To Make Love Stay

Meet Caitlin and Rob from To Make Love Stay
You might find this kinda hard to believe, but it's very difficult for me to meet people. I'm so socially awkward, it's not even funny. I never know the right thing to say or what to do with my hands or how close is too close to stand next to someone. I get serious anxiety when I'm forced to be around new people...and that's why I love blogging.

No, it doesn't replace having to go out and meet people in the world at large, but through my blog and those I read, I have been able to "meet" some really awesome people-awesome people I wouldn't have the courage or opportunity to meet if it wasn't for the Internet-people like Caitlin from To Make Love Stay.

I started reading Caitlin's blog after she was featured over here in August and through our little email conversations and tweets back and forth, I've come to realize that we have a bunch in common. I asked her to take the stage as October's Blog of the Month and to share a little bit of her love story with us. Well, here it is.

Rob and I met in high school. We're from a really small area, and had tons of connections that we had never realized. For example, his stepmother was my sister's kindergarten teacher, and his father, a physician, at one point worked with my mother, a nurse.

Rob was in a band and was madly in love with a girl. Nobody knew who she was because he was very tight-lipped about it. He would write her these beautiful songs and sang them with his band (at this point people always think it was me--it wasn't. We hadn't formally met yet). One day I went to go see the band play. I met the band and long story short, I started dating the bassist. We were together for 2 months, but throughout that entire time Rob and I would talk for hours online, and would frequently talk about how we wanted to hang out without my bassist boyfriend around. He even confessed to me who "mystery girl" was after about 2 weeks of knowing each other. He was not an overly trusting person but knew that he could trust me.

One night in December we were talking online and he told me that though he could tell me everything, he had one secret he could not share. I kept asking what it was, and told him that I had a “secret” too. Eventually I confessed my feelings, which he clearly reciprocated. I broke up with my boyfriend the next day, talked to Rob for literally hours, and he told me that he loved me. The first time we ever held hands we cried together and I could literally see his heart beating through his shirt (whoa teenagers).  A few weeks later was our first Valentine's Day. As a surprise Rob sang me a song he had written for me in front of our entire high school cafeteria. If you know Rob you know that he is extremely shy, and this was huge for him. Of course I collapsed into dramatic tears amongst the jealous sighs of my classmates, and all I could see or hear was him. It was lovely.

We spent the next year and a half in young-love-bliss until he left for the Army, which I had known was his dream since childhood. I skipped school on April 13, 2004 and we had our last full, non-Army day together. On April 14, he went to Basic Training, and from then until July we only communicated through letters and two 3-minute phone calls. On the weekend of July 4, I traveled to Georgia to visit him for a 30 hour pass. 30 hours seemed like forever after being apart so long, but was gone in an instant. After Basic and Airborne School, he was then stationed in Anchorage, AK while I went to college in Wisconsin.

As we were too young to get married, we stayed together without tying the knot for the next four years. I was in college so we only saw each other every 2-3 months or so. I think the longest amount of consecutive time we spent together at a time was 2 weeks. This went on until 2006, when he left for Iraq. He was there during one of the bloodiest times in the war, and he was on the front lines (MOS 11B - Infantry for you military folk) which did him no favors. He was shot and was involved in several IED explosions, but miraculously survived. Rob was in quite a few dangerous situations but always made it out relatively unscathed, a fact that he owes to the existence of a tiny stuffed raccoon that I had given him early in the relationship. I had been given the raccoon when I was 4 and in the hospital with a tumor in my kidney. He carried her with him always and to this day swears that he'd be dead if he didn't have her (and, by proxy, me) with him always. He even got a tattoo of the raccoon, named Elizabeth.


In May 2008 I graduated college and he got out of the army forever. We have lived together in happiness and love since. Rob began his postsecondary education, only a few years late, and is studying Environmental Science. He will graduate in May 2012. On Valentine's Day 2009 he sang me a song in our living room (reminiscent of our first Valentine's Day) and proposed to me. Very clearly I said yes, and we had the wedding of our dreams on July 10, 2010.

I feel extremely fortunate to have met and married my best friend. For Rob and I, staying together was never a question or a doubt. My relationship with my husband has always come easily to me, the only thing I'm totally sure of in my life aside from my family. When I look back on what we've gone through and how it strengthened us, I am filled with pride, love and happiness.


Big props to Caitlin for taking the time to share her story with us here. For more adventures with this cute couple, check out their blog, To Make Love Stay. You can also follow Caitlin on Twitter or Facebook. If you'd like to be featured as a Blog O' The Month, let me know.

7 comments

Nitzalie said... October 1, 2011 at 2:21 PM

hooray for love stories:) thanks for sharing! {BIG shout to your hubby for protecting our freedom!!}

Rachele said... October 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

What a beautiful story! I also married my high school sweetheart and I know what you mean by just knowing that this is the only person for you. We never had any doubts that we would be married and grow old together. I don't remember there being a moment where we asked each other or discussed it, we just knew! Your story is the sweetest and thanks for sharing!

Sara Bell said... October 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Aw I love Caitlin's blog and I love their story! Makes you want to appreciate your time with the one you love!

Lisa Boland said... October 2, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Wow! What an uplifting story!
Made me cry :)

LA sent me over, and I'll be back!
Lisa
www.bitchinkitschkitchen.etsy.com

Shannon said... October 2, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Awww! What an adorable story!! Best of luck to this clearly-in-love couple!!

Amanda said... October 2, 2011 at 8:12 PM

What a wonderful story... made me cry a little too! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

Louise C. said... October 4, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Aww, what a lovely story!!

www.louisecazley.blogspot.com

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