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Chris and Denise first "saw" each other in the forums of Catholic Match. They interacted there on numerous occasions for months, with the occasional flirt. Then, in March 2008, Chris and Denise both attended CM St. Louis. Chris was from Illinois and only a couple hours away, but Denise flew up from Florida. They both spent some time together, and enjoyed each other's company. Chris even helped Denise find her lost rental car.

While Denise was interested in learning more about Chris, he was rather quiet and she thought he did not feel the same about her. However, about a month later, Chris emailed Denise making it clear he wanted to get to know her better. Denise's heart leaped. Other than a brief interlude when she had the stomach flu (and Internet problems), Chris and Denise "talked" to each other in some way daily from that point onward. Daily emails evolved into phone conversations, some as long as six hours! Both changed their long-distance plans to compensate. Soon after that, Chris suggested using webcams. Denise was a bit hesitant at first, but quickly grew to love it.

After three months of non-stop communication, Chris and Denise were anxious to finally see each other in person again. Denise was going to St. Louis in July for her cousin's wedding, so they arranged to meet for a picnic the next day. They spent all day together, talking and enjoying each other's company, then later spent time with their mutual friends from CM (aka the “SluCru”) for dinner.

On Sunday, Chris and Denise went to Mass with each other at the New Cathedral. Then they spent the afternoon in 95 degree heat at a Cardinals baseball game. Despite the fact that Chris wouldn't root for the Cardinals, they had a great time. Chris and Denise ended their date with dinner. Saying goodbye was difficult, but each of them knew they would see each other again.
In October, Chris flew down to see Denise. They were going to spend time with each other and celebrate their birthdays. On Sunday, October 19 (the day of her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary), they started their day by going to Mass together. At Mass, Chris seemed a bit fidgety, but she thought nothing of it. After Mass, they changed clothes and got some food from Subway and headed to the beach.

It was a windy, yet beautiful day. The waves were higher than normal, and it was high tide. Chris and Denise managed to find a place to put their blankets and eat their lunch. After lunch, as they looked out at the ocean, Chris told Denise how much he loved her. He then said that he had another birthday gift for her.

Denise was surprised because they had exchanged gifts the day before. So, Chris turned to reach for it and placed a jewelry box in her hands. Then he opened the box, revealing a beautiful ring. Denise was taken by surprise, and couldn't quite believe what was happening until he asked her to marry him. She didn't hesitate a second in saying YES! It was definitely their best birthdays ever!

Plans were underway for the wedding, which was scheduled for July 4, 2009, when they faced a serious hurdle. When Denise picked up Chris from the airport for a six-day visit in February, she was starting to deal with a headache that didn't seem to want to go away. She tried to forget about the headache since she was thrilled to be with him again. After a few hours, Denise was running a fever over 102, and was becoming very sick. She could barely walk.

Chris drove Denise to the emergency room at 11 pm. Once there, she was rushed into the back and was diagnosed within a couple of hours as having meningitis. From there she was taken to ICU. A couple days later, a neurosurgeon stopped by and told Denise, Chris, and her family that he found something unusual in her CT scan. There appeared to be a hole in her skull, and he felt this is why Denise got sick. She was taken for an MRI and his concerns were confirmed. He spoke to some doctors at the University of Florida’s hospital in Gainesville, and had Denise transferred there in order to have the hole surgically repaired.

Denise ended up being in the hospital for nearly three weeks for the meningitis, and finished recovering at her parents’ house. Meanwhile, the surgery was scheduled for March 30. The good news was she would have surgery going up her nose, through the assistance of an ENT. The surgery was successful; she spent another week in the hospital recovering, and a few weeks at home regaining her strength before resuming work.

Chris’ six-day visit ended up being a total of 22 days. The first 11 were from the day he took her to the emergency room until 10 days later. He wanted to stay longer, but her parents encouraged him to go home since she was improving and he needed a break. Then, a week before the surgery, he flew down again to offer Denise the support and love she needed. Of course, the hope was that the surgery would be within a couple of days of his arrival, but it didn't happen that way. However, Denise and Chris enjoyed finally being able to spend quality time with each other out of the hospital. Chris left a couple days after the surgery.

During all of this, Chris kept their CM friends updated through regular posts in the Oremus forum. The prayers offered by CM members were overwhelming! Several topics were filled to capacity, and about two dozen people participated in reciting the Rosary via conference call the night before the surgery.

Through it all, the love between Chris and Denise only grew. Denise's mantra when it came to the wedding was "I just want to marry the man. I don't care about the details." They know they couldn't have made it through all of this without God's help and guidance, and all of the prayers from the “CM Prayer Warriors.”

