Friday, May 29, 2009

I'M IN LOVE by jasmine schoch

An Unforgettable Love Story

I came across this marriage tale as I was browsing my friend Susan Schneider's web page. Susan is the author of "Unforgettable: Vignettes of Love," a book filled with personal accounts of engagement and wedding stories from around the world. Besides being an accomplished writer, Susan also works with numerous wedding photographers, offering to eloquently type up the couple's love story so it can be placed in their celebration album along with the other event photos.

Enough about my brilliant friend Susan and on to the most wonderful love story I have heard since Cinderella.
The tale is about Pam and Paul, as told by Pam. They were married in 2004 in Harrington, Delaware. She was 44; he was 38.

A fairytale is a fictitious, highly fanciful story. Our story of how we met is very true and very real even though it culminated in a fairy tale happening. My last name is “Galyean”, and I was married to a wonderful man named Dan Galyean before he died in 1996. I have a daughter and a son. In 1999, my son finally talked me into buying a computer and stepping into the 20th century. When I setup my email account, under the name of 'pgalyean', I was told the name was already being used. I thought to myself, “Now how many 'pgalyean's' can there be in the world?

I wrote to this person, asking who he was and if we could be related in some way. The person who wrote back was named Paul Galyean, and he lived in Arizona. We sent emails back and forth for a few months, finding out about each other and trying to figure out if he was somehow related to my late husband's family.

As it turns out, Paul's stepfather adopted him when he was 18, and Paul took his last name, “Galyean”. Paul told me he had three children and was separated. We not only had the same last name given to us by special men, but we each had a son with the same name, Michael. Too weird.

We sent emails to each other every now and then after I had to change my email address since Paul had 'taken' mine. We lost touch for about a year when I heard from him in a strange way.

When I setup my Yahoo account in February 2001, there was a name I didn’t recognize in my friend's list. When I instant messaged this person, I learned it was Paul again, using a nickname from school. I learned Paul had moved back to his hometown of Dallas, Texas and was now divorced. We started chatting and I learned that his stepdaughter had recently passed away. I was writing a term paper for my psychology class about the stages of grief, and I was able to offer my help to him and his youngest daughter. Having experienced grief myself, I was able to tell him and his daughter what emotions to expect. We formed a very close bond through this experience. We began to send each other emails every day, and we chatted almost every night on the computer and occasionally on the phone. Finally, after three months of talking every day, I decided to take the next step. I asked Paul if it would be okay for me to come to Texas to meet him. He said of course. I knew I was taking a lot of chances. Some might have thought this a stupid idea, but something told me that I needed to do this; that this guy was special.

We planned on marrying and had heard of a contest being run by the Delaware State Fair. It asked couples to submit a unique “fairytale story” to win a fairytale-style wedding. We entered the contest. The day of the winning announcement came and we dressed hoping that someone would be at our door between the allotted hours. No one showed, so we figured we lost, changed into grungy clothes and started doing household chores. While changing the toilet in the bathroom, we heard the doorbell ring. We opened the door and were shocked to see a TV crew standing there to surprise us with balloons and an envelope with the appropriate paperwork to give us a fairytale wedding! We were thrilled!

On our wedding day the groom and wedding party were escorted in horse-drawn carriages, and my father and I arrived in a horse-drawn pumpkin carriage – just like Cinderella! We were married on the fairgrounds, during one of the largest events in Delaware with everyone celebrating with us.


Schneider, Susan. "Unforgettable: Vignettes of Love." 29 May 2009. For book information please contact Susan at

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