Along the Broken Road

Let’s give it a shot…

Hello Everyone!

As promised, here is the start of my online journal. Please check out the “About” section, where I have provided more details about Ralf’s story and why I decided to start this blog. As my first official post, I thought it would be nice to tell you a little more about how Ralf and I met and our story as a couple. Before our wedding day, our amazing videographer, Ed Ballart with Belvedere Stories, had us complete a questionnaire together. Below are some excerpts. These were written by both Ralf and myself:

How did you meet?

We initially met in passing while on a class trip freshman year of high school. We reconnected junior year when we were placed in the same SAT classroom. Through the help of mutual friends, we quickly fell head over heels and became high school sweethearts.

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These pictures were taken very early on in our relationship. We were just barely 18 years old.

How did Ralf propose?

Well, first we must explain the significance of the location. We first started “talking” in May of 2004. Keeping with the Columbus/Lourdes tradition, we both participated in the annual pilgrimage to Marco Island for Memorial Day Weekend. Maeghan went with her family while Ralf jumped into a car with nothing but a bathing suit, a twenty-dollar bill, and his friends. It was there that they shared their first kiss. Several months later they found themselves in Marco Island again on a traditional family vacation, where they shared another first – the first time they said, “I love you.” Over the years they have traveled there many times and have many wonderful memories.

So, back to the proposal. In July of 2010, Ralf took advantage of Maeghan’s horrible sense of direction and naiveté. He led her to believe that they were going to a family dinner in West Palm Beach. Little did Maeghan know that they were traveling a little bit further west in the complete opposite direction. Earlier that day, Ralf had taken Maeghan’s dad, Peter, to lunch to request his daughter’s hand in marriage. After receiving his blessing, he went to Maeghan’s house and packed her bags (he even packed make-up remover and tampons just in case!) without her knowing. Ralf had made reservations for dinner and hotel accommodations. After dinner, he took Maeghan for a walk on the beach with a blanket and champagne not far from the spot where they first kissed and said “I love you.” It was there where Ralf got down on one knee and Maeghan began to sob inconsolably. It was perfect.

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This picture was taken minutes before Ralf popped the question on July 2, 2010. My makeup definitely didn’t hold up – I tend to cry for everything.


How would your friends describe you as a couple?

We are known as the “go with the flow”, laid back, “whatever you want to do” couple. We are very easy to please and get along with.

What are your favorite things to do you like to do together? (ex. boating, traveling etc.)

Movies, kayaking on our lake, eating, drinking, dancing, playing with our new puppy (Charlie- an adorable, incredibly annoying French Bulldog), exercising (whenever Ralf is able to motivate Maeghan)…

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One of our many days on the boat together. It was perfect – great weather, good music, beer, and each other. Boat days were the best days.

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Having so much fun, doing something he loved so much. (Was he a stud or what?!)

 

Ralf, tell us a bit about Maeghan. What do you love about her? How does she complement you? What does she do that makes you happy? What does she do that drives you crazy (pet peeves, etc.), what are you most looking forward to after you marry her?

First and foremost, I am going to nip that fourth question in the butt. NOTHING Maeghan does drives me crazy or is a pet peeve (I am not as dumb as I look). What do I love about Maeghan? Maeghan is my best friend. She is like me in so many ways and different at the same time. Anyone who knows us would say we are two bodies sharing one soul. As cliché as it sounds, she truly is my other half. We share the same likes/dislikes when it comes to food, music, recreational activities, and life in general. We compliment each other in every aspect two persons can connect with- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, physically, etc. Maeghan is one of the most honest people I know and has the biggest heart. She wears her mind on her sleeve (which is not always a good thing, but at least she is honest). She never puts herself first and will do anything for her family, friends and patients. While having such a compatible mate who thinks almost exactly the same way as I do does helps our relationship blossom day after day, it is also a double edged sword. You see, thinking the exact same way as someone makes you the perfect opponent in an argument. Maeghan knows what I am I thinking before I think it and is always two steps ahead of me. She knows exactly how and what to say to push my buttons and to get under my skin. It drives me crazy but I love it at the same time. I would not have it any other way.

Maeghan, tell us a bit about Ralf. What do you love about him? How does he complement you? What does he do that makes you happy? What does he do that drives you crazy (pet peeves, etc.), what are you most looking forward to after you marry him?

