A Love Story
Before I met Bronwyn, she was living up in Grande Prairie, AB trying to leave her darkest days behind her. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, she had been in and out of the hospital. She was taking a couple medications. The meds made her symptoms worse. She wasn’t sleeping right, hearing voices, seeing undesirable images, scared of the shower and she was disfunctional with any kind of relationship. For such an attractive and talented young woman, her life was headed down the same road mine had been destined for.
The month before I met her, she decided suddenly to refuse to take her meds. Her parents were a little uneasy I’m sure. Her mother had heard of Truehope years before, and seriously started looking into it. One day at work, her mother was given a copy of the May 2005 Discover Magazine featuring an article about Truehope. She brought it home for Bronwyn to read. Bronwyn read it and her first thoughts were, ” I wonder how this Joseph guy is doing now?” and “Is it really possible for me to have a normal life too?” Feeling rejected and judged by people in Grande Prairie she decided to go online to find someone to talk to who could relate to her.
Meanwhile, my brother pretty much forced me to go online and meet a girl. So he set me up. That was’t normally something I would do, I’m just not like that. One day Bronwyn’s picture popped up on my screen. I decided to try talking to her. For some reason I felt compelled to initiate communication with her. I tried two more times after the first. She pretty much completely ignored me until the third day we were both online. She must have been bored and thought she’d humor me. So we chatted about nothing important. Then she asked me a question. “Where do you work?” I replied, “Have you ever heard of Truehope?” Having been primed for this moment by stopping her meds, and having read the magazine article, she said, “Yes, I was just looking at the website. I’m Bipolar!” She seemed to say it with such enthusiasm and trust. I think if I had been any other guy, I would have been freaked out and shut off my computer. As soon as she found out I worked at Truehope, she warmed right up and started talking to me for a change. She hadn’t yet realized that I was ‘the Joseph’ that she had been wondering about not longer than a week before. All she knew was that I was someone she could talk to. Someone who could understand her.
Finally we had the opportunity to talk on the phone. Man that was an amazing experience! We talked about everything from bipolar to the weather, for probably five hours. From then on we had many more online or phone conversations. I was falling hard for her, and I desparately wanted to be with her in person. So we arranged a weekend visit. I was living in Magrath at the time so I drove about 10 hours up to Grande Prairie. It was interesting driving all that way to meet this beautiful woman you HOPE is waiting for you at the other end! But all doubts aside I drove a long way, and it was totally worth it. She was very lovely indeed! It was almost like one of those love at first sight experiences.I brought her a bottle of EMPowerplus. She says I was her knight on a white horse coming to rescue her. I met her wonderful family, and felt her mother’s concern for her.
We were able to spend some time alone. One of those moments was walking through the lovely Muskoseepi Park in GP. I loved being there with her. I noted to myself how easily we connected, I could talk about anything with her. I felt that same ease from her as well. Her hand was so soft in mine, I was smitten. During that walk I picked a flower from a nearby bush, and put it in her hair. I didn’t think too much of it, she had beautiful hair. But Bronwyn said that was ‘the moment’ for her. She knew this was the start of something wonderful. Unfortunately that weekend had to end at some point. It ended with her and I driving in separate cars. She had to work and I had to to go back to work ten hours south of there. At our last intersection together we waved and parted ways. What I didn’t know at the time was that Bronwyn had turned around to follow me and say goodbye one last time. The only problem was that she never caught me in time. She drove after me but gave up, turned around and cried. As sad as I was to hear this after, this was when she realized that she loved me.
Weeks passed and Bronwyn was taking EMPowerplus and not feeling so bipolar anymore. She got well. She became a glorious woman without a mental illness. She was and is forever grateful to me for this. I was able to drive up and steal her away for a week. This time the drive south was much more fun. We were finally together again and we talked about life and sang our hearts out to music. Since she was only visiting my family for a week, I wanted to ‘seal the deal’ before she left. I bought her a beautiful ring. A couple days before she was supposed to leave, I took her to a lovely place with a waterfall (she loves waterfalls). I walked her over to some big rocks at the bottom of the falls and we sat down. I proposed and she said yes! We embraced and I stole a kiss. It was a moment I will never forget…
From then on life has stayed in fast forward motion. We eloped about a month later (which was the most romantic thing ever), and planned a reception for a couple months later. Here we are now six and a half years later, still married with four wonderful children. Life shows no sign of slowing down. We have had many rough moments in our marriage to work through. But mostly it is the happiest fairytale come true. We laugh together and cry together. We keep each other sane in an insane world. We’ve both been there… I am grateful everyday for my sweetheart.