Friday, April 11, 2008

how 'WE' came to be...

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Someone named Jane, who leaves sweet comments on my blog asked me to tell how Aaron and I met. Well, this week has been nearly unbearable for me. I am missing him so much right now, so I felt like it would be a good time to write down (for the first time) the history of how 'WE' came to be... (it might get lengthy)



The first time Aaron and I were around each other was the first day of Junior High School. We both started 7th grade in August of 1989 at Bountiful Junior High School. We never really knew each other... we just knew OF each other. Those three years that we went to Junior High together, I don't remember even having one single class with Aaron. I remember him though. He was quite popular and had a lot of friends. From what I hear now from some of the girls that knew him then... he was the boy everyone liked.
I, on the other hand, was kind of shy unless I knew someone already. I didn't like Junior High and couldn't wait for it to be over. I really wasn't very social.
So, Junior High (9th grade) ended and Aaron lived in the boundaries for Bountiful High School and I lived in the boundaries for Viewmont High School. So, we still had no real chance of getting to know each other... but because we didn't know each other... we didn't realize then what we were missing out on.
Well, the summer between Junior High and High School, Aaron's family moved into our ward boundaries. They were now living only a few blocks from us, but because Aaron was already registered to go to Bountiful High School, we still went to different schools. So, even with Aaron living so close, we still didn't get to know each other. We had different friends altogether. I did get to know some of Aaron's family quite well though and I really liked them.
Well... 10th and 11th grade came and went. Then in the middle of our Senior year of high school, Aaron transferred over to Viewmont High School. So, there was yet another chance for us to get to know each other, but we still ran in different circles of friends and we still never had a class together. So, I really don't remember ever having a conversation with Aaron in all of those years. What I do remember about Aaron... is when he would drive past my house every day in his big Ford truck. Besides seeing him at school once in a while after he transferred, that is really all I ever saw of him through those years.



We graduated on the same day from the same school in the same graduation ceremony. But... we still didn't know each other.

Well... time went on and a few years after High School, in December of 1998, I left on a mission for my church. I served in England. My mission was to last 18 months and I was so excited, nervous, scared, happy... every emotion. My brother, Spencer, was serving a mission for our church in Italy. His mission was to last 2 years and he had already been gone 6 months when I left to go to England.




About 3 months after I left, I heard through letters that Aaron had decided to go and that he was going to be serving his mission in Brazil. I was so excited for him. A few months after that, I was reading something that Aaron had written about his mission in a newsletter from our ward. He sounded so happy, so I decided that I wanted to write him a letter (even though I didn't know him) and tell him how happy I was for him. So, I sent him a letter. I wasn't even positive that he would remember who I was... but he wrote back. And the rest is history. We wrote to each other for the rest of my mission and then the rest of his mission. These letters that I received from him were priceless to me before he passed away, but now that he is gone... I read them over and over and they are treasures. I was reading in them recently and there is one thing that caught my attention as I was reflecting on how long I had known OF Aaron, but didn't KNOW him. In one of these letters, he wrote:
"I know it hasn't been very long since I've written ya, but I've learned one thing important, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!' Well maybe that's a sorry excuse, the truth is I don't know why. I am sure that before we started writing each other, you thought I was weird. But now you know that I'm weird, and you don't have to just think that. Well anyways, I have been thinking about you alot lately... You have constantly been in my prayers and I feel like they are being heard. I know that God loves you greatly, it shows in the talents, blessings, and qualities that he has bestowed upon you, being a daughter of him. Leslie there is something special about you that catches peoples attention! It is the light of Christ... ...I know these things because I have felt it in your countenance. I personally don't know you very well, but I recognized through you, my Heavenly Father. I don't know, no I do know that I've never told you thank you for being who you are. I remember seeing you in High School and other places and I recognized the peace that you had in your life, and I desired the same peace. Few people have been able to affect me in such a strong sense, but it is by you and these few people that have helped me return to my Father, by recognizing his love."

Through these letters, Aaron had a way of making me feel very special. He definitely wrote kinder things than I deserve, but it is always nice to hear them. There is no question why I would have been so drawn to him. You can see why I treasure all of these letters. They are truly dear to me and I am so grateful that I have them.
In return, I thought the world of Aaron. He impressed me so much. He was inspiring to me and he had a heart of gold. He was one of the most genuine people I had ever known and I knew that there was something VERY special about him.

