Erin and Ryan
I had only been on JDate for a few months when I met Ryan. We both knew there was something special about each other. It was a Thursday evening and we spoke on Instant Messenger. I had a full weekend ahead, but somehow he persuaded me to meet him the very next day, Friday afternoon, before all of my other weekend plans.
When we met, we were like giddy schoolyard children. Both of us are die-hard romantics. It was a mere coincidence that I happened to know his housemate and I agreed to Ryan’s generous offer of making me dinner at his home that evening. Upon arriving at his home and meeting his friends, he said he had no plans all weekend and asked if I would be willing to cancel all my plans and spend the weekend with him. On a gut feeling (that we both were having), I excitedly agreed.
An hour later, he told me that he didn’t need to date anybody else, and that I was “it” for him. The entire weekend his housemate kept coming in and out of the house. Each time looking at myself and Ryan and saying, in astonishment, “YOU are STILL here!?!” We would just smile and look at each other knowingly.
It may sound crazy or trite, but we really did fall crazy in love with each other. We can’t believe that we had found in each other the person that we had only thought existed in our dreams. It is a feeling that is indescribable. That was just the beginning. I have two children from my first marriage; they had just turned four and six when we started dating. He was the first man I had introduced them to since my divorce. They took to Ryan immediately and have called him Abba now for three years. They really love him and consider him a father and he loves them as if they are his own. He does everything for them.
One year after we met, January 13, 2007 (which happened to be Shabbat so we were at Temple), Ryan pulled out a key to the Rabbi’s office and pulled me inside. Sitting on the desk was a stuffed elephant holding a heart-shaped box (I collect elephants and he worked for a toy company at the time). Ryan pulled a ring out of the heart-shaped box and proposed – I was in shock! We went into the sanctuary, he received an aliyah, everyone was singing and dancing, and then they announced that Ryan was sponsoring the Kiddush in honour of his engagement to Erin! This was all a surprise to me, as well as after shul, when I found out that he had arranged a surprise engagement party lunch at our friend’s house. My friend made heart-shaped challah and heart-shaped everything, from confetti to cakes to heart-shaped embroidered towels in the bathroom! As a result, I now have a tradition of making heart-shaped challah every Shabbat. And if that wasn’t enough, we went to celebrate overnight at a very romantic and luxurious hotel, and Ryan brought a catered meal and my favorite wine and champagne. The next morning, we went to his parents’ house to tell them in person that we were engaged.
On November 4, 2007 we were married in our dream Orthodox Jewish wedding. We both say it was the happiest day of our entire lives. We really are each other’s best friends.
On November 4, 2009 we will be married for two years and we have our first baby due to be born, G-d willing, in January 2010.
We have never been happier. We are each other’s entire lives and are forever indebted to JDate for helping us find our true Besherts, and having a life we have always dreamed of having.
A Quote from Erin’s Wedding Speech
I love you Ryan. You are my very best best best best best friend. There are so many things I love about you that I decided it was best to make a list of just a few of them. So here they are:I love how you look at me after you make me laugh. I love how you always bring me coffee ‘just because.’ I love how you love to sing with me. I love how you always know what to say to make me feel happy and loved. I love that we appreciate each other and respect each other. I love that we listen and hear each other’s words. I love how you always look for the best in everyone. That has really affected my outlook on life. I love how you keep it positive. I love how you always know what to do to cheer me up. I love how you take care of me when I am sick. I love that you let me buy shoes whenever I want. I love that we laugh at the same things. I love that you would rather stay in a hotel than go camping. I love having Shabbat with you and the kids. I love the way you smell. I love your smile. I love your eyes. I love holding your hand. I love how you accept me for who I am and I love that you tell me that you love me for what is on the inside, not the outside. And I love all of you too. I love that you are proud to call me yours. Because I am so proud to now be able to call you my husband.
You and the children are the biggest blessings in my life. I appreciate and thank G-d for you every day.
A Quote from Ryan’s Wedding Speech:
I’ve learned something about love this week. Being separated from Erin for seven days, (it is a Jewish tradition not to see each other for a week before the chuppah) I felt incomplete. It’s not how someone makes you feel when you are with them; it’s how they make you feel when they are not. Love sustains a man in the desert. It bridges the gaps of the widest oceans. Love is within you. Love is something that spreads from you and can be spread upon you. You can be awash with love, drenched in the bliss of, as my friend would say: “Being in the only place I would want to be at that very moment.” There are lessons in love that I believe teach us about our capacity for that very emotion. Love is a fever gripping the heart. The fires of love take the clay of our content and kiln it to an unbreakable bond. I have found someone brilliantly kind and unfailingly generous with her time and her mind. She is a writer, a lover and a fighter for those who cannot speak. She is a woman of the ages and the inspiration to many who have met her.
Erin, today we start forever.
Erin and Ryan
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada