Ok, everyone. I’m thinking that the pictures of Hope and Steve drew you in because, well…they should be models. Am I right? But in addition to stunning good looks and a beautiful, intimate wedding, this couple has one of the most touching stories that I have ever read here on the blog. A beautiful example of the meaning of love and cherishing each moment of life for the celebration that it is. Their big day took place at the gorgeous St. Ives Country Club wedding venue in Johns Creek, GA. The stunning pictures were expertly captured by Atlanta wedding photographer Raymond Adams Imagery. Read on and be blessed by this sweet couple.
I have been blessed enough to meet the man I knew I was going to marry, and the man I was always looking for this year. He’s been my rock & saved me from a downward spiral I was headed in. We’ve been enjoying our life together & he’s been showing me things I haven’t been able to see before. Life was good. Life was great. We had nothing but sweet, good, love songs floating in our heads & were walking on clouds & sunshine! Steve and I met about 4 years ago, and then I never saw him again, until April of ’11 I went to have dinner with friends & he was there, back in my life 🙂
My love, Steve, has been having some health issues. It started in his right hand about 1 year ago. He had weakness that has worsened to the point where he is unable to do much with his right hand or arm at all. This weakness then spread to his left arm, as well as affected his balance and ability to walk. We all kind of looked at it as something “simple” or “curable” and thought that it would be a simple and quick fix.
Monday August 1, Steve had yet another doctor appointment, this time a neurologist. The neurologist quickly diagnosed him with ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Lou Gehrig’s disease. This news was devastating for all the obvious reasons! However, I couldn’t believe it…no one could. No way could the man God finally provided for me to marry, no way could he have ALS. He’s only 29, and it doesn’t make sense! So with this came hope, and lots & lots of research. I swear I spent at least 48 hours researching it, and could explain to you the disease inside & out. We were blessed to get Steve in with one of the top neurologists in Augusta, GA on August 10. I took off work & took the journey with him. After the last test the doctor then took a long pause and proceeded to tell us that Steve does in fact have ALS.
That 3 hour drive home was a long and difficult one. Neither of us really knowing what to say or how to react. Both breaking down and trying to maintain our composure. My heart was broken! I had such hope that it would be something else, and heard my worst nightmare come true. I shortly after received an email from a complete stranger that was a friend of a friend of my mom’s. The email read that this particular man had been diagnosed with ALS when he was 29 (In November of ’97) and that he was still alive & fighting after 14 years. Immediately after this email I started hearing other stories of people living longer & some even living up to 25 years! And little by little, hope is restored!
August 11th he mentioned he wants to go to our river each day to walk, to remain as active as possible & to enjoy “our spot” for as long as he can. The morning of August 12th he woke up in good spirits,and began to tell me the car ride there how much he loved me & that he and his family were forever grateful for me being in his life. I smiled & shared the same feelings of gratefulness, but still had no idea he was leading up to a proposal. After walking up & down the river twice, he finally suggested we take a break on our typical break spot. As we were sitting there we both noticed the peacefulness of the river & enjoyed a moment of peace & calmness! He then proceeded to get on one knee & go on with the best most heartfelt proposal ever! Of course chocking back tears I said yes & our spirits were lifted!
Steve is one of the strongest & most passionate people I know. He is so full of love & has an amazing spirit. I have never met anyone like him in my life & I love him more than I ever imagined. When we first found out it was a possibility of ALS, we discussed that we still want to live our life like we planned. After getting the true diagnoses we decided that since we both want to get married & have children, we are just going to fast forward & do this a little sooner. I knew an engagement was coming, but Steve still did an excellent job surprising me! August 11th he mentioned he wants to go to our river each day to walk, to remain as active as possible & to enjoy “our spot” for as long as he can. The morning of August 12th he woke up in good spirits,and began to tell me the car ride there how much he loved me & that he and his family were forever grateful for me being in his life. I smiled & shared the same feelings of gratefulness, but still had no idea he was leading up to a proposal. After walking up & down the river twice, he finally suggested we take a break on our typical break spot. As we were sitting there we both noticed the peacefulness of the river & enjoyed a moment of peace & calmness! He then proceeded to get on one knee & go on with the best most heartfelt proposal ever! Of course choking back tears I said yes & our spirits were lifted!
The wedding was a dream come true, romantic, moving, & motivational. It was perfect 🙂 It was rustic, small intimate and breezy. Outdoors at the country club where my husband grew up, with great wedding party & quests. We got married October 15, 2011. Although on the outside looking in this may appear to be bitter sweet, I see it as nothing but sweet! We love each other & there is no reason this terrible disease should stop us from sharing the life we planned for as long as possible! I think our relationship will only be stronger because of this. We now have an understanding for what is truly important in life. Life is a gift, and every single day needs to special. I know there will always be ups & downs, but for everyday I get with my love I am grateful!