My name is Richard and I joined eHarmony early in February 2008 after my wife died in December 2007. I was at the time very lonely as my wife had been ill for several years and our relationship was somewhat rocky and mostly unfulfilling for both of us. I was definitely ready to meet my soul mate, and after researching the matching services available on the internet, decided that eHarmony had the values-based, compatibility oriented framework that would spell success in my search.
My partner, Laurie, who was at the time an inactive member of eHarmony, was dog-sitting at her best friend’s home on Saturday, February 16th, and while watching TV, she saw an eHarmony add for a “Free Weekend Subscription”. Laurie decided to take the opportunity and activated her eHarmony matching option but she did not check for matches until she returned home to her apartment the following Monday.
Laurie and I were matched on February 16th, the very day that she reactivated her eHarmony matching option. Of course I immediately started the Guided Communication process by sending my 1st Questions to her after reading her About Me. That’s when it all started, the whirlwind relationship that brought us face-to-face, and it flew along at breakneck pace. We went through the entire Guided Communication process and were using internet e-mail and telephone conversation by the 24th of February.
If you’ve ever had the experience where you react to a conversation with an “Ah-ha” or an “Oo-La-La” then you’ll know what I’m saying when I say that Laurie and I were “created for each other”. We simply could not get enough of each other and spent hours at a time on the phone, often talking all night long, because she was in California and I was in Indiana, and our calls would start late in the evening Indiana time. She was telling her friends about me and I was bubbling to mine about this wonderful lady that I met.
My business has me traveling a good deal and at the time I was working a project in the Bay Area of California. When I proposed meeting for dinner early in March she was thrilled with the prospect and I already knew that she was “the one.” To make a long story short, we have been inseparable since we met, and actually since we began communicating. I was serious about my search when I started, and almost immediately began closing all of my other eHarmony matches. Laurie had pursued several eHarmony match relationships, but all were now paled by what she had found in me.
But none of that is the inspirational part of my testimony. That part started when Laurie suffered a stroke less than two weeks following our first date. We had picked out an engagement ring the day before the stroke but several days after being hospitalized she told me that “You can go home.” Her stroke was “left hemisphere” so she could speak only with great difficulty, but I understood that she was giving me permission to end the relationship if her stricken condition was too much for me to handle. It was quite a shocking experience for both of us, but can you imagine getting a call from someone announcing that he is your mother’s boyfriend, and she has been hospitalized following a stroke? Previously we had called our children and made plans for a trip to meet them, but now they were making an emergency trip to visit their mother in the hospital.
By profession, Laurie is a nurse, so you won’t be surprised to know that she has a servant’s heart. Knowing this, you also are not surprised by her self-sacrificing release of me almost immediately following her stroke induced disability. But that alone is but a small part of the inspiration birthed through our path out of the crisis. My legacy is that I serve her daily and from the moment I found her sprawled on her patio that afternoon have wanted nothing more than to be a part of her recovery. Her legacy is the determination to be all that she can be, not only for me, but for all she meets.
Laurie is credentialed as a master’s level registered nurse, and some of her career included service with brain-injured and stroke patients so she knows the odds against making a full recovery. It would seem easy for her to be bitter or depressed, or at least greatly discouraged by her present condition, but that is not the case. Her persistence and determination have brought her a long way in the last nine months. Last March she was totally paralyzed on her right side and could not speak a four-word sentence. Now she walks without a cane and although she might pause to find the right word, has little trouble with verbal communication. She is my inspiration and that’s an understatement.
Today we see the fruit of our love in and through our family and friends. Our wedding is planned for this coming June and our devotion and happiness has inspired them to be encouraged by us and for us. Laurie and I praise and thank God for each other daily and believe that none of the joy and peace that flows from us to would have been possible if Dr Warren had not launched that we know as eHarmony.