Lyall (my little brother) and Kayla are living proof of the song "Greatest Love Story" (By Lanco-- if you're interested-- Lyrics below!). After meeting and dating in High-school in Arizona, these two lovebirds made the grown-up decision to go their separate ways for College, living separate lives on opposite parts of the country all throughout their twenties. TWELVE years later, they independently ended up living in neighboring states, and ultimately found their way back together after all this time apart (Lyall found out she lived two hours away and courageously called her for a drink!).
After their engagement, Lyall and Kayla have spent the past year planning their destination wedding at our parents house for July 20, 2019. Sadly, everything was derailed on Saturday, two weeks before their wedding: they had JUST flown all the way across the country, landed in Portland, and after our very first 10-minute stop to check out an Oregon viewpoint along the Gorge, we made our way back to the car, only to find that everything was GONE...absolutely everything was stolen from the car. All of their bags from the airport filled with their wedding plans and dreams were taken: wedding favors, Kayla's custom made wedding ring from Lyall, passport, birth certificate, computer, tailored suits, outfits for their photoshoot, two weeks worth of vacation clothing, toiletries, camera (containing photos and memories we can never get back), luggage.. the list goes on. I can't explain that moment of seeing the empty space where all the bags should have been; knowing all at once that every precious item they had packed up for their wedding was in the hands of complete strangers. Feeling violated is an understatement considering all the very personal items and documents they carried with them for this special trip. (Kayla thankfully had her wedding dress and Lyall's wedding band in her backpack).
What should be a relaxing vacation two weeks before their wedding has now become a big rush to get everything re-purchased and re-ordered and organized before their wedding. Not to mention shopping for regular clothes to wear while on vacation: shirts, shorts, dresses, socks, shoes, undies!
One thing made clear: These two simply want to get married. The poise, elegance, and positive outlooks they have shown is what underlies their "Great Love Story.." but can you imagine how you'd feel if this happened to you? :( Their strength and excitement to get married anyway is what brings me to tears.
Please join me in re-creating the wedding/vacation they planned and in showering them with love and support. FYI: They didn't even sign up for a wedding registry, they simply wanted to get married surrounded by the love and support of family. Anything donated will help them replace what was lost and give them the means to start their life together. Nothing is too small-- they needed new undies, remember?
** The lyrics from that song will do more justice than my writing:
"So you came back after a long (twelve) years, Your college boyfriend didn't work out, So we went out for a couple of drinks to find out who we are now, Sure we changed but way deep down you had the same old feelings for me, went to the store and I bought you a ring and I got down on one knee Down on one knee.."