Continuing on... I got home from England in June of 2000. Aaron got home from Brazil in March of 2001. I was there to hear him speak about his mission and I was amazed by him. He called me later that day to see if we could get together sometime that week. I was more than excited. We did get together and then that weekend, he came with me and some friends down to St. George to go hiking / biking. We stayed in a motel... a room for the girls and a room for the boys. :)
Anyhow, this photo below is the first photo ever taken of Aaron and me together. These photos were taken on our hike in Snow Canyon near St. George.



Whenever I look at this photo, I want to return to the moment it was taken and turn around and give him a huge hug. Doesn't he look so cute? On this hike, he and I hung back behind the group and talked a lot... we were getting to know each other in person. It is one thing to get to know each other in letters, but it is another thing when you are getting to know each other in person. I really liked him.


A couple more photos from the hike and one that Sunday after church standing by the St. George Temple.

Well, this is where my heart breaks as I remember the events after the trip to St. George. After that trip, we 'dated' for about another month... I was really liking Aaron. I loved him as a friend for sure, but was a little nervous about moving on to the next step. I was scared. So, I told Aaron that I wanted to be friends for now. I know that is the most horrible thing to hear when you are dating someone. I just didn't know what I was doing. I wasn't that practiced in the whole dating scene. He told me that I broke his heart and I felt horrible. So, that started several months of not seeing each other or talking to each other. I can't even express the sadness I feel now that I missed out on those precious months with Aaron.
That summer of 2001, I moved in with some friends to a new apartment in Orem and was enjoying life. Well, in January of 2002, I learned that Aaron was living in the same apartment complex as me, but he was in a different building. I hadn't known for 4 or 5 months that we were only living about 100 yards from each other. That same month, I was out talking with a friend on the sidewalk by my building and a truck pulled up in front of us and here comes Aaron walking around the truck and comes up and gives me a big hug and says hello. It was so good to see him. We talked for a minute and then he left.
In February of 2002, I was talking to some friends that I knew that were also in Aaron's church ward and I asked them if they knew Aaron. They said that they knew of him and said that they don't see him around much. Well, I decided at that point that I wanted to see how Aaron was doing. So I called his parent's house and got his phone number from his dad and tried to call him. I left messages on his phone for almost a week. Well, I decided this one day that I was going to try one more time and if he didn't answer or call back, I was going to leave him alone.
Well, this time he answered. We talked for about an hour and it was such a great conversation. He asked if he could come see me the next day to ask my advice about something. So, he came over the next day. We talked for a little while, but he never asked me advice... I hope it was just an excuse to come over. My birthday was that weekend and my roommates and I were planning a party, so I invited him to come...
He came. I was happy to see him. He waited until the party was almost over before coming and I was glad. I got more time to talk to him and it felt so easy and natural.
While he sat there, he wrote me a birthday card and what he wrote touched my heart and I knew that I wanted to date him again.



This is at the party. That is a piece of wood that he thought looked like a piece of pie, so he is pretending to eat it. :) ???

We went out a several times in that next few weeks and then Aaron left to go back and visit Brazil. I missed him... a lot. When he got back, we continued dating and he invited me to go on a trip to Lake Powell with him and some friends. I had never been to Lake Powell, so I was so excited. I went with him and here are our first photos together once we began dating again. They are in Lake Powell...
These are all scanned in, so some of them are not quite clear.









This was the night we were heading home. We were loading the boat. Aaron bought this boat right after we started dating again. It was his dream come true. He loved this boat.

Here in Lake Powell is where we told each other that we love each other for the first time. It was the greatest feeling in the whole world. I didn't even need to hear it to know it though. The way Aaron had been treating me and serving me in those first couple of months... I knew he loved me. But it was wonderful to hear it.
It was only about a week after we got home from Lake Powell that we secretly got engaged.

And that is where I will leave the story for now...

