Valentine's writing entry 2014 (1st place)
To fully understand how truly remarkable it was that my wife and I met I need to start several years before that first encounter. I guess it really started at one of the lowest points of my life, I was homeless (living with my ex-fiancée previously), feeling completely on my own after my fiancée left me for a friend I'd known for more than ten years and stuck in a going nowhere job with a boss that told me I'd lose my job if I went to the council to get homeless accommodation instead of coming into work that day despite giving my all to the company. It was while I was in a room in a homeless hostel (allocated to me by the local council) that I realised I had to take control of my life and make major changes straight away... within eight months I had taken on a new job, rented somewhere close to work and had a planned the direction of where I wanted my life to go to (granted if I am honest it didn't quite go to plan but that doesn't really matter). I relocated to a different town where I didn't know anyone, restarted a career I hadn't done in more than ten years and focused clearly on the future. What happened next had equally as much a negative effect on my life as it had a positive one, I was involved in an accident in which I fractured my spine and damaged my back in two other places. My life changed forever overnight, however it goes to show that positives can be found in even the unlikeliest of places... one particularly bad night after physiotherapy (a couple of months after the accident) I went online on my phone to try and get my mind off the pain. Internet use on phones wasn't as advanced then as it is now so I used my network providers chat function to talk to random people cos of being in extreme pain, in a place I didn't know... completely alone, I just wanted the company of others even if that was digitally. I didn't have a lot of money on my phone at the time so I knew I couldn't be online long, so the last thing I expected was to meet someone special but that is exactly what happened. To compound the coincidence more the woman I met was also getting treatment from a physiotherapist for a wrist defect that required metal plates and pins. She also had a session that day too, equally she was in a great deal of pain that night and was online to distract her from the pain levels at the time as well. We hit if off straight away, finding we had a lot in common (not just our health issues) and were very alike in a lot of ways, within 10 weeks we were engaged although I knew within a couple of weeks she'd be the one I'd marry. Seven years on we are both still inflicted by our respective conditions however we are still together, in love as much now as we were then, we got married five years ago and have an amazing daughter together. When I look back and see all the dominoes that had to fall one after the other to ensure we both met that night I find it hard to deny the existence of fate, even though I would have swore blindly it didn't exist before that day. Especially when considering if either of us were working at the time or even if one of us hadn't had physiotherapy that day we wouldn't have crossed paths at all, being frank looking back I honestly don't know how I would have coped had I never met her... I genuinely have a lot to thank her for. She has not only helped me cope with living with pain every second of every day, but also kept me focused on the positives rather than negatives of our situation and aside from her, she has given me another reason to keep fighting every day, our daughter. I don't know what lies ahead in our lives or even how long (if ever) it will take to overcome the damage I have done to my back, however what I can say with absolute certainty is I know with my wife and daughter by my side we'll get through whatever life throws at us. Its funny that becoming disabled started some of the greatest highlights of my entire life but its true and even now when I look back... although I remember all the pain, heartache and obstacles I (and we) have had to overcome just to get to where I am today I will always be grateful it led me to meeting the two loves of my life, my wife and daughter.