When people ask me how I met my husband, I always ask them if they have time to listen to a story first.

Sometimes, I feel like my life came straight out of a Lifetime movie plot. My love life is certainly not an exception.

Our relationship began before I was even aware of it. Let me explain.

The year before I met my husband was undoubtedly one of the worst years of my life. (I say one of because my life has been….interesting.) I had just ended an abusive relationship, moved across the country…twice, and lost a baby half way into the pregnancy. The last thing I wanted was a relationship, or so I said. There was a dating website set up with my story and my pictures, but I was not the person running it. A girl that was a close friend of mine at the time was behind it, using it as an escape from her reality, I suppose. She spent time talking to my husband. I didn’t realize it because I didn’t have a phone OR a computer, so I was incommunicado. Once I made my way back to sweet home, Indiana, the first thing I did was check my email. My inbox was FULL of messages that were being forwarded to my email–from a dating website. I was able to make the connection to my friend because she is the one who set up the email account for me…back in high school. Never again will I rely on a friend to help me create a password! :O

I read through the messages between the two of them and immediately got ahold of my now husband to let him know he wasn’t talking to the real me. He was persistent and the story he got about me was real. Since he’s a good person, he was concerned and continued to email me EVERY DAY to check on me–from Iraq. That’s right. All of this was going on while he was away, serving during a tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once he didn’t understand the message I was giving him about NOT being interested, I got mean. I told him there was no way it was going to happen. The last thing I wanted was to be tied down again, especially to a stranger.

After quite a few lonely nights and feeling like life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, I started to open up to him (the real me, not the Catfish) Since I had never done the online dating experience before, I was pretty skeptical for a few months…especially when he told me he couldn’t video chat because his camera was “broken.” However, I truly enjoyed his kindness and caring nature in the emails we exchanged. Soon, emails progressed to phone calls and I was waist deep in an online relationship I had no intention of starting in the first place. We decided to add each other on Facebook, which ended up being a really good decision. Christmas was coming up. I was a newly single mother with a toddler to care for. I was living with my mother and working at Goodwill, trying to re-establish myself in Indiana. It was a tough time and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to provide Christmas for my son. My new found internet love reached out to people on my friend’s list to find out what my son and I might like for Christmas. Yep, from Iraq, he single handedly made our Christmas the best we ever had. It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me. I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but to say I was smitten was putting it lightly.

I met my husband for the first time at his welcome home ceremony, which was right around Christmas time. My other mother (no, my mom is not a lesbian and I don’t have a step-mom…that’s a story for another day) accompanied me to meet my husband for the first time. I was so nervous and scared so it was great to have a familiar face with me.

From there, he didn’t get to head home. He had to demobilize and I didn’t get to spend any real time with him until Christmas Eve, when he was released. He came over to my other mother’s house, where I was spending most of my free time, pretty much as soon as he got the chance. The crazy thing about this story is that he was still wearing his stinky Army clothing. My son ran up to him, like he knew him his entire two-year life, even though that was their first time meeting. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when that happened and it’s pretty much been the same ever since.

My husband and I have been together since that day. We got married a short month later (crazy, I know!). My husband is the reason I started to appreciate the unconventional nature of my life. I can’t say it’s been a cake walk (it NEVER is with me), but here we are 6 1/2 years later, still married and still alive! We have two beautiful children and he’s the closest thing I’ll ever have to normal.

jarod toomey

The very first picture of my husband and I together. This picture was taken at his welcome home ceremony! Glad I got to be the one waiting for him! 🙂