I will say, though, now that Aaron is gone... those months between the times we were dating are precious months that I missed out on in Aaron's life. I was sad about those months before Aaron ever passed away, but now... it is heart wrenching. I want those months back... I want every moment back. I don't know what inspired me to write Aaron a letter while we were on our missions... but I cannot express how grateful I am that I did write to him... and that he wrote back. What a blessing.
I am blessed to have Aaron as my husband. I am so grateful. As I read his letters and his journals and hear more memories from other people... I learn more and more about Aaron than I already knew. I have to say... I am falling in love with Aaron more and more every day. I love him now more than I ever have. Even though he is not here with me physically, my love for him continues to grow every moment of every day. I realize more each day how blessed I am that we chose each other. I never realized what it truly meant when people talked about 'their other half'... until 'my other half' was gone. I do feel like half of me is missing. It is hard to describe the feeling, but it is real and painful. Oh, how I miss him. I can't wait until we are whole again.

I love and miss you so much Aaron...

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52 comments:

LL said...

oh Leslie, that was SO sweet to read. I loved it...living right there in the same ward, I never knew the story. I love it!
I'm sorry that he's no longer close enough to hug, i so wish things were different.
thank you again for sharing!
always thinking of you.

E and T said...

What a love story, full of twists and turns, but most of all a tale of two beautiful people deeply in love.

The photos from when you were dating and the letters you exchanged speak volumes about the love you and Aaron shared.

I am sorry for the loss of Aaron.

You are in my prayers and thoughts.

Crystal said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I didn't know the whole story of how you met. Seeing the picture at your birthday party reminded me of how much fun we had that night. I'd love to talk and visit with you sometime soon.

Rebecca_Adams said...

Leslie, that was a great story of how you and Aaron met! It's always fun to hear stories like this of how a couple meets and falls in love. My heart breaks for you knowing that Aaron isn't physically here anymore, but I can tell that you are being strong both spiritually and mentally. I'm sure Aaron is looking down on you and Aaron Jr. every minute of the day and loves seeing the two of you as happy as can be. It's so good knowing that families can be together FOREVER!

amanda said...

Oh I want to hear more. That was such a neat love story. You'll have to continue it someday.
Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings with us. I love to get to know Aaron and you thorough your blog journal.
I love the pictures of when you were young and not dating but liked each other. That was so fun to read.

dani said...

leslie, don't dwell on the time apart... everything has its reason; it may have taken that time apart for you two to grow and come back together. had you not, your hearts may not have grown fonder.
love and prayers,
dani

Kristi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristi said...

There is something magical about hearing how two people come together.
I remember much of the story from behind the scenes as we emailed back and forth.
What a tragic ending for this love story...well, temporal ending that is.

Valeri said...

What a beautiful story of a beautiful and eternal couple. Thank you for sharing that with all of us. You know Aaron Jr. is going to cherish all of this writing you're doing down the road. It truly is family history. I hope it's been therapeutic for you in some way.

Annalee Kelly said...

What about you and Aaron's first kiss?

smart mama said...

what a great story- thanks for sharing

The Barbers said...

Leslie, it wasn't until I scrolled through this post to make a comment that I realized how long it actually was. You had me completely captivated! I loved reading this post. To me, you and Aaron seemed so different in many ways, but when I hear of how you two came about, I KNOW you were meant to be together. I hope you can find the time and strength to finish your story soon. I admire you more than you will ever know!

(p.s. We NEED to get together for Aaron's birthday and share stories. I think that would be helpful to you AND all the others that miss him.)

Laurie said...

I am so sorry Leslie, my heart breaks when I think of you. Thank you. You teach me to cherish my husband even more. I LOVED reading your story of how you two came to be. I look forward to reading more sometime. I hope you can find that "peace" again Aaron talked about in his letter to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that with all of us. I loved reading it and learning more about you and about Aaron and your life together.
Don't dwell on the time apart. Rejoice in the time you had together and the memories you have to hold on to.
I know Aaron is so proud of you and pleased in how you hold his memory so close to your heart.
You honor him so well.
I have read a lot of your posts now and I think if things were the opposite, he would have done the same in honoring you. What a special love you have.
Take care and I look forward to reading more any time you feel like sharing!!
Take care of yourself, Leslie.
Hugs,
Rita

Anonymous said...

