One Love: A Valentines Day Story
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Happy Valentine’s Day!
Having always enjoyed a life of varied interests and experiences, I have slowly ended up having my finger in many pies around the globe. I’ve “made friends” with people I may never actually meet face-to-face, many of whom I feel more connected with than my actual neighbors next door. Perhaps that’s a sad commentary on my life, or perhaps it’s simply the way things go in this new age of gadgetry. I’ll have to think about that one.
The bottom line is, however, that I’ve gotten to go places, see things and have experiences that many people who simply play it safe would never go, see or do and much of it has started with a friend of a friend on social media. Sometimes, having friends you’ve never met is pretty darned cool. This story is a case in point.
Through a Facebook page we both follow, I was recently approached, via messenger, by a woman named, “Jessica.” She asked me point-blank if I was living in Jamaica. I hesitantly replied that I was here for an extended stay, working towards actually living here in the coming years. I wasn’t sure where she was going with all of this but decided it wouldn’t hurt to hear her out.
She went on to tell me she had a strange request. I thought, “Oh great. I’ve hooked a Jamaican who wants me to loan someone money” or something even crazier. I replied, “And what might that be??” Then I sat back and braced myself for the worst, with my finger on the “delete” and “block” buttons. Ha ha. You know how it is on social media. Things can escalate quickly.
Her desire was actually quite simple, very romantic and pulled at my heart-strings. Jessica, who lives in New Jersey, explained that her fiance, Gio, loves Jamaica and wants to be here very badly but his work is keeping him pretty tied down. She thought it would really mean a lot to him if I could go to a place with beautiful Jamaican scenery and take a photo with a love note from her in the foreground.
Pretty simple. A hand written note, expressing that her love was so big that it had reached the shores of Jamaica, taken in front of one of my favorite subjects…Jamaican scenery. I was happy to help out and told her I’d get right on it.
As fate would have it, we then entered into several days of uncharacteristically windy, gray, rainy weather. The first few hours of the day might start off sunny and calm but by the time I’d get dressed and walk the mile or so to the most scenic areas, the black clouds would roll in, followed quickly by rain.
If it wasn’t raining, the winds would be blowing so hard that I literally could not hold the card in one hand and shoot the photo with the other. I spent a fair amount of time actually chasing the card down the beach after it had blown out of my grasp, I’m sure, looking like a complete lunatic. At least I saved a lot of money on skin peels, as the sand blasted against my face and legs. The conditions were a little discouraging but I told Jessica to hang in there.
At last the perfect day came. It was sunny and hot with mild breezes. My daughter and I headed to the shore, love note in hand. The biggest obstacle at that point was deciding WHICH backdrop to use, as there are so many stunning vistas in Treasure Beach. Being the thorough person I am, I spent much of the afternoon shooting photos at each of the locations. I decided I’d just let Jessica decide which one to use. It was really a lot of fun, although I did get some really strange looks!
Jessica’s plan was to give Gio the photo for Valentine’s Day. When I sent the photos to her, she was ecstatic. I’m hoping it made their Valentine’s Day complete. The last time I contacted her, she was on her way to his place to share it with him. I’m glad I took the risk and made someone’s Valentine’s Day wish come true.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jessica and Gio. I hope you make it here one day soon. One Love, from Jamaica.