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A Wedding Story | Here in New England

A Wedding Story | Here in New England
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Tim remembers that night, too. “I was seeing somebody else, but Kirsten didn’t know,” he says. “I felt sad. I was just in a different place.” So as life shifted around them, they found other mates; Kirsten married in her hometown church in 1995. “On my wedding day I stood in front of the mirror,” she says. “I clenched my hands and squeezed my eyes together. I hoped God would hear me. ‘Please,’ I prayed, ‘have Tim show up.’ He never did.” Tim learned of the wedding, and a year later he married, too: “I thought, How’d we let this happen? We always had this plan that one day we’d be together, and now this.

Kirsten lived in Granby, Connecticut, keeping a secret box stuffed with every photo, every note, every letter from Tim hidden in her attic–not knowing that Tim had a box, too, filled with her pictures and letters, not knowing that he knew where she was living or that for years every time he drove through Connecticut he hoped somehow he’d see her walking by. She says simply of those years, “Not a day went by that I didn’t think about Tim and have regret. To live with regret is heavy. It’s hard.”

By 2003 Kirsten and her husband, John, had a son and a baby daughter. Despite living in what she calls “the perfect house in a wonderful neighborhood,” the marriage had been strained for some time. One evening while washing dishes, her husband told Kirsten that he was leaving. He was gone in the morning.

Kirsten moved back to New Hampshire with her children. She signed onto a Web site that connects former classmates, writing, “My husband left me for a blonde. Now living in Dublin.” A “message in a bottle” for Tim, she says. But the years passed, and the bottle, it seemed, was never found.

Tim and his wife also had a daughter, and their marriage was also on the rocks. “We were both very unhappy,” he remembers. In 2007, they separated and started on the path to divorce.

On a January evening in 2008, Kirsten opened her e-mail and found this message: “What’s up?” It was Tim. She didn’t know that those two words had taken him an entire day to write. “I sat down at the office,” Tim says. “I wrote her a long e-mail. I deleted it. I spent the whole day writing e-mails and deleting them. I did no work. Finally it was 5 p.m. I said, I have to send something. I typed ‘What’s up?’ I pressed send.”

Kirsten took a breath and typed back, “I’m good. You?” Tim told her about his family, making e-mail small talk, as he gingerly felt his way along a path of which he was unsure. “I sat there,” Kirsten remembers. “I said to myself, I’ve had this huge monkey on my back. I have a chance to tell him what I should have told him in Boston.

“I said, ‘I think you should sit down. I have something I want to tell you. Remember that time we met in Boston for dinner? I went to tell you something and I chickened out. I wanted to say, “You are the one. I’ve never stopped loving you.”‘ I touched the send key, and I felt this huge weight come off me. I kept waiting for a reply. Kept waiting. Kept waiting.” Kirsten didn’t know that Tim was crying. Finally he typed again, and the words flew back to Kirsten: “I love you, too.”

On a November day in 2008, Tim drove Kirsten back to their high school. “Twenty-five years ago today,” he said, “I saw you walk into the gym and knew you were the one. I’m sorry this is 15 years too late. But will you marry me?”

They set the date, December 20. A simple affair: parents, siblings, a few friends, the small church on the hill.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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5 Responses to A Wedding Story | Here in New England

  1. Deb G May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    I’m sorry to be a ‘damper’, but what a sad example of the disposable marriage of our day. This is being made out as a romantic story, yet it is in reality a story of 2 broken marriages and multiple children from 2 broken homes. Marriage is not always going to be happy, nor is our spouse always going to meet all of our needs, but it still intended to be til death do us part. Especially if there are children, it is our duty to work out our selfish issues for the sake of those children.

  2. k c June 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    I completely disagree! Studies show that couples who stay together for the sake of their children are doing them a disservice. Is it better for children to grow up with parents who hate each other and show no signs of love? Or is is better for children to grow up seeing two people who love each other, setting an example of what real love should be. This is truly a love story and those kids are lucky to have two loving parents in the home who give love and show love.
    I loved the romantic story of Tim and Kirsten!! Bravo Mel!!

  3. Jen Kahn June 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Who knows how the choices we make will turn out? Yes, broken marriages and ended relationships are always sad…but it’s not like either of these two broke up happy homes to be together – it’s more like they re-found each other amidst heartbreak and chaos, which I think is a wonderful thing.

  4. Alexandra Winters June 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    It’s funny. My reaction to this story was to cry! I enjoyed reading about the unusual circumstances of this wedding. I have to comment to say that the article was quite well-written and sparked real tears in my eyes. (And I don’t think the the author resorted to pushing my buttons, either.) Although I do agree that marriage is til death to us part, I do not really know the private workings of this marriage from one magazine article. Even in the Catholic faith, there are reasons that a marriage is not deemed sacred and circumstances in which one party does not approach the union with an open heart. I do wish this couple and their families all the best. I can’t help but feel very hopeful for them both. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. John Tucker June 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    Wow, what a story. What a true love story. Warms my heart. I think the message to all that are about to get married in this season of weddings should be to make sure you are with the right person. This is only a story because of a mistake made many years ago, but I am grateful for their mistake, because this is one hell of a story… It sounds like they finally got it right and all involved will benifit from this union. Thank you Mel…you made my day…

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