Oh Leslie! Thanks for posting that. I read every word with a tear in my eye and joy in my heart.

What a wonderful thing the written word is. It can transport you and take you places where you so want to be.

Maybe that break you took from each other really focussed your love. Don't regret it. It's part of what created the powerful force that the two of you shared.

Love to you,

Jane

Kristal and Jason said...

That is a great story! I love how you just wrote him kind of out of the blue. I put your name on the temple rolls today for a little extra boost. I've been thinking about you alot and hope that you can feel the love that people have for you and Aaron jr.

Kristal and Jason said...

p.s. you are a really beautiful girl!!

Mindy said...

I loved reading your love story, Leslie! I kept thinking, "Oh, THIS is when they'll get together..." So many "misses", but it probably all had to work out that way for you to be together in the end. I loved hearing that your love for him is increasing... that is so important, especially knowing that you will be with him again, and forever. Love you!

Janeal said...

We don't know each other, but I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks back, and have been touched and blessed by your faith. What a beautiful story of how you and your sweetheart came together. Thank you for sharing it! I hope that you'll pick up where you left off, especially your joy in becoming parents to your adorable baby boy. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day.

Clippy Mat said...

what a beautiful love story. you shared an amazing love together and you were so blessed.
on another note, i feel a connection because you lived in england for a while and that's my home country. i would love to hear where you were and what you thought of it.

Vicki said...

Leslie, I love your story! Even though your blog is very sad for me to read sometimes, I love getting to know you better by reading it. Hang in there! You are strong! Love you lots!

Matchbox Mom said...

Leslie,
You are such a sweet girl! I also want to hear about the first kiss...ect.
This was really fun to read! It's good to get to know you better! seriously, you are such a doll!

Tam

LizG said...

What a really lovely story, full of misses and what could have beens. You were lucky to find each other in the end, you were meant to be.

My husband and I had a set of similar circumstances and only met when we lived 150 miles apart :)

Thanks for sharing it with us.
(HUGS))
Liz

Justin said...

It's so cool to hear stories about Aaron from a side that I never saw. All I could see was the noticeable change in his countenance, so I love hearing the experiences from somebody who was a part of it. Aaron is so lucky to have you as part of his eternity.

The Doug Anderson Family said...

Leslie-
I found your blog off one of my friends blogs. I do not know you but wish I did! I am amazed by you and your son. I love reading your blog (and cry the whole time) because it makes me cherish my husband SO much more. You make wonderful points and bring so much gratitude to my heart. I am sorry you are going through such grief and pain right now but I hope you know that it is not in vain. You are teaching me and many others such great life lessons. Your blog is inspiring to read and I love so much deeper now. Thank you for being you. keep your chin up, you are doing a great job, you are stronger than you think.

Sarah said...

I knew Arron his Freshman year at USU. He was an amazing Man! I had not heard from him since I left on my mission. This summer I ran into Steve. I was so happy to hear that he was Married and had a little boy. In late Nov I was reading the Newspaper.I saw his Obituary,my heart fell. I could not belive my eyes. He will be missed! You really are blessed to have such an AMAZING husband! God Bless...

Seesalou said...

that's quite an undertaking to delve into life's memories and try to piece together some sort of sequence of events. i am not sure if i could remember well enough to piece together mine & john's beginning. i love you very much and hope that someway you are finding comfort and sense, and perspective.

Seesalou said...

that's quite an undertaking to delve into life's memories and try to piece together some sort of sequence of events. i am not sure if i could remember well enough to piece together mine & john's beginning. i love you very much and hope that someway you are finding comfort and sense, and perspective.

Sarah said...

What a special story. Thank you for sharing. How lucky to be able to spend eternity together!

The Doug Anderson Family said...

Leslie-
I pulled up your blog last night to see if my husband knew you. The first picture he saw was of you in Jr. High and he recognized you immediately! He went to High school with you. He thinks you were a year older than he is. He graduated in 1996. Anyway, he had a lot of positive things to say about you. I actually went to school with your little bother Spencer. I hope you don't mind us reading your thoughts, they are very inspiring to us.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today Leslie. Thinking and wishing. Love, Jane

Emily said...

