You know what they say about tragedy ... it can bring people closer together. Which is why it’s so heartwarming to hear the good stories that come out of bad circumstances. One such case is the recent engagement of a young man and woman that were both seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombings last spring.
Pete DiMartino, 28, asked his girlfriend Rebekah Gregory, 26, to be his wife last Friday. They have been dating for about a year and knew they were meant to be together even before the April 15 attack that killed three people and wounded 275 others.
They said that their relationship only deepened after bombings. DiMartino lost 90 percent of his right Achilles’ tendon and broke multiple bones in his ankles, and spent months in physical therapy learning to walk again. Gregory has had 14 surgeries to repair the damage to her left leg, including a painful one to attach a device to her bone to hopefully make her leg functional again. If it doesn’t work, she could face amputation.
Going through an experience like the marathon makes you realize how short life really is and how we don’t really know how much time we have left. And I know that with my time there is nobody else I would want to spend it with ... it made me realize how much I cared about him and how much he was the only person for me.
The groom proposed with a custom-designed ring he had made in the months after the marathon, on bended knee in front of Gregory’s wheelchair. He said he was shaking and barely able to get anything out other than, “You’re my best friend and I love you.”
With a grin, he told NBC News about the bombings’ effect on his relationship:
I think it kind of helped me to see what an amazing woman she is and how strong she is .... So I had to jump on it before somebody else did.
To celebrate their engagement, the couple plans to open the bottle of champagne she was given by a nurse who treated her in Boston. They want to get married in the next year, but say they’ve had enough stress this year, so it’s not going to be a big to-do. Gregory said, “We’re marrying each other, that’s all that matters.”
Does this story make you warm and fuzzy all over?
Image via Robert Melnychuk/Corbis