Hope Wissel

Happy Anniversary Rob

Two years ago today, I married my soul mate, Rob.  For those of you who know our story, sorry for the repeat but it is a true tale of unconditional love.

Rob and I dated the summer BEFORE high school – me from OTHS and him from Neptune.  Not a great match due to peer pressure and just wanting to fit in as I went into HS.  We never spoke again after we broke up.  He went his way and I went mine.    

In July 2001, I received a note in the mail from him.  He said that after a year of searching, this was his last attempt to connect with me.  The search for me started because of a roadside memorial that said “HOPE”.  He wanted to make sure that it wasn’t me.    

When I saw the note, a smile of shock first then amazement crossed my face.  Belinda was like Who is this?  Tell me more? since she had no idea who he was nor did she know much about my high school days.  I wasn’t looking for a relationship and was content for it to be “Belinda and I” till she went to college.  I emailed Rob and for over 3 months, that is all we did.  I shared tales of my past as did he.  We connected but I never let him believe that we would be anything more than friends – I wasn’t interested.  On October 12, 2001 after working the midnight shift, he drove down to EHT to spend the day with me at a craft show.   Now at that time, I was making American Girl doll clothes – the day was busy with kids and business but he stuck it out. He helped me pack up and we went back to my house for dinner.  Belinda was with friends so we spend hours just talking and reconnecting.  He even showed me a picture of me from that summer that he had and continued to keep all of these years.  That was the first of many trips that Rob would make to EHT over the next 5 years.  You see, he traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us every week.  He traveled to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows.  

One year later, at Christmas, Rob proposed and I accepted!  Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married.  He was concerned about Belinda.  He didn’t want to change her life as she was in high school – a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known.  They had their ups and downs but he would have given her and still would – give her the world.  She is the daughter that he never had.  

When Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick.  Not an easy move for me, Miss Independence. I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there.  Once Belinda became a resident of North Carolina and was in her final year of college – the date was set.  I was calm and just thought it would be a routine kind of thing until that day.

You could say that I was a little nervous even for this simple ceremony with a few close friends and family.  As my dad started to walk me down the aisle, the reality hit.  This was really happening – I was getting married.  I almost passed out walking down the aisle and the pictures show the slight look of panic.  It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me.  It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those that meant the most to us.  

I wouldn’t change a minute of the last 11 years.  We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person.  We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?  

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, my hubby – Rob Wissel.

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