“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin
Once in a while, we see a love story that makes us believe in true love. Hannah Rooks of Morenci, Arizona shared her beautiful love story to Love What Matters and it reminded us all of the challenges of young love. It all started one evening.
When Hannah met Donovan
Having a driver’s license, Hannah was the perfect chauffer for her 13-year old brother. One evening, she drove to her brother’s school and decided to head to the gymnasium. Just then, she saw a football player named Donovan and the first thing she noticed was his black, curly hair and of course his handsome smile!
Hannah noticed that he has a limp and asked about it. He explained what happened and they exchanged smiles, a few words and she headed to the gym.
Hannah and Donovan knew they felt the spark so a few weeks after that night, they decided to meet up at Starbucks to get to know each other.
After a month, a scavenger hunt led Hannah to her last clue, where she went to the town’s huge Christmas tree. There, Donovan was waiting for her, where he asked her for their first, official date.
Their love had a strong foundation – their friendship but like any other love story, there will be trials.
Distance, love, and lessons
After their high school graduation, both went to college and there, their love faced their ultimate challenge – distance.
Hannah moved immediately to Idaho so she can start her summer semester and Donovan accepted his scholarship in the University of Montana. It was only 4 hours away from each other but their priorities changed, Donovan was so busy with his football career and Hannah was starting to enjoy her college life.
They broke up.
After breaking up, Hannah told to Love What Matters that she already had purchased a ticket for Thanksgiving, so she can go home and go to Idaho to visit Donovan but now, it was nonrefundable.
Donovan had an idea, he told Hannah to still come and visit so they can hang out as friends – just like how they started a few years back.
When she visited Donovan, she saw him again with crutches, he just had surgery. It was like déjà vu, said Hannah in her story. That same black curly hair, that adorable smile and that same person she loved many years back.
From there, they had a realization. They didn’t fail, they were tested and from there, they decided to give it another shot. This time, their promise is to be better, to be more understanding.
Married at 19 and going strong
Fast forward a few months, both Hannah and Donovan were 19 years old and decided to get married. They knew they were ready but instead of being happy for them, they received a lot of pushback.
“You’re going to regret this,” and a few others more about their age, their readiness, and other negative feedbacks about their decision.
“Today we thank ourselves for following our hearts and nobody else’s opinion,” said Hannah in her story.
Four months after, Donovan and Hannah faced another test. It was distance again but now, they were ready.
Donovan wanted to be a police officer. They had some rough times, where distance, schedule, and priorities overwhelmed their relationship. They surpassed it.
“I grew to be so grateful for the lesson our chapters of long distance taught us – communication.”
Aside from communication, the couple grew stronger together. With their respect for each other, their understanding became more mature and instead of finding fault, they learned how to appreciate each other. Their love story began with friendship that grew into love that had respect and understanding.
“We’re not just growing old together; we’re growing up together,” said Hannah as she remembers how she and her husband Donovan first met.
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