Stefanie Dubois – Perfect Synchronicity
Couple’s Love Song: K-Ci and JoJo – All My Life
The story of JJ and I is one of perfect synchronicity.
It was spring break 2009 and I had just gotten out of my midterms and was ready to hang out with friends and sleep for the next week. My friend Valerie and I were to spend the weekend up by UNC with her at-the-time boyfriend. When we got to Greeley, he asked us if we wanted to go to a party and we agreed. It was the typical college party atmosphere with video games, music and beer pong. Val’s guy introduced me to a couple of his friends where one of them (named Andrew) seemed quite taken by me. The feeling was not mutual and I was too polite. Valerie went off to go and get drinks while I was left to Andrew who was still trying to make conversation. The door opened and it felt like the energy in the room shifted. It felt like I was on the edge of something big but I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was that I was too far to touch it. And I also knew that whatever it was, it was mine and that I would be able to reach it eventually. He walked in with a white shirt, a white hat, jeans, white shoes and with the biggest most genuine smile that made his bright blue eyes crinkle at the sides. His laugh filled the room. Everyone seemed to know him and greeted him with hugs and hand slaps. I also wanted to know him but I was timid and shy. I quickly racked my brain with an excuse to go and introduce myself when I realized that shortly after he walked in, so did a female. My heart sunk deep in to the pit of my stomach. Valerie walked back up to me with a drink in hand. “Here,” she said and Andrew took that as his cue to mingle elsewhere. “What did I miss?” She asked. I proceeded to tell her about the mystery guy that walked in (who we found out his name was JJ) and how I didn’t know if he was here with his girlfriend or not, and she tried to give me advice on how I could casually try to start a conversation. Already nervous I tried to muster up some courage to walk over when fate would have it, Andrew walked back up to me (with much more confidence) and prepared to try to enthrall me for a second time. As I tried to politely tell Andrew to give me a minute, I watched as JJ and the girl walked out of the party and that feeling of being on the edge of something great turned in to disappointment. I thought about JJ for a couple weeks after that and wondered different scenarios on where it might have turned out different not knowing that one day it would.
Now your parents always tell you not to go looking for love because God works in mysterious ways, and love will find you at the right time when you least expect it. Can I just say, how are they always right? After the party, I moved on with my life. Years had passed and I started spending a lot of time alone/single, re-evaluating myself and meeting new people and networking. I would get invited to a lot of music events and it was at one of these concerts that I met the catalyst that was going to change my life. Her name is Kim. We were standing next to each other, dancing and having the best time together at one of these shows and it was like we had been friends for years. She must have felt the same way because afterward, she tried to put her number in to my phone and told me to text her so we could find a time to hang out. I was so excited because she was such a cool girl, but I never got her name to look up the phone number she had just saved in my phone. A few more months passed and the weather got warmer. It was finally Red Rocks season and me and a couple of my friends Donny and Auston decided to go to a festival. It was amazing and after the show we went back to Donny and Auston’s house to chill. The doorbell rang and Donny got up to go answer the door and in walked this girl and her friend who looked extremely familiar. After staring at her for a good 30 minutes (which she tells me made her really uncomfortable at the time lol) I realize that this was the same girl from the concert a few months prior and showed her a picture of what I looked like that night. She exclaimed in excitement and said that it was sign that we needed to be friends because she had only met Donny earlier that day and how ironic was it that we were in the same place at the same time at 1am. I also took that as confirmation and this time we exchanged numbers properly and ended up fast friends that spent our entire summer together. At the end of summer she informed me that she would be moving up by CSU in Fort Collins and that I would have to go and visit her. Sadly, I gave her a hug and promised I would go up to visit.
October 2016 came quick and I was invited to Kim’s housewarming/Halloween party. I got there early and tried to kill some time swiping through profiles on social media getting that feeling that I was on the precipice of another life changing event when I stopped at one profile in particular. There wasn’t anything on it besides pictures,where the person, like Kim also looked familiar. I accepted the request and hoped that he would too so I could try and figure out the connection. After the party was over, I stayed the night at Kim’s and the next day I woke up with a message.
It’s hard to explain feelings especially when they are feelings that you haven’t quite felt before. But if I was to try and explain how I felt that morning when I had gotten a message from him, it was both a mixture of intense knowing and curiosity. That deep gut feeling told me to go for it and I did. We talked for a few weeks and he took me out on a couple dates down in Denver. We spent our nights talking and getting to know each other and he invited me to come up and visit him in Greeley where he lived. At this point in time I did not register that this was the same guy from the UNC party almost a decade ago. I was more focused on the pain that was growing inside of my body.
The plan was for me to spend a couple of days in Greeley with JJ since we didn’t live close. The drive up to Greeley was hard. There was an indescribable pain that I was experiencing in my stomach that I had never felt before. I thought that it was a fluke and tried to ignore it because I didn’t want to skip out on the weekend that we had planned. It was snowing and being in the country, there were no buildings to block some of the wind. It took almost three hours to get to him and when I got there I felt a wash of relief and comfort. I was greeted with a candles, wine, sushi and cuddles. The two days I was meant to stay turned in to a week where the pain steadily got worse. I spent most of my days curled up in a fetal position moaning. I was caught in a difficult predicament because I knew I needed to go to the hospital but my health insurance had just run out the previous month. JJ decided that insurance was not a good enough reason for me to play with my health and promised me that whatever the hospital bill was, that he would help me pay for it as long as I agreed to go. I nodded my head and he helped carry me to his truck, buckled me in and drove me to emergency.