Beautiful story! Michelle told me that you had a blog. Its amazing how many chances God gives us to meet our eternal companion!

Angie said...

Leslie, I hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog but I just wanted you to know that I've thought of you alot since December. I am married to John's cousin and I love Lisa to pieces. Your sis and I have talked a few times about how hard it is for you and for her to know that your heart is so heavy right now. I pray for you and hope you find comfort through our prayers. We have told John that if he needs a place for Aaron's horse, he's welcome to bring it out to our empty 2 acre pasture. We will take great care and attention (when John is not here) to the horse your husband loved so much, if need be. You would also be welcome to come out and visit anytime.
Take Care,
Angie

Sasha Fisher said...

Les,
I loved that story. It made me laugh, cry, and feel good--that is what life is all about. I can't believe how beautiful you get everyday both spiritual and physical. You are definitely an inspiration to many. Oh by the way, Aaron was right, you do a radiant contenance.

Kimberly said...

Leslie, you don't know me, I happened upon your blog when I was reading a friend of a friend's blog. I don't know you, but I'm so sorry for your loss. I cried through every post that I read. Thank you for continuing to write this blog. I have learned many things from it, just reading the few posts that I did. I have been struggling in my marriage lately and your posts have taught me that all of the things that I have been struggling with lately are not important in the eternal scheme of things. I know what the gospel teaches, but your blog has been a great reminder of what is truly important in this life and what is not. I am not putting this nearly so eloquently as another comment that is on your blog, so I'd like to echo some of her words "You make wonderful points and bring so much gratitude to my heart. I am sorry you are going through such grief and pain right now but I hope you know that it is not in vain. You are teaching me and many others such great life lessons. Your blog is inspiring to read and I love so much deeper now. Thank you for being you." God bless you and your son.

haley said...

i found your blog through apron girls.... oh, how i would love to throw my arms around you and your little boy and protect you from all the hurt you have been feeling. thank you for sharing your stories.... i will never again take my loved ones for granted, and when i slip, as i'm sure i will, i will return to your blog and remember how blessed i am to still have them by my side. thank you...

Mandy said...

I found your blog from your comment left on my sister-in-law's blog (Angie). Hope you don't mind. Wow, what a touching story. You write beautifully. I know it must be hard to put into words the pain you must feel. Your story gives the rest of us a lot of perspective. My husband has been diagnosed with cancer and I guess I can say I am lucky enough to be able to live each day knowing that mortal life is fragile but that love is eternal! I pray that you will feel peace and comfort during these hard times.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, hope there were more happy moments than sad ones, today. Thinking of you both. Love, Jane

Dax said...

Leslie,

I remember the day Aaron told me he was engaged, needless to say I didn’t believe him. I remember driving down to Orem excited to see what girl was crazy enough to marry Aaron. I think I met up with you guys somewhere by the apartments, you were both in his truck and his boat was still attached to the back. You had just spent the day on Utah Lake. Even after you confirmed that you and Aaron were really engaged I still didn’t believe it. I thought Aaron had just convinced you to go alone with one of his elaborate pranks. It took me about two weeks after that day to finally believe Aaron was serious.

Dax

Kristi said...

Leslie,
I found your blog through a friend but I actually also went to Jr. High and High School with Lisa. I'm so sorry for your loss. I new of your hubby (since you were both a year younger than me) but didn't know him personally. Whem my friend told me about his unexpected death and I found out you were married, I was so sad for you! Keep doing your posts. We all have so much to learn from your experiences. Thanks for your inspiration!

K&K&kids said...

WOW...that is a lot of comments, Les. I knew the story of how you and Aaron came to be, but it was interesting to hear all the little details. I hope you are doing OK. I continue to pray for you and Aaron Jr. Take care of yourself and that adorable boy! When are you coming for a visit? Love ya.

Anonymous said...

Leslie,
You don't know me, but I know you. My sister forwarded me your blog. You are a friend of a friend. I wasn't sure why she sent my your link until I began to read. Your story and mine are nearly the same...I am sorry for your heartache. I know it is real. I know how you feel alone in a very crowded room. I know how everyone tries, but cannot make it better. For me it's been 8 years...somedays it feels like yesterday. Like today when I read your blog...it all just comes back. It was hard for me, being so young to find anyone who I could relate with. Every other "widow", I hate that word, was older. Not left with very small children. I wished I had had someone to talk to that KNEW what I was feeling. If you need that too, I would love to be that for you....my name is Shelley

shelleysgirlsrock@gmail.com

Omar - aguilarfam@gmail.com said...

