter breaks. I moved back home to my parents’ house in November 2012 because I had arranged to finish up my clinical rotations in the Chicago hospitals and clinics. After my graduation in May 2013, I had a lot of free time to enjoy the summer before I get licensed and start working as a pharmacist. I was really into running outdoors and also had time to walk Bobo twice a day. Little did I know, Joel had been living there for at least 3 years already at the time we met, but I did not notice him at all. Only after he adopted Smoke in February of 2012, I started noticing Smoke in the yard because he was such a beautiful dog with baby blue eyes, a smiling face, and a fluffy wagging tail.

Very soon after our introductions and handshake, Joel asked for my number. I gave it to him and he called it right away to leave me a voice mail. It was a very short and serious message. It went, “Hi. This is Joel. Just so you know. Ok. Bye.” He was making sure that I got his number in return and he made sure that I knew who called. However serious and unromantic-sounding it was, I liked and kept that voice mail. Later in the relationship, I even played it for his parents to hear and they almost died laughing so hard. They asked to hear it over and over again! They asked me, “How did you fall for a guy who sounded so unromantic?!” Haha. I answered, “I’m not sure, but I did not fall for the voice mail. I fell for the guy who loved his dog.”

Back to the story, Joel invited me to go play tennis with his friends. I agreed to go, but I felt uneasy since I did not play well. I showed up anyway and had a fun time. The next week he invited me to go watch a movie. I said yes without telling him that I had already watched that movie because I liked him. After a couple more informal dates in groups, Joel asked me out on a 1-on-1 to a movie. He asked me at the movie theater if I wanted to be his girlfriend. Of course I said yes! So we started seeing each other more often. After 3 months, I moved into his apartment, which was 2 houses down the street. The move took less than 30 minutes! It was also all on foot! We put everything on a flat bed and another smaller dolly. It was pretty hilarious. We made 2 or 3 trips back and forth and that was it.

On September 28, 2014, Joel proposed to me on the same bench where we had our first kiss on. He had planned it out and gathered a lot of our family and friends to get to the park before he brought me there to propose. That morning, he told me to go take a shower and while I was showering, he picked out a red dress and a pair of black heels for me. Once I was dressed and did my hair and make-up, he stepped back and took a good look at me. Then he said, “You look beautiful, but you’re missing one thing.” I thought, “Uhh, is he going to propose to me now?” Joel pulls out one of his red and black stripped ties to blindfold me!! Then he led me to the car and drove to the park. During the drive, he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. I was asking if we were going to get on a helicopter or a boat because he told me to take Dramamine (note: I have bad motion sickness). I am a smart girl. I have a doctoral degree. I knew he was going to do something special, like propose. I was ready for it and I really liked his meaningful idea of proposing to me on “our bench.” What I didn’t know is the family and friends who were gathered behind the bench to witness and help document it!

He led the blindfolded me to “our bench” and sat me down. Then he asked, “Are you ready to take off the blindfold?” I replied, “Yes.” Once I took it off, he was already on one knee in front of me holding out the ring in a black velvet box. The ring was sparkling radiantly! He said a few non-rehearsed lines confessing his love for me. Then he asked, “Veronica, will you marry me?” It was a bright, sunny day and by that time, I have been blindfolded for about 30 minutes. My eyes were still adjusting to the change in the lighting, but knew what was going on. I said, “Yes!”

Then there was an explosion of cheering coming from behind me. Now that was the real surprise for me! I turn around and I saw about 30 people from both of our families. Some were cheering, some were crying happy tears, and others were video recording or taking pictures. A lot of Joel’s family drove in from Indiana! We went to greet and hug all of them. I showed them my dazzling diamonds and we all took many pictures at the park. Then we all went to eat to celebrate at Triple Crown Restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown. As we got to the restaurant, there was a big parade near the main gate of Chinatown. They had blown up a lot of confetti and played some music as we passed. Even though it wasn’t for us, it felt as if it was celebrating our engagement.

Move forward June 26, 2016, we got married at a grand church called ‘Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’ located on the University of Chicago campus. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and after the “I do’s,” we did a balloon release where everyone held onto a colored balloon and released it into the sky at the same time. It was such a beautiful sight and it felt very romantic. After the balloon release, Joel and I and the wedding party rode on our own Chicago Wedding Trolley back to our house to take pictures with Smoke and Bobo. After all, they were the ones who literally pulled us together. We owe it all to them! The rest of the wedding day went smoothly. We went back to the park where “our bench” is and took lots of beautiful pictures there with our wedding party. Then we took our trolley to the restaurant where we had our reception. The day ended at 2am for us, but what a perfect day it was!

Now we have been married for just over 7 months and today, we celebrated our very first Valentine’s Day as a married couple! Sad to say this, but our Smokey the Husky has gone to doggy heaven recently; on January 4, 2017 due to old age and sickness. He will forever be in our hearts and we have numerous sweet memories of him; for he (and Bobo) was the reason why we met, fell in love, and got married.

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