Ralf is the most selfless, big-hearted person I know. He is more than I could have ever dreamed of or asked for in a life partner. He supports me, builds me up, and believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. Anyone who knows us knows that we are so alike in so many ways. We compliment each other. He keeps me grounded when I get over-emotional and fly off the handle. By the same token, Ralf is also the most infuriating person because he knows just how to press my buttons when we argue. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

44 comments

  1. ines

    Maeghan your blog is so touching. i was married for twenty three years and got divorce. After reading your blog i truly believe i was never in love. You two found true love in each other. Its like a fairytail. Your young but full of wisdom. Please keep writing it has helped me treasure those that i love.

    Like

  2. Nancy

    I didnt know you but felt the need to reach out. Stay strong and keep soaring. Ralf will always be by your side as well as baby Mason. U will have many signs along the way to reconfirm that he is there.

    Happy to see you did this blog. Ralf passing affected me tremendously being from Miami I think we were all touched.
    Look forward to keeping in touch thru your blog. U are in everyones prayers.
    God bless u always.

    Like

  3. What a beautiful post! These stories/memories will be like soothing balm to your aching heart. They will make you (and us) smile even when its unimaginable. I don’t know you, though we have many friends in common…(mostly firefighters, my cousin who also works for City of Miami Fire Department, and many of Ralf’s firefighting family attends the church where I work) I feel like drawn, like so many in the community, to check in on you and pray for you. Thank you for being vulnerable and open with so many. May we bless you as you have blessed us!

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  4. Marti Estrada

    Hello Meaghan, I don’t know you nor did I know Ralf but your story has touched many hearts and lives. You are truly an amazing woman and I wish God continues to give you the strength you have portrayed. Many blessings to you and your baby Mason! May God bless you always!!!

    Like

  5. Ana

    Thank you for sharing your story and for allowing us to read your post. I don’t know you or Ralf but I have been following your story. We have some friends in common and I was able to read your FB post. I know how hard it is to lose a love one. It is like a big empty hold in your heart. It will never close but we learn how to live with it. You had the privilege to experience true love with your soul mate. He will always be with you because he is half of your soul. He also gave you the most precious gift a son who will be with you always. The love you will experience when he is born and in your arms is beyond words. He “Mason” will fill your heart with unconditional love. Ralf will always be with you because a love like yours never ends, never dies.
    I was told that you are a great singer, that you have a beautiful voice. You are also a great writer maybe you should start writing music. Channel your grief through music. Turn your old office into a music room where you can write your songs and even start recording music. Music is therapeutic specially for someone musically inclined.
    I know is hard and it is unfair but you are strong you will find the best way to transform your life. I say transform because that is what happens, we never get over or move forward we transform. I am truly touched by your story and thank you for sharing. I keep you in my prayers every night.

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  6. Becky

    Hi Maeghan,
    Like so many others, I don’t know you or your hero personally either, but have been following your story since it broke on the news and made the rounds on FB. This has so deeply touched me. Please know that you, baby Mason, and your families have been in my heart and prayers daily since I heard. You are a remarkable young woman and are going to make a wonderful mother. Your strength, poise, and courage through this have amazed me. I’m so glad you have started this blog – Your writing is so touching and inspiring! May God bless you and keep you in his care always.

    Like

  7. Ilsian C.

    I literally went crazy looking for your Facebook to get the link of your blog.

    I admire you in so many ways, even though all I know about you is what you have written on your Facebook wall and this blog.

    Your story has touched the entire community’s heart 💗.

    Like

  8. Idania Gilbert

    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story with us! Really glad you decided to start this blog. You are a true inspiration and I wish nothing but the best for you and baby Mason. Looking forward to reading all about your journey up ahead. God Bless.

    Like

  9. Sandra Pantoja

    Hi Maeghan,

    I just want to thank you for sharing. Your story has made me cry many times. Your faith in God will get you through this. You, Ralf, and Mason have been in my prayers. God Bless You.

    Like

  10. Cristy G.

    We don’t know each other, but we have friends in common. The stories you share about the love you and Ralf have is one of a kind. I thought loves like yours didn’t exist anymore. You have given me the hope, faith and strength I had lost. I pray for you, Mason and all of the family everyday. Thank you for sharing your stories. God Bless you!!

    Like

  11. Nicole

    Hi, you don’t know me, and I don’t know you but I have been following your story (along with much of Miami) via Facebook. I have two friends who had the honor of working with your husband and another who knows you through high school, so I saw your story shared multiple times on my news feed and I felt compelled to look you up again today. I cannot imagine the strength and faith you possess; reading your story fills me with sadness, yes, but also with hope. I am sure you don’t see yourself as strong right now, but you are. And you are a beacon of hope and strength for many people in this community as we share in your story. I am so very sorry for your loss. May your husband rest in peace and may your heart find solace. God bless you.

