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Lucy: I was very taken with
his smile, so I decided to browse John’s profile and see what he had to
say.. I didn’t send him an emotigram, but let him know I had browsed
his profile. Viola! A few days / week later I received a friendship
invitation from him, which I, of course accepted. And so our friendship
began.

I was fascinated by what he wrote, and for the first
time in ages my mind was thoroughly stimulated as we discussed topics
we were both interested in and passionate about. I really began to like
him but was resigned to the idea our newfound friendship was just that
and nothing more. However, I also began praying earnestly about it,
especially to St. Padre Pio.

The weeks and the emails passed,
until one day John sent me the message that would change the direction
we were going in–or rather, confirm the direction! He said he would
like to get a little bit more serious. I was thrilled and excited about
this, and so our first chat of hundreds began. John crossed the pond
late April / early May, and we had our first face to face meeting! We
hit it off as much in person–if not more–then over chat and phone.

For
the next ten days we were inseparable. John proposed to me the evening
before he returned home! His original plan had been to wait until I
arrived in Kansas in September, and then pose the question. Despite the
short time frame, my answer was a definite yes!

John:
The trip was a resounding success. Lucy was everything I'd hoped for,
and then some. Having already had tons of communication, we found it
very easy to just hang out as a couple without even thinking about it,
from the very first day of my arrival. After meeting her family, who
apparently approved of me, and spending great time at some beautiful
locales and one holy shrine (Knock), the last day of the trip finally
came.

We had a great day — went to my first Tridentine Mass,
had a nice brunch with some of Lucy's friends, saw a cool exhibit on
the history of Dublin, laughed together as I got chewing gum stuck to
my rear at a bench in a nearby pub, got a nice surprise of a Claddagh
ring she wanted to give me, and shared a really nice dinner. Everything
just felt right; I knew to from skin to soul that this wonderful woman
was the girl I wanted to marry; God had definitely put a neon sign over
her head that said "marry THIS one" with a big, cheesy arrow pointing
at her.

I'd subconciously already known that before I left for
Ireland, but wanted to meet her first to be sure. So, that evening, I
proposed. She happily accepted, but that naturally made my parting back
to the States that much more painful.

Lucy:
So how do we complement each other? Well we’re both practicing
Catholics and proudly orthodox too! We’re passionate about the same
issues. We have very similar mindsets and we’re both a little insane
which definitely helps . We make each other laugh, and for me, I just
feel so alive with him.

John:
For those folks reading this "success story," allow me to be so bold as
to offer what I think are the keys to our success; they are simple and
few, but very important. Obvious things like mutual interests and
mutual physical attraction are there, and don't merit much discussion
since anybody can dig those things. What have been our two most
important "helpers" in being a successful couple are prayer and
communication. Being a long-distance relationship, the latter is quite
important. Both are vital to ANY successful relationship, but the
importance of these two get magnified by the distance. On the prayer
side, we have each put our faith totally in God, and pray often and in
many ways for His guidance and support in keeping our love strong and
growing. I can't stress enough how important this is. Marriage isn't
just a union of two people, it's a *sacrament*, so for it to have any
kind of permanence, it *must* be rooted in God first.

The second
factor, communication, is both more important and easier to do in a
long-distance relationship than in a "regular" one. We can't just pop
over to dinner or a movie or go bowling as the mood hits. Casual
conversation over a bowl of noodles or watching the news just can't
happen. All we've got for months on end is our ability to talk over the
phone or type in a chat program, or flurries of email. It's forced us
to be really open, very forthcoming with how we feel, what we think,
what we each want and need of each other. When you're in a "hometown"
relationship, it's easy to overlook such things and get complacent in
just being around each other. On the flipside, the separation makes our
time in person that much sweeter, and when the day finally comes that
we're together as a family, the really meaningful spiritual, emotional
and intellectual bonds will already have been well-established.

Lucy:
Many thanks to CM for making this all possible. We will continue our
update in May 2007! In the meantime, watch this space…. and please keep
us in your prayers.

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