(This post has been read 2,639 times)

28 Comments

  1. Janis-59313 July 2, 2009

    I want to wish both Chris and Denise a beautiful wedding on Saturday. God Bless you …Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one antoher in brotherly love. Honor one another above youreslves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor; serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice Hospitality…Romans 12:9-13

  2. Kathleen-311531 July 2, 2009

    Wonderful story Denise and Chris! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  3. Agnes-275033 July 2, 2009

    Congrat for you both

  4. Kaila-344280 July 3, 2009

    Thanks for sharing your story :-) God's blessings on you both!

  5. Dawn-58330 July 7, 2009

    Congratulations, my friends!! This was beautifully written. Thank you for making me part of the whole story. You are in my prayers always. (((hug)))

  6. Frances-52297 July 7, 2009

    What a beautiful testament to unconditional love. Thank you both for sharing that!!! (((hugs)))

  7. Andrea-200761 August 17, 2009

    Denise, you are SUCH a wonderful woman, and that's how I know Chris must be an amazing man. Congratulations, and the best wishes to you both.

  8. Jacqueline-198 August 21, 2009

    Awwwww….what a great story!! It goes to show what true love is all about..sticking with one another through thick and thin. God Bless you both!

  9. Matt-166435 August 31, 2009

    Wow. Amazing story. Thanks for sharing that with us.

  10. Karen-4329 November 23, 2009

    congradulations, what an inspiration you both are!

  11. Tiffany-66114 November 24, 2009

    Hooray! Congrats and God Bless! ~Tiff~

  12. Thelma-427942 December 12, 2009

    may God continue to bless your new life together. Congratulations!

  13. Ssali-22455 December 14, 2009

    what a wonderful couple. May God bless your relationship.

  14. Marty-520612 December 19, 2009

    May God bless your union. What an inspiration! Thanks

  15. Carla-521641 December 22, 2009

    Thank you for the inspiration. God does work in mysterious way.

  16. Maia-181886 December 23, 2009

    What a beautiful love story! Thanks so much for sharing! m

  17. Jacqueline-198 December 30, 2009

    Awwwwww….I knew this was a special story but never realized all the details, I was lucky to have met Chris during one of the CM Chicagos…what a sweetie and he bakes too!!

  18. Valerie-104200 December 31, 2009

    What a beautiful love story! I didn't know all of the details either. Wow! I knew you two were special people! Congratulations for finding each other! May God bless you with YEARS of happiness and joy in your hearts!

  19. Lauren-297744 January 1, 2010

    What a beautiful story. Wow, what a match made by God himself. I got chills reading this- and teary eyed. I am so glad the surgery went well and pray you will have a very wonderful life together as husband and wife. :) Congrats!

  20. Kimberly-324081 January 5, 2010

    May God bless you both now and for-ever. I loved the story..
    Many blessings

  21. Ivy-525743 January 6, 2010

    this is an amazing story, God Bless to both of you…

  22. Maria-507737 January 8, 2010

    A VERY TOUCHING STORY .

  23. Teresa-156362 February 17, 2010

    Hey Denise and Chris…..I Have not been on in so long and just happened to see you!…Congratulations!!!… My husband, Dave and I were just talking about posting our story, when I caught sight of your success story..How wonderful ! I married the man that God sent to my life through CM on Nov. 1(All Saints), and could not have found a better mate to share the rest of my life with. God bless you both, and watch for our story soon!…In Jesus and Mary, Teresa

  24. Yvonne-604047 July 14, 2010

    Hello Denise and Chris what a lovely story, I have just joined CM, God Bless the pair of you and your life together.

  25. Elisa-608657 July 26, 2010

    Hi,Chris and Denise, your love story is the first one i read and it made me teary eyed. Just joined this site yesterday and Chris reminded me of my late husband who was also very loving, caring and supportive.Lost him 12 years ago and until now,no one has taken his place.Chris and Denise, you are both lucky! Love , take care and respect each other always.God bless and congratulations!

  26. Denise G. January 31, 2012

    I just realized that I can post on here. Anyhow, thanks everyone for the positive comments! We have now been married for 2 1/2 years. We are still quite happy. We also have a 9 1/2 month old daughter, Virginia Sophia. She was born in April 2011. Thanks all! :)

  27. Elizabeth-753085 July 24, 2012

    Such a sweet story! It brings tears to me. God Bless you both and thanks for sharing your stroy!! Glad you are doing better! Many blessings. Awwh , just read your update!

    So happy for you both. You both sound so nice and now a daughter:) So happy for you both. Many prayers your way for continues blessings.

  28. Denise G. January 22, 2013

    An additional update. We are still great. Hard to believe we will be together for 5 years coming up soon. We just had our 2nd child, another daughter, Grace Magdalen. She is 11 weeks old and her sister is now 21 months. :) Oh, and to speak of the power of CM and the wonderful community, our oldest daughter’s godmother is a CMer, Dawn-58330. God is good!

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