Caitlin and Trevor
We had met during our first year of law school and became best friends. Our second semester, he told me he loved me … I had been very much in love with him, too, but we were both afraid to admit it and suffer embarrassment and the loss of a friendship if the other didn’t feel the same way. Our second year of law school, we moved into a little blue shotgun together. But in October, he had to take a leave of absence to be with his brother, Kyle, after a serious car accident in California. It was inexplicably heart-wrenching. He was being so strong – taking every night shift in the ICU for a month, so his brother wouldn’t be alone. I felt so far away and helpless. All I wanted to do was be there to help and provide whatever comfort I could.
He came back to New Orleans to visit me for a few weeks before finals and in that time, we brought a chubby chocolate labrador, Finn, into hour home. Finn gifted us so much love and distraction, but was born with a congenital brain disease we didn’t know about. We were both holding him when he passed away. It all happened so quickly. We really didn’t feel like our hearts could take anymore. Trevor was so strong for me, despite all of the emotions he was experiencing while his brother was still in a critical state. I couldn’t believe his selflessness. (And still can’t).
His brother, although still in a coma, was improving. Trevor came out for Christmas break to my hometown, Lewes, Delaware before we both headed back to the bayou for spring semester. I knew Trevor was the guy I wanted to marry before we started dating, but didn’t know when he’d propose. I figured because of everything that had happened, it wouldn’t be for awhile.
He kept telling me my Christmas present was being shipped and I had to wait. I still didn’t think anything was up when he and my dad had had a long talk in my dad’s office.
One night, he told me we were going to eat at The Buttery, a really beautiful restaurant in the historic part of Lewes. On the way there, he wanted to take a detour to the beach to “feel the temperature of the water.” It was December 29th in the Northeast …
We parked and walked all bundled up towards the bay. He fell behind, so I turned and found him on one knee, holding up a little felt box. I covered my hands with my face and started crying. I couldn’t believe it! We were both shaking and I couldn’t really even walk. I felt like I was in a movie or a dream. We sped home, I threw open the front door and screamed “WHO’S HOME??!! WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!!” We drank champagne, I cried a lot more and jumped around with my sisters.
My mother-in-law has a sign in her house that says “life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” I think it’s the truest thing I’ve ever read. Life can throw you the saddest, shittiest, scariest stuff, but with love, you can muster through. It conquers all and if you’re lucky enough to have it, you have the whole world.
Note: with the love of his family, Kyle has made incredible improvements and is now within weeks of moving back home to continue his rehabilitation!