Our Love Story

 

It all started 20 years ago.  I lived in what was then Czechoslovakia.  The Berlin wall fell, the Eastern boarders opened and we were free to travel.  I was 18 years old, so excited for life and my biggest passion - travel.  I packed my suitcase and left home to travel to America for 7 months.  I planned to visit all of the relatives I had there and learn the language.

One of my Aunts lived in Colorado.  I stayed with her for three months.  It was a small town with a friendly atmosphere and I very quickly became friends with local kids my age.  They invited me to many parties, events, and sporting events.  And one day there he was - a handsome, tall, tan guy, with a wide bright smile on his face.  His name was Bruce.  He came to greet me and was very curious about me.  Who I was, where I was from, how long I was staying, and so forth.  We had a very good conversion and a lot of fun together.  It did not take long before we started to date.  We dated pretty much the whole time I was in Colorado.  We tried to spend as much time together as possible.  We went for trips, movies, and most of all talked and talked.  We loved to talk and laugh.  We had as different backgrounds as possible but we felt like we belonged with each other.  The connection was really strong and the chemistry just worked; it felt right.

Everything has to end one day and so did my stay in America.  My visa expired and I was ready to go home.  Bruce was devastated and so was I.  But the timing was not right for us.  I was very homesick and did not want to miss the exciting time Eastern Europe was going through after the fall of communism.  I had a dream that in my newly free country I would be able to open my own business.  Bruce had dream as well.  The summer I met him he decided to go back to school and get his PhD.  Although our hearts were aching the situation was more difficult than we were able to handle.

Time went on and we tried to stay in touch as much as possible.  Remember at that time there was no email or Face book, the fastest form of communication was the telephone and letters via fax or regular mail.  It was slow and hard.  How do you really date someone who is on the other side of the world?  Bruce felt that he is losing me and came to visit me at Christmas time.  It was great to be together again but hurt so much because I knew he will go back home soon.  He came again in May and we went through the same feelings again.  Neither of us was willing to give up our lives and dreams in our homelands.  There was always something more important.  So we broke up.

I met a new guy and married him soon after.  Bruce went on with his studies and met some new girls as well.  We managed to stay in touch once a year by Christmas card.  We sent each other a short note every year just to let each other know that we are alive and doing all right.  Our notes went like this: “Hi Bruce, Merry Christmas, I am doing fine, had a baby last March...”  “Hi, Katerina, I traveled around the world last summer…”  “Hi Bruce, I opened my second shop…”  “Hi Katerina, I finished my Masters…”  It went on like this for about seven years.  Then one day I wrote him a note: “Hi Bruce, I got divorced….” And I immediately received a reply, “Hi Katerina, coincidently I will be traveling to Europe this summer, could I stop by?”

We met again; older, wiser and experienced by life.  We wanted to find out how we felt about each other after so many years, maybe have some time alone.  So Bruce invited me for a short trip to Hungary with him.  But I was not alone anymore, I had a young daughter and was not willing to leave her anywhere without me.  So it happened that all three of us traveled to Hungary and had some time “alone” to get to know each other all over again.  We found out that our feelings for each other did not change much.  We still laughed a lot and had so much to talk about.  We missed each other a lot and never met anybody who we felt so right with.  My daughter was doing great and Bruce was very good to her.  Two months after that Bruce proposed to me.  He was finishing his PhD.  He was looking for a job and would be able to support a family, a new wife, and even a child.  The decision was up to me.  I was happy but did not want to leave my comfortable life back at home, a promising career with a decent income, family, and friends.  At the same time I was also responsible for several employees who were dependent on me and our business.  If I quit what would happen to them?  We brainstormed and looked for signs.  At the same time that Bruce made a decision to move to Czech to live with me, I found a woman who was able to rent my business and carry on with the same employees, clients etc.  It was great because Bruce did not have to interrupt his studies and I was free to come to the USA.  Having full custody of my daughter there was no problem bringing her along.

We realized that there was nothing to hold us back anymore.  We realized that it no longer matters where we live as long we are together.  We realized that what we had is very special and not easy to find, even if you literally search the world.  We realized that it is worth it to make it work.  We also realized that nothing is more important than us.

We got married during the 1996 Christmas holiday in Prague.  Since then we had our second daughter and have lived in Colorado, New Hampshire, Prague, and now in California.  Our marriage is great and our love is stronger than ever.  We still laugh a lot, we still talk a lot, and we travel a lot as well.  Travel is the passion we both share and brought us together in the first place.  We also raise both of our daughters with respect for all cultures, peoples, and places.  We tell them that love is very important in everything they do and if sometimes you have to go farther to find it then so be it.  The sky is the limit.

KD J (2010)