These two sweet darling people got in front of my camera at Yorktown Beach last weekend while Marc was in town for Easter. I had bumped into Heather on a number of occasions at Awana’s and my sons school so when we sat down over coffee to plan her engagement session, it felt like I was chatting with a friend.
Heather and Marc met in college just as she was preparing to start ROTC and he was getting ready to finish his program and leave for active duty. As fate would have it, he got stuck at Columbus State University waiting on some paperwork. It was just the right amount of time needed for a romance to start to blossom.
In Heather’s words, “I decided to join the military when an unfortunate turn of events blessed me with a darling little girl I wouldn’t trade for the world. The military wasn’t something I had in mind, so when it came time do conduct an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) I couldn’t run fast enough if someone were chasing me with an ax! So when Marc, a workout buff who was eager to lead and mentor, saw me struggle, he offered to show me around the gym.
I didn’t expect our friendship to go anywhere, I was going to basic training soon and he would soon leave for BOLC and on to his first duty station in Washington State… 2,764 miles away.”
Heather didn’t think they would end up together with a long distance relationship and the military putting added stress to a newly forming romance. But on a hot, humid, Georgia afternoon after college graduation, Marc walked Heather to her car and they shared a kiss, their first kiss, amid rows and rows of vehicles, like a scene at a car dealership. This was not what Heather had in mind when she pictured telling her grandkids how Grandma and Grandpa met. A romantic at heart, she wanted it to be picture perfect, just like in the movies. That kiss sealed in Heather’s mind that they would absolutely not end up together! But, after years of more kisses and hand holding, she reminded Marc that their first kiss SHOULD have been in a field of flowers, or on top of a mountain, just like a movie. Little did she know what Marc had planned.
They began to talk a lot about getting married and the last twelve months had led them to more serious conversations about it. As they made plans Heather started to make sure that her nails were polished at all times, especially when they made plans to travel to the Dominican Republic. The ocean, the sun, the sand, THAT was from a movie! But there was no ring on her finger after that trip
Another opportune time was Thanksgiving, both our families, keeping it close to home, maybe a ring would come out of Redbox along with a movie. But no, no ring. So she stopped holding her breath and decided to stop polishing those nails. Their next trip was to California for Christmas, as they both have family there and made time to see them. Marc’s family wanted to take a little trip to snow board at Lake Tahoe. Heather had never been before, and thought she would be a quick study. She was on the ground so much from falling, that it wasn’t a surprise to see Marc there as well helping her up . . until he pulled out a ring. They had taken the lift to the highest point of the mountain . . . just as Heather had envisioned it many years ago.
Coming down off the lift, the first person she showed the ring to was her daughter Lydia. Giant happy tears rolled down her cheeks as she has known Marc almost all of her life. For her this means more than the joining of two lives but the start of a family.