Stand up and deliver

I’d like to share an incredible announcement with all of you. This past weekend, on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe, with the mountains that I grew up visiting through all my childhood in the background, and on a gorgeous late summer afternoon, I stood up on my own in a walker, and asked my amazing girlfriend Brita to marry me.

After realizing that I wasn’t joking, she shook aside the surprise and disbelief, stood next to me, eye to eye (a position we have only recently been able to enjoy) and said YES.

As all of you know, the accident that I suffered two years ago tragically changed my life and forced me to enter a world I had never expected. My career, my physical abilities, my independence and everything I had known until then were thrown into limbo with no explanation or resolution that any of it could come back to me or improve in any way possible. However, my ability to love, be loved and recognize the qualities of a truly one of a kind person were not compromised.

Brita and I (being introduced on an old-school blind date) had only met four months before my Spinal Cord Injury, which occurred while she was abroad finishing her graduate studies. When she came back to the US and saw me in the hospital, I immediately told her that I gave her full approval to move on from me, that this situation was going to be so incredibly arduous and challenging (and I didn’t even know the half of it….) that I had zero expectation or resentment towards her if she chose to let our relationship go. She had a green light….and she didn’t take it. She shook her head and emphatically and unhesitatingly told me that she wasn’t going anywhere, that she was in it for the long haul.

Throughout this time, she has been the biggest source of support for me, constantly listening to my rants and frustrations, praising my accomplishments and unequivocally maintaining the faith that I will get back on my feet, even when I question my own faith and hope. I truly believe that because of this experience, we have gotten to know each other on an entirely different level, and that’s why I had no hesitation that I wanted her to be my partner for life.

I had held a secret for the last few months that I shared with no one. I told myself that once I could stand, I would propose to this beautiful woman. Well the secret is out. It means so much to me to be able to have done this standing up, at eye level, and with the confidence that the hard work I’ve put in the last two years has paid off.

I’ll stop there as I could go on forever, but a big thanks to all of you who have supported me through this time. I’m honored to share this with you. And a huge thank you to everyone who helped me plan this special day and for our friends who were there that day, hiding in the trees and taking photos from afar and making this a truly memorable moment.

Much love and gratitude

Standing proposal

 

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91 thoughts on “Stand up and deliver

  1. I am in tears too and so so happy for both of you. Brita is an angle and you are a hero. What a great union. Congratulations!! Sending my love and hugs to both of you.

  2. “Nothing is impossible” you gave us the best example, waouuuuuu arash joon i am speechless this is an amazing gooood news! congratulations to you, both of you!

  3. A big congratulations to you both. You have both learned to face the physical limitations that you were faced with after your accident, and face them head on, and for that I applaud you.

  4. Fantastic. What a lovely story! Congratulations to you both and ongoing progress in the challenges ahead. Lots of love.

  5. Wow! This is one of the most exciting piece of news since I started following your blog.

    CONGRATULATIONS to you both.

    Bita sounds one very amazing lady, not only in her love for you, but her unwavering support of someone who has faced such enormous challenges. I know you’ll both face the future and further challenges with great strength as a couple. You are one very lucky man to have such a tremendous family and stalwart friends.

    “onwards and upwards” I say. Let this be the start of a truly remarkable life of shared faith in each other as partners and kindred spirits.

    I think I said to you once before “The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how we use them”. I don’t know who wrote this quote, but I really think it was written for you.

    1. I like that quote a lot. I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter how one deals with life situations, as long as we learn from them and remember the lessons they teach us. I am indeed a very lucky man for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing in the happiness with me -AB

  6. That’s so unbelievably happily amazing 😀 you’re one continuous inspiration Arash , the more difficult obstacles are the greater fillfullment and pride you feel overcoming them and that’s a true story in your case .. Perfect 😀

  7. Arash, this is such great news. I am so incredibly happy for you both. That you stood up and were able to do this just makes my heart sing. Congratulations. May all your dreams come true. Big hugs xxx

  8. Oh Arash, I am so pleased for both of you. I knew you were a special person when you were in my class at USF but I had no idea just how’s truly remarkable you are. I think of you fondly and am thrilled with your ongoing recovery. Prof. LG

  9. Wow – what a touching post & fantastic news. Congratulations Arash! All the work & dedication you have put in to get here, it’s incredible to see in your photos and to read about in your posts. You deserve so much happiness!

