Samantha & Benjamin

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February 4


How We Met

It all started…on Sam’s 31st birthday. Venturing into the unknown space of online dating, is where Sam and Ben met due to a common interest of smelling glasses before pouring themselves a drink. From there it was conversations into the late night around comic books, cartoons, music and other common interests. Continuing for another week of constant communication, learning each-other’s life stories, embarrassing moments, and sprinkles of innocent flirtation. Then came the gut wrenching “First phone call.” Have their lives turned into a 90’s romcom? Regardless, the anxiety around this was like none other. First ring, second ring, Ben answers the phone as if he didn’t know someone was going to call (as he always does.) At that moment everything else faded. The entire world froze still on its axis and they both felt as if they were floating in space. All anxiety dissipated as they spent hours upon hours laughing, having deep conversations about their life experiences, Ben mansplaining culinary techniques to Sam while Sam educated Ben on how business works and the world of illustration. Conversing until 3:00am; losing all sense of time, responsibilities and both knowingly procrastinating on the “Goodnight” finale of this life changing phone call.

Our First Date

Fast forward a few days to the first date; Brenton State Park. Ben stepping out of the car and seeing Sam in person for the first time. All anxiety once again departs from his brain as he lays his eyes on someone so beautiful, so bright and so excited to open the car door for her so they can drive off and enjoy the evening. Sam tracing her fingers over Ben’s tattoos as he rests his hand on her lap. Thinking to himself, “is this really what my future could be? Could someone truly find joy in my presence?” Overlooking the ocean, Ben asking to kiss Sam as they sat on the bench. Sam giving permission. Lips meeting in the middle and the feeling of tranquility taking over. The atmosphere riddled with nothing short of protection and warmth. Goosebumps traveling up arms and hearts racing. Feeling everything like nothing in his life. Over the course of the next few weeks were filled with dates to Roger Williams Park, antique shops to buy clown paintings, impromptu dates where Ben reached through a rusty fence in order to get Sam a huge sunflower in a field, pizza nights in bed, waking up in the mornings freezing because Ben enjoys a crisp 60 degree bedroom (or he just used it as an excuse to cuddle Sam.) Driving around aimlessly for hours, talking and having sentimental conversations about the lives they lived up until these incredibly special and life changing moments.

Our Story

But what is a love story without a curve ball? What is a love story without enduring a hardship? This is the chapter where Ben’s health begins to decline. Despite the improvements he made over the previous year, Ben’s heart began to fail. Creating organ failure, disabling him from living the life he worked so hard to build back up for himself. This would last indefinitely, ultimately being told by multiple medical professionals that a heart transplant is the sole answer to his survival over the following 3-5 years. At this point Ben was welcomed into the Rook family home with open arms and open minds. Continuing to build a beautiful life with Sam and her daughter, Penelope. Learning patient parenting, researching how to be a father figure, building a bond and trust with Penelope and working every day to learn the importance of his role in her upbringing and how to be an addition to Penelope’s support system. This became a vital part of his life with the understanding of his medical setbacks and disability. Becoming Penelope’s “Beh” and Penelope becoming Ben’s “Wildflower.” Nothing in the world could replace the beauty of life and the hopeful future that Penelope bestowed upon him each and everyday. Ben will work harder than he has ever before, so he can continue to live a long, colorful life with Sam and Penelope. As time passed along Sam and Ben learned new love. Ben brought the importance of Valentine’s Day to Sam’s life. Dressing up, becoming fancy and going out for an exquisite dinner and celebrating the love they have found and grew over all this time. Ben enjoying cooking for Sam and giving her the experience of delicious culinary dishes both new and old. Sam bringing creativity and color to Ben’s life. Support both physically and mentally. Giving Ben birthdays and celebrating Father’s Day was all new to him. Both meeting each-other with patience, empathy, educating and unrelenting support for one another in every situation possible. Learning and growing together, finding out the new and better versions of themselves and running with it.

The Proposal

The proposal. Oh, the proposal. After a phenomenal day at a rare book fair. Literature being something both Sam and Ben find solace in and bond over… Ben being as dumbfounded as ever when Sam pulled out the ring box at the spot of their first date. Asking Ben to spend their entire lives together as they enjoyed a picnic. The box reading a quote from The Lord of The Rings. One of Ben’s many obsessions. Sam wanted Ben to know, no matter what was coming, she wanted to face it together. Ben immediately saying “Yes” without hesitation. The two are officially engaged! Both Sam and Ben have lived long lives prior to meeting. Experiencing what they thought love was. But not experiencing true love until the universe brought each-other together. Calling each-other “my person” and “my home.” Ben naming Sam his “Opossum” and Sam naming Ben her “Raccoon.” Sam being Ben’s sunflower because of the brightness and color she brings into his life. Their story has been filled with many chapters of self growth, realization, and eyes as a morning rosewater. Yet there’s still so much of their story left to tell. But for now, we live in the moment and gaze back at a love story that is only the roots of a beautiful, radiant, colorful flower that shall live and grow indefinitely. “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.”

For all the days along the way
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