I was immediately admitted once at the hospital. I was given a room and started on IVs and antibiotics for an infection that started to get in to my blood. The doctor had mentioned that if JJ would have waited much longer that the outcome would have turned out to be a very different situation. JJ sat by my bed and watched as the nurses worked all around me. The nurse put a pain medication in my IV and the last thing I remember was JJ by my side before I closed my eyes.
I was in the hospital the next few days. JJ came to see me during his lunches and stayed when he got off work to keep me company. I really appreciated it because the hospital was boring and cartoons had gotten weird. It was thanksgiving day when I got out and we spent it with his mother. I was nervous because I still wasn’t able to walk standing straight and I wanted to be a good first impression. Luckily, his mother was more than understanding about the situation and was just happy to meet the girl that JJ had started to fall in love with. We spent most of that night on the couch with my head on his lap and him stroking my hair and kissing my forehead.
We went back to his house and he spent the next couple of weeks nursing me back to health. I still had pain and could not walk fully upright. I had lost a lot of weight and was very thin. While being sick, I had no energy to put on make up and could barely get up to shower. He a few times had to help me to the restroom. And he did it with no obligations. In other relationships where I might have felt embarrassed, with him I was completely at ease. It was odd because we both felt like me being there was home and we naturally fell in to the beautiful dance that was “us”. And on December 4, 2016 JJ asked me to marry him.
Our engagement was not planned. As a matter of fact it was done in our living room with just us two. We had only been together for six weeks at that point. He had mentioned how there was an indescribable pull that we had and the feeling that I gave him he had never felt before with anyone else. Where he might have blown someone who had gotten sick so early in to the relationship off, he felt compelled to stay with me no matter what and was genuinely fearful for my recovery. He gave the analogy that if you were to get a phone call that a loved one such as your mom had cancer and was dying, that sinking pit in your stomach, where you don’t know what to do, and you know you’ll be a changed person forever without them and finding it hard to imagine happiness again, were the feelings that he felt at the very possibility if the infection were to have gotten any worse. I was completely taken by surprise at his confession. Even though we had gotten really close, I felt like I wasn’t able to show him the best part of me because I had fallen so ill and it was bizarre to me to be loved, and to be loved so deeply when I could give nothing back in return. He took my hands and asked me to marry him and for a moment I looked at him wide-eyed and open-mouthed because words had left me. And as soon as I said yes, my eyes started to water, and I started to cry.
On Christmas night we were looking at the stars and in deep conversation about the complexity of God and how he has a plan for everyone and a warmth came over both of us and we could no longer feel our hands touching. Simultaneously we looked at each other under the dim waning moonlight and we swore that we could see the universe within each other’s skin and the energy passing through each of us through our hands. Just like that I no longer felt like I was on the brink of something great. I was in the midst of it. Everything instantly came together and made sense. The reason why we never felt the need to establish that this was forever was because it was already God ordained. It then came to me that he was the same guy at the party years ago that I felt a draw to. It came to me that the only reason we met a second time was because I had met Kim (and if you remember we too had lost touch and ironically met again in the most unlikely place) and she moved up north. If I would have never met Kim, I would have never been up north to have been in the same radius to have gotten a message from JJ. It was like God had worked hard to line everything up perfectly so we would meet and I finally understood why everything didn’t work in my favor to talk to him years ago. I wasn’t meant to then, because I was meant to now. He whispered, “you were made for me” because he too was coming to these same revelations from his point-of-view, and our hands got really warm and the air around us got bright and for the first time in our lives we both felt the sense of absolution.
The feeling of absolution is a weird one and it’s hard to describe the depths that it goes. It never ends and it never wavers. It’s more than love. It is almost like the understanding that this is it, there is no one else that exists but you two and you’re now completely free. Free as in we can both do what we want and the other would always support each other’s journey and we know that we are only each other’s. Genuinely complete. That sense of peace and knowing is overwhelming. It literally feels like magic everyday. He is the most benevolent and beautiful person inside and out that I have ever met. He gives me hope that there are still really good people out in the world and he makes me strive to be one of those people everyday. He truly has changed my life and I wonder sometimes what I had done to deserve a blessing like this.
It’s funny because this was written by the bride and one would assume that it’s because I wanted a really nice wedding and just probably couldn’t afford it, but that’s not it. I actually wanted to elope. I already had my fairy tale ending and to me it didn’t matter how we were married as long as we both were there. JJ though, always had a vision of how he wanted his wedding to be and it was surrounded by family and friends. He even knew what songs he wanted on the playlist and what the flavor of the cake was to be. I honestly thought to myself that this man literally saved my life and then took care of me, loved me unconditionally and gave me a sense of calming, that I needed try to find a way of giving him the wedding he’s always wanted and that I may finally be able to repay some of the happiness he has given me.
This is my submission and I’ve been honored to have been able to share this story of a truly beautiful person with you.
It’s true that God works in mysterious ways and in perfect timing.