A wonderful record! (not just this entry..but the whole blog) Definitely worth keeping for your son to read... You truly are an inspiration, esp to me. Thanks for your insights and for opening up even a smidgen of your inner voice/heart. It's records as these that keep me thinking about my own life and the things that matter most. Even if you don't really speak to me directly, these words you've "penned" help me to rise above who I currently am. Interesting how precious moments and memories as these are and the "tragedies" that cut them off are what cause us to value what moments/memories we have left. I truly enjoy reading the moments you share. I'm sure Aaron (your love) is thrilled to read them too...

Tammy said...

I hope that everything is going well for you. You haven't posted in awhile so I was just "checking" in on ya. I hope that the absence is because you and Aaron Jr. are enjoying the nice (sometimes windy) weather.

Keep your head up and look at all these people who are there to support you and Aaron Jr.

Hanna Family said...

Leslie,

I am not sure you would remember me from high school. My name is Michelle Langston. I was good friends with Katie Edwards (now Bakker). I just wanted you to know that Katie told me of your blog as we are going through a difficult health trial in our lives right now. Our two beautiful twin boys we worked so hard to conceive were born at 23 weeks and we have been battling the ups and downs of prematurity ever since. I just want you to know that I have come to really know the power of believing in God's grace and love. I still have many days were I feel abandoned and that this was not supposed to be my life but I try to cleave to the thought that God will not abandon me and some day all of it will make sense. I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you in your moments of difficulty and sending you a very empathetic hug.

Sincerely, Michelle Hanna
www.shaneandmichellehanna.blogspot.com

kellie and craig said...

It's amazing the affect people can have in someones life and you don't even know them. I'm Crystal Turner's sister in law... I've read your blog many times. You are incredible and just by what you write I feel like I get to know you even more and I've already gained a love for you. I feel like we are so lucky for the knowledge of eternal life and the sealing power in the temple, you will see him again... thats whats so amazing!

The Pohlman Family said...

Leslie,
I have no words of advise because I don't know what its like to be where you are. I just want you to know that you are such an inspiration to me. Today my husband and I are celebrating our third and first anniversary together. Mark was over seas with the military for 18 months. He missed the birth of our first child and nearly the whole first year of his life. I remember thinking a lot of the same things you posted in your previous blog about the things you missed about your husband. I remember that feeling of emptyness. People often asked my why on earth I got pregnant when I knew my husband was to be deployed. I didn't know how to answer that question until Bradyn was born. My son filled that void in my life. He was a blessing in disguised. I'm so grateful that I have my husband here to celebrate that third anniversary. Your life, your words, they inspire me to hold on to what I have and to be grateful for what I have. I don't know if you have any idea how many people hold you and little Aaron close to their hearts. With the love of your family and those all around you, you will get through this. My family loves and prays for you.
Love,
Michelle (Robinson) Pohlman

Alesha said...

Leslie,

You don't know me, but I found your blog linked on someone else's. I really enjoy reading and it makes me think of how short this life truly can be...sometimes when we're 90 it's not long enough...I am also a young mom with a little boy. I still have my eternal companion here on Earth with me, but I feel so touched by your words. It makes me remember not to take one second for granted. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Matchbox Mom said...

Leslie,
Where are you? Where did you go?
Hope all is well..
Thinking of you and praying too...

Tam

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, just thinking about you this morning and hoping you have found some joy in the little things today.

With love,

Jane

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

HI Leslie,

I just finished watching Frequency and of course thought of you and Aaron whem the credits came up and they played 'When you come back to me again'. I think of you often and hope your making it through the days with a little sunshine.

With love and thoughts,

Em

MidgeMoney said...

Thank you for sharing this. I remembering playing games Sunday nights with Hark and alot of the other kids from the ward in the Summer of 2001. I didnt realize that you live in the same complex. What a small world!