    Like

  12. Rei

    Thank you for opening your heart to so many of us and for sharing your live story that will endure beyond our time on this Earth. May God continue to guide you and hold you wrapped in his everlasting love.

    Like

  13. Christynn Malagon

    Maeghan I don’t know you but like many your story and the love you and Ralf shared has truly inspired me! You and your family are on my mind daily! I am glad you started this blog because like many others I will be one of you top followers! I want to see you and baby Mason do well always. God bless you and I will continue to lift you and yours in prayer!

    Like

  14. Monica Ortiz

    I’m so glad you took the leap of sharing your feelings through a blog and in the process inspiring all of us readers to look for the hope in our day!

    Like

  15. Ani

    Thank You …..
    You don’t know me, I am Charlie McDermott’s wife (Ralf’s boss on the fire boat). I can’t imagine how you feel. However, I can tell you are a very strong woman, just what your son is going to need! Keep doing what you are doing, not that you need it, but it will make you stronger and more amazing than you already are!! 🙂

    Like

  16. Grethel

    Beautiful story Maeghan! Thanks for sharing and giving us an insight into your wonderful relationship. May God continue to give you strength through the legacy Ralf has left behind!

    Like

  17. kegmenocal

    Hi Maeghan. I don’t know you. I know of you because we know some of the same people through the social circle known as Miami. Because of this, I had the privilege to read some of your Facebook posts. I wanted to let you know that your words are extremely moving. I remember reading that you don’t wish for people to pity you, and while I don’t, I am deeply saddened for your loss. Learning about Ralf and your story, I’ve found myself torn between two extremes: whether to embrace faith and the certainty that everything happens for a reason or to completely question the purpose of these circumstances, acknowledging the unfairness of it all. I am, nevertheless, able to appreciate the beauty and poignancy of this tragedy as a witness to your love and to Ralf’s legacy, a life full of purpose and service, transcending death by giving of himself to the very end. I congratulate you on your decision to start your blog and am certain that you will be an instrument of hope and perseverance for many people, myself included. If I could grant a wish through prayer, it would be that this cross was no one’s to bear, but as Ralf acknowledged, trials are a part of life that we need to overcome, a test where some will fail and others will soar. And so I thank you for your courage to share yourself and this trial with us. I ask God to bless you with His comfort and light during this time and throughout your life. Keep on soaring!

    Much love and blessings!
    Kathie

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  18. hi,

    I dont know you and you dont know me… I learned about you and your story through some friends. I have been reading your post on Facebook since Ralf was in the hospital- and I have been praying for you, Ralf and baby Mason non stop. I also donated for Mason’s school because as a mother of 3 I know how important that is.

    Thank you for letting us be a part of your life, and for letting us try to help you through this very difficult time through prayers and comments.

    God bless!!!

    Like

  19. Laura M.

    Hi Maeghan,

    I am one of the hundreds of people that never knew you or Ralf. I came across your story on my Facebook Newsfeed from a friend of mine that shared Lourdes Academy’s post shortly before Ralf’s passing. Instantly my heart hurt because, just like you, I am almost 28 years old and recently married. My husband and I are also high school sweethearts and we began dating in November 2004. While I realize that there is not much that I can say to comfort you in this unimaginable time of pain, please know that your story has touched me tremendously. I have always been thankful for all of the blessings God has given me, most importantly my relationship with my husband, but ever since I read your story I have gained a whole new appreciation for it. I hope that one day in the not so distant future you will be able to smile at life again, I am positive that little Mason will bring your smile back. The bond that you and Ralf had will never be broken.

    Like

  20. Mallory

    I do not know you but we have numerous friends in common. I have felt a need to visit your fb page daily and read the posts you make. You are very strong and I cannot even imagine the pain you are feeling. I hope n pray you can find some peace through your blog, your son and hopefully in time another love interest in your life. Keep writing!
    With love,
    Mallory

    Like

  21. Julia

    May God continue to bless and strengthen you. May this blog bring peace and healing to you and others reading it. God’s plan is greater than ours.

    Like

  22. Nury

    I’ve been following your story from the beginning, I didn’t know ralf but a lot of firefighters friend did. I think this is a great idea what your doing with the blog. I admire you so much for being so strong! Im looking forward to reading more on your new blog.

    Stay strong my friend. He’s always with you!

    Nury.

    Like

  23. Rosalyn

    I have been following your story and I believe you are a hero. I work with a good friend of yours, Daya Miguel, so I feel you are also a friend. If you need anything please do not hesitate to ask. I have a one year old son and I do not have anyone to give his clothes to. If you don’t mind, I can give them to Daya so that little Mason may use them. God bless.

