Jason and I were matched on eHarmony on March 11, 2008. I hadn’t paid for my subscription yet when I received him as a match, I was just reviewing my matches for free at the time. I wasn’t completely sold on the whole internet dating idea. But after reading about this guy named Jason, I was intrigued enough to grab my wallet and sign up for just one month, just to see eHarmony allows people to really get specific in what they are looking for in a mate.
It eliminates the awkwardness of getting to know the facts that really are very important to all of us but yet socially inappropriate to talk about right away. Like, do you want kids? What religion are you? How often do you drink? I especially love the must have/ can’t stand list. It was great to get these out in the open and this was before we even met in person!
Our first date was March 30th. We had talked on the phone and sent text messages for weeks, sometimes we talked for hours; I felt like I was 16 again! I remember the way I felt every time we would talk on the phone, I had butterflies fluttering in my stomach! I had this wonderful, excited feeling that he was something special, and wow, was I right. Still not at ease with meeting someone I had found on the internet, I made sure to arrange a safe meeting place. I had Jason drive the hour down to my hometown and meet me at my favorite restaurant. My family had gone there for years, my first job was there, and I knew almost everyone in the place. I knew that if at any time I became uncomfortable, I could just grab one of the guys and they could throw Jason out! But they didn’t have to, he was a complete gentlemen, very nervous but sweet. We had dinner and a movie that night and met again five days later for our second date. We drove the hour back and forth for about three months before we got tired of the commute and decided to move in together. Although it was early and some people thought we were crazy, I knew that he was the one!
Then, on August 7th, it was a Thursday night, my life changed forever. Jason and I had been watching TV, snuggling on the couch together, and I told him how important he and my father and my brother were to me. They were my family, the most important men, no, the most important people, in my life. We got up to go to bed and I noticed that there were two missed calls on Jason’s cell phone, from my dad. I didn’t think anything of it right away; they talked often and got along great! And then my phone rang. It was my dad. I could barely understand him, he was crying so hard. What’s wrong, I asked him. Adam’s dead, he told me. What?! I screamed into the phone, but I didn’t even wait for a response before I handed it to Jason. My 21 year old brother, my only sibling, had been killed in Iraq. He was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, on his second tour of duty.
Jason got what information he could from my dad that night as I proceeded to scream and cry and wander around our apartment. I knew that we had to leave, to go and be with my family. I knew I needed to gather some items to bring but I couldn’t stop yelling Oh my god! No! Not my brother! Jason packed us a bag and had me in the car within minutes, driving us to Rockford. I cried the whole way; it seemed to take forever to get there. But finally we did and as we pulled up to my grandfather’s, my dad came outside to meet us. I was out of the car before Jason even had it parked and running to my dad.
I saw so many people that night. I cried so much. I remember my head hurt so badly. Jason put me to bed that night and held me as I fell asleep crying. He cried too, and he reminded me that my brother was already in heaven with God and that he was safe now.
The next couple of weeks are surreal in my memory. They seem so far away that they might not have taken place at all, but I know they did. People came to our house every day. They brought food and plants and flowers and they hugged us and cried with us. I hadn’t brought more than a change of clothes with me the first night but I couldn’t bear to leave my dad’s to go back for more. So Jason and my cousin drove the two hours to our apartment and packed for me.
We had lots of decisions to make over the next couple of days. Jason came with us everywhere and sat behind me, always within reach. There were so many people that came to pay their respects, so much time would go by and I would suddenly realize I had forgotten about Jason. I would hurry to find him, worried he was uncomfortableÂ… but he was always fine. I think part of me was afraid he would just get up and leave. Why not? He didn’t have to be there, he didn’t know hardly any of the people there. He hadn’t even ever met my brother. We hadn’t been together that long. It was a difficult situation. But not for Jason. He stayed the whole time. He mingled with my family and friends. Occasionally he would find me just to give me one of his big bear hugs that I have come to love so much. At times the whole thing would just overwhelm me and the two of us would go sit somewhere alone and just talk. Or cry.
My brother’s funeral lasted for three days. Jason was by my side for every part of it. He drove our car in the procession. He sat in a church pew for five hours while I greeted mourners at the visitation. He stood behind me as I spoke about my brother at the service. And every time I would look back, he was there, looking right back at me, ready with more Kleenex or water or a hug.
I have never been through a harder time in my life than the death of my brother. I wanted to be right by my Dad’s side the whole time, to provide support to him. But if Jason hadn’t been there to provide that same support to me, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it all.
Meeting Jason at that exact time in my life was a blessing. If we hadn’t been introduced by eHarmony, hadn’t been so ideally matched, hadn’t gotten so serious in the amount of time that we didÂ… I might have had to endure that tragedy alone. And as awful and hard and sad as it was, I know that Jason made it just a little bit easier.
Jason proposed to me on my birthday November 21st, 2008 at lunch in front of a few friends and family. We will be married on April 25, 2009 in Jamaica. Although Jason never got to meet my brother, I am positive that they would have been the best of friends. While I miss my brother dearly every day, I strive to be optimistic, as my life with Jason has just started and I have so much to look forward to.