Five years ago today, Mara and I got married! Holy Cow! I can’t believe how time flies and how so much LIFE can happen in such a short period of time.
Our last night in the Galapagos we shared a wonderful meal together as an early celebration of our anniversary. We spent the whole night reminiscing about every wonderful detail we could remember from our wedding day, which in all honesty takes a lot of time. It was one of those days that felt totally and completely perfect from start to finish. It was stress-free, simple, and full of love, family, and friendship. It was a true celebration of Life and Love.
An Unlikely Meet-Up
Whenever I think about that wonderful day, or our heavenly courtship, or what it has been like to have a partner like Mara for the last five years, I can’t help but think how mind-blowing it is that it happened at all. We were about as unlikely to meet as you could imagine two total strangers living in different cities over 200 miles apart could be. In ten years in New York, Mara had never traveled to Boston. And in four years in Boston, I’d never bothered traveling to New York.
In all of this unlikeliness of ever meeting, let alone falling in love, there was one very tenuous thread connecting our two worlds, but I suppose it was all that was needed.
The Tenuous Thread Connecting Our Worlds
When I first arrived in Boston, I met a couple who would become dear friends over the next 3 years. A group of friends would get together nearly every weekend, and these two were the main instigators for the gatherings. Following a great job opportunity, they moved to NYC just weeks before my whole world came unraveled. Infidelity. Separation. Divorce. Those were the most difficult moments of my life, and also the most joyous and transformative, primarily because of how I chose to respond.
Over a year later, my friends returned from NYC (three little boys and NYC apartments don’t mix), and almost immediately had me over for dinner to see how I was doing. Just before they left for NYC, they helped me and my wife move into a condo we’d purchased with the intent of starting a family. Over a year later I was in the final stages of divorce. “What happened? Are you okay? Is she okay?”
I think they were surprised to hear that I was doing GREAT! I spent most of the dinner talking about all that I’d learned about happiness, the surprising ways real healing had come to my life, the power of compassionate love and forgiveness, and my deep hope and optimism for the future. Basically, we talked about the things we try to share on this blog and in the retreats – that circumstances don’t define us and don’t dictate our responses — and about the power that comes to our lives when we live like we believe that.
Thrilled that I was in such a good place in life, I remember my friend Ashley saying “I’ve got this girl in NY that I’d like to set you up with.”
You see, about six months earlier, Mara had met Ashley and her husband one night because they were friends with a guy she was dating. They met once. Mara says Rockband was involved. The only other communication they had was when the clothing line Mara started with friends, Harvey Faircloth, was part of NYC’s Fashion Week. Mara needed models to wear the clothing and Ashley was recruited by a mutual friend.
That was it. This was our tenuous thread.
A Little Vulnerability Goes A Long Way – “SET ME UP !”
That, and a little bit of courage/vulnerability. Mara had been dating for some time. Long enough to know finding the right guy might be like finding a needle in a haystack, and she might need a little help. So when Mara and Ashley shared a few emails after Fashion Week about some clothing Ashley wanted, Mara said what she said to all her friends:
“Anyway, if you guys ever come across someone that you think highly of, SET ME UP ! 🙂 I love set ups …”
A few months later Ashley placed an order, asked about the business, told Mara she moved back to Boston, to which Mara responded:
“And, of course, if you come across any smart, solid men in Boston, I’d love to hear about them. hahaha ! :)”
A week later, I was in Ashley’s home, sharing my story of healing. That night, Ashley wrote Mara the following:
“I’m going to keep you updated on a potential man here. He’s a good friend of ours and is wrapping up a divorce. We are so sad for Danny, but not too worried because he’s a great catch. Anyway my first thought was you. So if you’re ever in Boston we’ll have to arrange a little gathering of some sort. Or I’ll send him to NY for some reason! You never know.”
Ashley sent Mara my Facebook profile (which had two group pictures and zero status updates). And shortly thereafter I got an email from Mara introducing herself. A few emails later, and Mara and I both said to ourselves, “I’m probably going to marry this person!“ Seriously!
Thank you Mara! That first email was quite literally an answer to prayer. Thank you for wanting to walk a similar life path, one motivated by Love! Thank you for five wonderful years of marriage, tons of crazy adventures, and many more years and adventures to come!
Anybody else have a crazy story about an unlikely meet up? We’d love to hear about it, it always makes us smile!
P.S. – If you haven’t read our series called Love Story (start at the bottom of the link for the beginning), now’s a good time to start. We post excerpts from the emails we wrote in the weeks before we met. Ummm, they are PURE GOLD, at least that’s how we feel. It’s two people, anxious to connect over the most important life lessons they’ve ever learned, and overjoyed to see someone else had discovered the very same thing all on their own. To get you started here’s some links to the first few posts in the series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
(Photos by Rachel Thurston)