http://www.one.org Dixie Peach: How we began

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How we began

I'm going to wait until the end of the week to answer most of the questions y'all have been asking but since it's a longer story I'll go ahead and tell the story of how B and I met and got together. I'll try to hit the good stuff and leave out too many details or else you'll be reading until you beg for mercy.

Y'all who already know this story are excused from reading for today.

Back in March, 1996 I was killing time one afternoon by poking around chatrooms on AOL. I'd gone into a Thirtysomething chatroom looking for familiar names and ran across a guy with a German sounding name. I thought that was so cool. There I was in the US and I could chat with a German dude. In Germany! German dude in Germany! Wow! We exchanged hellos and a few other other words and then he said he was leaving for the evening. I still can't say why I did it except it must have been the hand of fate giving me a little push but I sent him an IM and asked him to stick around a bit longer. He did, we chatted and then he said he really had to go but asked me to email him. Later on I found out he didn't expect me to email but that evening I sent him an email introducing myself more fully. He wrote back and we began to meet online on the weekends to chat and we emailed every day. I didn't quite get at first that his English was so shaky but after a few emails I got used to the somewhat weird grammar and spelling (since then he's become fluent but at that time he knew very little English and is self taught).

The weeks passed and we because closer with each email. He then told me he was moving to his summer home for the season but he only had very limited internet access and would only be able to email. Much later - after I'd moved to Germany, actually - I learned that at that time there was no landline phone service at the summer place and in order to be able to email me each day he bought a laptop, a cell phone and a special dial-up modem for the cell phone. He was so afraid of losing me that he spent a small fortune just to send email.

And all this time B was hiding a big secret.

November rolled around and one afternoon while we were chatting online I noticed that he seemed strange and withdrawn. He told me that he had something very important to tell me and didn't know how but he couldn't hide it from me any longer. He was falling in love with me and didn't want to have any secrets from me but had up until then been scared to confess this secret.

Naturally I thought of the usual things. Married. Gay. Married and gay. Ex-con. Oh God, please don't let him be some ex-con pervert!

He'd written me a long email and sent it to me with the plea for me to read it and then to meet him online the next day.

Finding out that B is a quadriplegic wasn't what I was expecting. I suppose I should have been angry that he didn't tell me up front that he was a quadriplegic but as I read his words I understood his hesitation in telling me. In the past he'd meet people online - just people he wanted to chat and be friends with - and when he'd say he was a quad they'd suddenly treat him as though he was a leper. Friendships would abruptly end and B didn't want that to happen with us.

I didn't know what to think at first. Logic would say "Oh you can't fall in love with a quadriplegic!" and my heart would say "Too late. You're already a goner."

We just kept up our relationship and now was my opportunity to find out what his life was like. He had been married when he had his accident at the age of 24 and while he was still in rehab his wife divorced him. B went to live with his parents who devotedly cared for him. By the time I met him B's dad had been dead for 18 months and his mom was doing her best to care for him alone.

More months went by and we were in love but we also knew that meeting in person would really determine if our love was real so we made arrangements for me to fly to Germany in May, 1997 to visit with him and his mom for 12 days. He paid for it all - all I had to do was get a passport and a ride to the airport.

My friend, Susan, so supportive of this crazy romance, was the one to drive me to the airport. We felt fairly certain that I would be just fine but to be on the safe side we made a code to use. My job was to write her regular emails and if all was fine with me I was supposed to write "I'm glad baby Kayla is doing fine.". If I wrote instead "I'm sorry to hear that baby Kayla is so fussy." it meant "These people are insane! Call the embassy! Call my mother! Get me the hell out of here!".

I arrived in Germany tired and anxious and as soon as I came through customs I saw B waiting for me, roses in his lap. And that's the moment I knew I really loved him. All I could think to do was run to him, hug and kiss him and tell him that I was so happy to see him.

I was spoiled during my stay in Germany. I couldn't talk to anyone except for B and I soon found out that him writing in English and speaking English wasn't the same thing. His speaking skills left something to be desired but we managed. And right away I was plunged into life with a quadriplegic. I saw what had to be done to care for him and helped out where I could. Instead of being repulsed or put off it all seemed pretty normal. Maybe that was my biggest confirmation that I truly loved B - when I could see the less than glamorous stuff and not be freaked out.

The day I left to return to the US was awful. B was absolutely heartbroken and I didn't know how to console him. But during that trip I'd made up my mind that I wanted to be with him always and that by Christmas I was going to be back in Germany for good. I promised B with the most solemn promise I could make that I really would be back. How could I not come back and stay? I'd found someone who I was crazy about and who was crazy about me. Someone who wasn't afraid to do everything he could do to make me happy and to show me his devotion. This was the guy who would sit up for four and five hours straight just to write me one email in English. He has trouble sitting upright for so many hours and he'd sweat through two or three t-shirts and his one good arm would shake from the effort of tapping out each key with a pencil stub but by God, he was going to send me an email every day if it killed him. How could I not return to a guy like that?

So I did it. In November, 1997 I moved to Germany. And I have never looked back.

21Comments:

Blogger BarefootCajun said...

I just love this story and love you guys. :-) That romantic B is something else.

11:50 PM  
Blogger marshamlow said...

beautiful story, thank you for sharing.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm smiling, shaking my head, smiling some more... beautiful.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Haddock said...

Wow that is some story.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Holley said...

That's a beautiful story, Dix. You and B rock.

5:24 AM  
Blogger sari said...

I love this story!!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Jemima said...

A relative of mine kept a secret from a woman he met on the internet. Flew her over the Atlantic, climbed mountains to email her, wooed her with his silver fingered typing but failed to mention he smelled of motorbikes.