    1. Thank you so much. It was a great way to recognize and celebrate some of this progress with a truly special lady. Happiness all around! -AB

    1. We’re very happy together, and only as incredible as the people around us surrounding us with love and support. Big hugs to you -AB

  10. Congratulation on both the engagement and being able to stand and deliver the question! I’m so very happy for both of you, but I’m not surprised 🙂 You can do so much more than the doctors think, and Brita is right there believing it with you and believing it for you when you can’t!
    Sending you good energy as you continue on this journey!

    1. So kind of you thank you. Yes she’s been along for the journey and I’m lucky to have her as I continue forth. Standing to propose was AWESOME. Sending you good energy right back! -AB

  11. Awesome! CONGRATULATIONS to both of you! THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful moment! So touching! Wishing you the best!

  12. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! This post absolutely made my day and I’m sending you both loads of love and warm wishes. You are an example to all of us.

  13. So wonderful that you two found each other. May you stand along side each other in love, health and happiness. Love to both.

  14. Wow that is so nice! Thank you so much for sharing this! Congratulations to you and Brita and here’s wishing you both many happy years of love and companionship. Lots of love, Melanie

  15. Congratulations to you both on this exciting news and for this incredible achievement – the first of many to come. You are a true inspiration to others and I wish you both all the very best!!
    Sheila

  16. Congratulations Arash and Brita! With a proposal in such a fashion, and not to mention what your courtship has been through, it is clear that you both have the guts and willingness to work at building a long happy marriage. It is so important to have a strong supportive partner by your side. It makes life so much more beautiful. I’m so happy for you both.

  17. Clearly Brita sees you for so much more than your physical abilities. It’s who a person is on the inside that truly matters. Besides, you are making serious progress so she may get the physically fit Arash someday as well. All the best to both of you as you continue through your lives together.

  18. I know I already left some comments on fb and stuff but I have to say it again…. CONGRATULATIONS! I always knew the day would come that we’d see you standing. You are getting there… and you also have this beautiful and amazing woman by your side. I’m absolutely bursting with joy for you. I love you Arash, sending you a big hug!

    1. You are so sweet Bea. Thank you. So much love right back at you as I couldn’t have done it without the incredible help of my community. Big hugs to both of you -AB

    1. Haha no it wasn’t that song but I feel like I’d heard those words in a movie or somewhere. It just seemed right when I was writing 🙂 -AB

  19. I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this blog…it was just what I needed today! What wonderful news!!! The pic brought tears to my eyes…you standing, the love, the amazing view…I’m so very happy for you both. Congrats to you and Brita, you’re both amazing!

  20. Arash, Congratulations dear one! I am beyond thrilled to have stumbled upon this post! As you know, I’ve been absent mostly from this wonderful world here at WordPress. Yet, something brought me here yesterday – and now I now, I understand why! This is big and wonderful news! As for me… have been working hard trying at my rehabilitation from this last big surgery, and so many obstacles… and just not able to keep up with the blogging unfortunately. Nonetheless, I landed here late last night to check on you, and so glad I did. You keep forging forward, my friend, and I’m sending huge hugs and warm wishes for this new exciting chapter in your life. Love and Blessings ~ RL

    1. Hi Robyn! I was wondering how you were doing. I check your blog regularly to see if I’ve missed any updates and it’s nice to know you’re out there, albeit dealing with challenges of your own. I’m sorry to hear about the obstacles but I hope you’re keeping your head up. Thanks for the kind wishes. I’m thrilled to have this engagement as something I can be so proud of. Hope to hear more from you soon. Looking forward to when you’re able to get back to the blogging world. Much love -AB

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