    Like

  24. Janet

    Maeghan, you’re an absolute hero yourself! What a beautiful blog…this may be one of your callings. I understand that you are in the medical field…you would be a GREAT grievance counselor. YOU are what people need at a time of despair so they know they can make it through anything. Of course, God but it’s great to have someone that understands and can empathize with pain. Keep up the good work and I truly hope you find another mate soon that will fill some of the void that Ralf left behind and will be a good father figure for Mason. I’m sure soon down the road you’ll look back at this as a sad but sweet life lesson. You have seen how many people love you and the support you have…not many can say the same thing. And, I am sure God will send you another great life partner to finish the rest of your years here on earth until you meet with Ralf again. Sending you many blessings your way!!

    Like

  25. Daphne Noisette-Andre

    Your love story is beautiful. I pray God continue to give you strength and courage to keep doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration to so many women or anyone that is reading you blog out there. May God continue to bless you always.

    Like

  26. adita1212

    Maeghan:

    Ever since Ralf was diagnosed, I have been following your posts and praying. Since my daughter, Heather Otero-Taffur, came home from work ( MCH West Kendall), and told me that her friend’ s husband had been hospitalized , and to please keep him in my prayers, I have been doing that non-stop.

    Please remember that God gave you a wonderful man, and he, in turn, left you a most precious gift, your son, Mason.

    Ralf, you and Mason have become a part of my family and nightly prayers.

    Writing your thoughts is very therapeutic, and you do it beautifully. It is an honor for me to continue to read your blog.

    If there is anything that you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    With love, and with Christ always,

    Ada Otero

    Like

  27. Lorena Liscano

    Hello,

    I am so happy you decided to include those of us you don’t know at all. Thank you for allowing us into such a deep and special private part of your life. It truly brings me great joy to read your posts and to see how God is strengthening you and allowing you to grieve through writing. I look forward to reading all of your future posts. Many prayers your way.

    Like

  28. Thank you for sharing this Maeghan. The more and more I read from you, the more and more I am convinced that the love story between you two is one-of-a-kind, the kind you hear of in story books. Ralf’s and your own words come off the page with the deep love and bond that you have. I say ‘have’ and not ‘had’ because it is evident to me from this post and those from Facebook of notes Ralf wrote to you and conversations you shared, that your love and bond is one that transcends all things including, but not limited to, the physical separation of death.

    It permeates and lives in every note/word you wrote about/to each other; in every conversation you shared that even with everything going on you recall with perfect clarity; in that boat of yours most especially the moment the sun sets; in the songs that held special meaning for you two or the songs you always fondly and probably amusedly recall him jamming out to most; in your home in the spots where you can clearly picture him still standing/sitting; in the TV programs you watched together or televised sporting events that if/when you were to watch them now you could perfectly conjure up his reaction to a dramatic moment on a show or an amazing/awful play made by his favorite sports teams because you just know (again no past tenses here) him that well; in his favorite meals and places to visit especially the ones that hold special memories of you together; in all your family and friends who witnessed your growing love and whom can always offer their third person accounts of the love story that blossomed before them.

    Of course your love and bond continues to live and breathe in all of these and more, but no where in as much as that precious, beautiful baby boy you have inside you, Mason. He is the ultimate testament of the love and bond you two shared made into a physical, living, miraculous being. Through him shines your love for each other in the best way possible.

    Again, thank you for sharing with us what I’m sure are only glimpses of your life together. It truly is inspiring and a joy to experience second hand through your memories. God bless you and Mason always. You definitely have a dedicated reader in me. Love, Annette Calafell.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Romina Hernandez

    hi Maeghan
    Your story has been incredibly touching, just this past year in May 2014, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer., and the fear that goes through your entire body is unlike anything I had ever experience , seeing her go through the treatments and it’s very ugly effects was very hard. She is now doing better but at times I see the effect the experience has done to her. To read your story has made me not dwell on the little things in life that are imperfect but to be thankful for what is important, I was not as lucky as you to find that kind of once in a life time love so young I went through some frogs to now arrive to my prince, and your journey has made me stare at him in the middle of the night and thank God for having placed him in mine and children lives. Realizing hope and faith is not overlooked … Thank you for sharing this journey as I feel it will help many people and touch others in a positive way. May God guide you through this journey
    of healing your unimaginable pain and
    sorrow , and I send you all the positive energy in the universe . God bless you and your baby ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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