In 2010, there were two individuals working in remote locations. They were road warriors, living out of suitcases and sustained by bad hotel room service food. They were isolated, far away from their families and friends. However, every night while relaxing in their empty hotel rooms they each found friendship and fun inside a virtual world called Second Life.
This is where I come in! My name is Katya and I was a hermit of sorts. I hid away in a virtual world, having given up on relationships and seeking an escape from reality. It was in this place that the most unexpected thing happened: love found me! I was minding my own business role playing as the realm wizard when this new guy showed up in funny frilly clothes saying he wanted to be my apprentice. My character’s name was Awryn and his was Atticus, his real name is Eric. He and I spent three to five hours every night talking. We began talking about how to play the game, but soon we were exchanging tips on how to survive on the road, trading stories about airport adventures and discussing our jobs.
Before we knew it, our conversations became more personal and we’d become the best of friends. We started talking on the phone, out of the game, and soon were on Skype watching each other laugh at the crazy things we had dealt with during our travels. Finally almost a year later we decided to meet in person. I’d convinced myself that it was just friendship, but he moment we were face to face he kissed me and the sparks exploded! The rest is history, as they say.
Sadly, life decided to make it challenging. When we met, Eric was feeling sick and his legs were very swollen, but he thought it was just a passing thing. Unfortunately, the sickness got worse. He started slurring his speech, getting dizzy and falling asleep mid sentence. Suddenly he developed pneumonia and had to be rushed to the hospital. He ended up in ICU for three weeks while they gave him intravenous antibiotics. These life saving meds cured his pneumonia, but he reacted badly to them and ended up in full renal failure, almost dying from the treatment. It was then that they started him on dialysis three times a week. He lost his job while in the hospital, so I would fly in once a month to make sure he had food and medicine, while he recovered and looked for a new job. He found new employment right away, since he is one of the top minds in his field and thankfully they allowed him to work remotely.
A few months later he ended up in the hospital again after collapsing at the clinic due to chronic anemia. They couldn’t figure out what was causing it, but I noticed a bad bruise under his right foot. No matter how many time I asked the staff to check it they ignored it and released him. Two days after he was sent home the bruise opened up into a large wound that at this point has taken over 18 months to heal. Fast forward a few months to Valentine’s Day 2013. My amazing man, Eric, set up a hunt with paper hints all over the apartment leading to a final question…”Will you marry me?” I was thrilled! We love each other very much and I can’t imagine my life without him. Two months later in April, I lost my job and days after that Eric went back into the hospital again. Over the next year he would spend several weeks in and out of the hospital. I moved in and became his full time caretaker, while planning our wedding remotely.
Finally, on February 1, 2014 we were married in Saint Augustine, Florida, surrounded by family and friends. It was a long rocky road to the altar, and will continue for the rest of our lives. However, we were committed to each other through sickness and health, and we do it with all of our hearts. Every obstacle, stumble and breakdown along the way just make our bond stronger. We don’t know what our future holds. What we do know is that we will face it together.
When we bought our wedding bands we each had a word engraved, but we didn’t tell each other what it was, as it was a surprise. After the ceremony we revealed the engraving to each other, only to realize we both chose the same word. ALWAYS. And that is what we will do… love each other always.