Hello, and welcome to Lemonade Tales! Pardon the dust while I get things rolling. I hope you enjoy the stories of inspiration, courage, and grace. I am humbled by each and every person and their personal struggles. This is the …


Do You Believe in Love?

I had almost forgotten how to believe in love. I thought I had seen it all. Until when I least expected it — love hit me square in the heart.

You see I am a 36-year old woman who has never been married. Society surrounds us with messages of “Prince Charming” and the perfect family with the white picket fence, two kids, and a dog. I had heard all the stories, but didn’t believe that life could really be like that. However, for some reason, I have felt for the last few years that I have had to defend my singleness to my family, to my co-workers, and even to a few “happily” married friends.

Honestly, I was happy being single. I got to come and go as I pleased. I pursued a Master’s degree, I had a rewarding career, and I traveled all over the world. All while creating a support system that included amazing friends. I felt truly blessed with my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I have tried this thing called love. I have experienced heartbreak… deeper than most as I have loved and lost many times in my life. I am not a big fan of dating, but I would definitely call myself a serial monogamist. I have seen and experienced it all. From being engaged to calling off a wedding. I have lived with a man, been cheated on, and have broken hearts. Along the way I’ve also dated the “bad boy”, toughed out long distance relationships, tried to “fix” men, and I have certainly loved the wrong men. But all of these very rich experiences have helped me see who I am and what I want and don’t want in a relationship. Now I am fairly picky about whom I give my heart to and I never expected my love story to include this next chapter.

“Just Friends”

When I was 14 years old I met a boy who was one year and a day older than me. He was the “nice guy” friend of my older “bad boy” boyfriend. We were in theater together and concert band. He was always around, but I didn’t pay much attention, as I was a busy girl even back then. Over the years he was in and out of my life through alumni meet ups and such, and he had even gotten married. Then almost three years ago things started shifting in both of our lives. He was going through a divorce and I was kicking out my live-in boyfriend of over two years. After doing an alumni theater production together, we became Facebook friends. Not much would happen over the next two years other than the typical Facebook comments and likes. That is until he joined the Army last year and was deployed to Iraq.

I had been fortunate enough to not know anyone personally who had been in the service and gone to war. I started writing him via Facebook while he was deployed. He can attest, I asked a lot of questions about his Army life and Iraq. But more importantly I wanted him to know that there were people here (the people he was fighting for) that cared about him coming home safe. I called him my protector and he called me his protected.

Over several months we corresponded and I sent him home baked cookies and care packages. We talked about our daily lives and some of our past experiences. Soon our conversations were something I was looking forward to on an almost daily basis. Then in October, he was going to be incommunicado for several weeks. They were closing their base and turning it over to the Iraqi government and convoying to Kuwait. He would be without postal, phone, and Internet service for several weeks.

After months of chatting at least once a day, sometimes more, the silence that this brought was deafening. I began to realize I was thinking about him every day. I was worried about his safety. And I was missing him in a way that was clearly more than “just a friend.” It dawned on me during this absence that I was starting to fall in love with this man. It was crazy. How did it happen? And more importantly, “This is not happening,” all ran through my head.

I knew that nothing could really develop while he was away and he wasn’t supposed to come home from Iraq until March or May. But I needed to see him. To spend time with him. Was there even chemistry between us? All sorts of questions needed to be explored and answered.

Well, at this point in my love story, things start moving pretty fast.

Cupid Strikes Again!

In early November, when he didn’t have access to communication, I sent him a note while he was on convoy. It simply said that I missed him and was thinking about him. He sent me a response a few days later saying that he missed me too and was thinking about me and he was safe. I was so relieved. We chatted off and on for the next few days. A couple weeks later he sent me a note that he was home. I was ecstatic! He arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina just a few days after Thanksgiving, but couldn’t tell me since Facebook is an unsecured line. He had sort of asked me out before he got home saying he needed to take me to dinner to thank me for the cookies and care packages, but couldn’t really ask me out since he didn’t know when he would be home. This was our dilemma.

As luck would have it, I was supposed to travel for work to a military conference near his base the very weekend he was shipped home, so we arranged to meet. I was over the moon that he was back stateside and that I was going to get to see him. We talked several times during that week leading up to the meeting. One time we talked until 3 a.m. — just like the school kids we were when we first met.

Fate works in mysterious ways and I was let go from my job the Friday before I was supposed to leave to meet him. Surprisingly undaunted, I immediately came home that day and found an awesome deal to meet him even closer to the base for the weekend. This kind of impulsive behavior is not like me, but I knew I had to see him. He picked me up from the airport and we were inseparable for the next 24 hours. We had our first kiss under the stars on the beach not five hours after I arrived. It was a perfect time together. Far better than any expectations I had.

Since I wasn’t working, I had free time to go and visit him at the base a couple weeks later. So, the next time I drove down I spent a few days with him there and got to see his military life. We even explored a nearby city so I could see if a potential job opportunity was worth applying for. Again, we had a great time together. I was crazy about him, but in such a comfortable way. He knew me when I was an awkward teenager, so there wasn’t much I could do to embarrass myself at that point. More importantly, I couldn’t be anything but me because he would know if I was acting different. There is a lot of freedom in just being your dorky self.

I’m a Believer

He came home for Christmas and I got to meet his extremely large and wonderful family (he is the second youngest of seven kids). More importantly I was able to meet his six-year old son. The days flew by with all sorts of activities and adventures. The one thing I knew for certain was that I was falling in love with this amazing man who had been under my nose for the majority of my life. Our relationship has just begun so who knows what the future will bring, but I am excited at the possibilities and definitely believe in love.

How did you fall in love?

Lessons Learned: Falling in love happens when you least expect it and it is an absolutely spectacular process. Don’t ever give up on love! And don’t be afraid to look next to you as he or she might already be right there and you didn’t even know it.