She hadn't mentioned her violent mood swings fuelled by an addiction to prescription drugs, so it was an even handed disaster. She flew back early, and I became convinced you can never tell what a person is REALLY like from the words they write. I'm sullen and often silent, for example. Internet romances will always fail (however I've lost two friends to e-sirens that might query this)!

The prejudice and spite of those who wouldn't even talk to B when they found out makes my blood boil? Is he not human? I just don't get it, but then I am a perfect, faultless individual!

6:28 PM  
Blogger KlasMommy said...

I had completely forgotten about the code phrases... man that brings back memories... man that was a time wasn't it. She also didn't mention, that I didn't make it that easy for her to just go. See she was my best friend afterall and I couldn't live with out her, so I questioned, requestioned, hammered and made sure this was really truly it, plus throwing in a few lines of guilt for leaving me!! YES I wanted her to be happy, more than happy, but I didn't want her to leave me and Kayla!! Who would I share my life with, who would be silly with me!! It was a time she really had to pull her crap together and she made the decision and out of everything she did it. Much to my happiness and disappointment that she was gone. I couldn't be more happier for her and yes I miss her terribly!! BUT someday, we'll see each other again. But for now, we have this and email!! I love ya girl!!

6:44 PM  
Blogger zoe xx said...

Wow! All the time I've known you and B, I haven't heard that story, and it was really worth waiting for. Thanks for sharing, smooches to you both...

8:43 PM  
Blogger Kirsti said...

Aw, what a wonderful story. Truly it deserves to be a "made for TV movie" or something :) Thank you for sharing it with us.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Mollie said...

I just fell in love with you both all over again.

I swear, anyone who didn't sigh 5 times reading that must not have a pulse.

This account always rekindles my belief in true love!

Moll

11:36 PM  
Blogger still life said...

Dixie, that is an absolutely gorgeous story. It is almost as if some force was there that just brought the two of you together to find one another on the Internet. I know that sounds all-new age and stuff but that is not the way I mean it. I just feel that some things are meant to be. I look at our meeting and what we have in common and realize that the chances of that were not very high.

And I do understand B's hesitancy to explain his situation in the beginning because many people would not want to take anything further once they found that out. People seem to have a tendency to treat us with kid gloves or either of assume that we have mental issues to go along with our physical. Or plain and simply just don't want to deal.

I have seen all of these issues not on a romantic side but just personal. And also people begin to dwell on the injury first and that is not how I would think of myself first. I will not introduce myself as "hi, my name is Mikki and I have a spinal cord injury and then begin to describe myself further. And B's chair is just a small part of his total. Your openness, strength and the goodness continue to overwhelm me. You are one of few.

9:06 AM  
Blogger DR. Wiseass said...

What a beautiful story, Dixie.

I am trying to 'contain' my emotion right now because I just feel too damn badly for full-fledged weeping -- but I know where to come when weeping becomes 'convenient'.

I found your link thru Ya-Ya land; I'm a newbie there (Duchess Potty Mouth) and recognized that you have a blogsite blog, which I do as well.

I am a chronic, late stage Lyme disease patient, and altho I have full use of my limbs - I know there are no guarantees with regard to a 'cure'.

I know that I could degenerate to the point where I, too, become totally physically dependent on others and it honestly scares the shit outa me.

Right now I am already completely financially dependent upon my dear hubby and if he were to flip a lid, or go thru some unexpected mid-life crisis and decide to leave my Lyme-diseased ass - I would be totally screwed!

I would not only be sick as a fucking dog, but also have to go on welfare and beg and plead with the county hospital doctors to please listen to ME as far as how to treat MY Lyme disease.

FEAR sucks.

But your story - of how LOVE can overcome obstacles that you would never dream possible; well Dixie, it gives me hope. It brings me the same kind of sappy hopeful tears which you practically bathe in when watching a damn good movie.

I think my brain is being eaten by the Lyme spirochetes so naturally I can not think of an example of a damn good movie -- but I know what I mean. I'll bet you do too.

Being at the mercy of another human to get your basic needs met -- well that sucks too.

I know you say you're not a martyr; OK. But you sound like one helluva woman.

I like you Ms. Dixie.

I wish you were my neighbor.

I'll be back....you know, provided my lymebrain even remembers this whole encounter.

All my best to you & Mr. B,

DR. Wiseass
-not a real doc - just a real wise ass
www.twistoflyme.blogspot.com

4:36 AM  
Blogger ginviren said...

Wow, Dix...I don't think I've heard this story, and it is just so amazing. I was just sitting here reading, going "awwwww..."

4:55 AM  
Anonymous pkb said...

i'm in tears. i love you guys.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Sparky said...

Wow. That actually made me cry - beacuse I'm so happy for you.

- sparky

9:53 PM  
Blogger jen said...

dixie, it is a great story. Don't worry about sparky. He always cries when people find love. Spring time is just awash with kleenex.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

What a story for the books, Dixie! Maybe for the movies!!! I love knowing all of this about you and B. What a sweet romance.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Francesca said...

I have to say, I feel just marginally nosey...invading your page and all...but when I found out that you up and left, and moved to Germany, I was really interested. It's something I have wanted to do for a while, but I didn't realise that it could be done! Your story is amazing, and you seem to have met the sweetest guy in the universe!
But I'm going now. And I am sorry to have kinda popped onto your page. But Happy Easter!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I'm glad you popped in Francesca. New folks popping in is always welcome!

And I did marry the sweetest guy in the universe. :)

10:18 PM  
Blogger carolin said...

Hi, I am a 26yr old single mother of two. I have been friends with a guy who is now 25 and has been a quad since he was hit by a car when he was 15yrs old. We have had feelings for one another for years and recently have decided to give it a go! any advice? my e-mail is
mommyofalyzia@yahoo.com put quad or somthing like that in subject so i know it is about this. thanks

10:18 AM  

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