By Nolan P. Smith
(Victorville)– 2020 hasn’t been kind to the world. The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus literally shut the world down. No public gatherings, no movie theaters, no indoor dining- no sense of normalcy as we all do what we can stay safe and keep those around us safe and healthy. So it may come as a shock that it is this year that I found love amidst the turmoil and panic.
I have been writing for High Desert Daily since 2011. I have written movie reviews to community spotlights. I have written articles on Alzheimer’s to education and comic conventions to business profiles, but this is the first article to talk about my life. In March 2020, the world stood still as the President declared a state of emergency for our nation. March was also when a certain, spunky, beautiful woman messaged me online. That’s when Rebecca walked into my life. Virtually and socially distant.
I guess if you look back at it, the start of the pandemic isn’t ideal for starting a relationship, but love happens when it wants to. We started talking online through a dating app and “met” via Zoom, which seems to be the way of the world. Our first Zoom call went for hours, which is so odd when you think about it- we were perfect strangers, yet everything felt so right. She was shy and nervous, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. She has a daughter, which I thought would have frightened me, but I wasn’t. I was more nervous for the first date, as we met up in the mountains. Fully masked, distant- we picked up food and had our first date in the parking lot of a church.
From there, the love grew, and we had to think one step ahead of this pandemic. We went on trips, sometimes the two of us, sometimes the three of us, but we were always cautious. National parks and scenic routes became our go-to dates; drive-in movies were becoming a staple. We made a journey out of state to experience a movie theater once again, which was terrific.
As our communities were hit worse with the virus and with impending fires, we took the next step. At a mostly empty lookout point in the mountains, I proposed with a chill in the air and nerves in my heart- nerves that transformed to glee. October 8th, she said yes, and made this the best year yet.
Love finds a way, as it always does. Through lockdowns and facemask, Lysol, and shortages, this challenging time has affected so many people and family that we both know love brought us together. COVID-19 stopped most of the world in its tracks. For Rebecca and I, we found a new path that we happily look forward to walking down together in 2021 and for the rest of our lives.