Compatible in Every Way
To spend an hour with Kathy and Dan Reynolds is to be reminded of the power of true love. As I sat with them inside their beautiful home in Moss Creek, I instantly felt as though I was in the presence of two giddy teenagers in love. She giggled at his jokes, he complimented her shoes, and they both beamed and boasted about their fairytale wedding and perfect life together. One would never guess that they had both ridden into the storms of heartbreak, and come out stronger on the other side, together.
Kathy and Dan came to the Lowcountry from two completely separate lives in two completely separate corners of the country; Kathy from New York and Dan from California. After dealing with the heartache of divorce, Kathy after 28 years and Dan after 32, they managed to find each other through a mutual friend, Donna Mark. In their wedding program, Dan wrote, "From the ashes of our two divorces, we began separately to find a new life. But, our separate lives were far too separate, in age and distance, for us to come together. we needed help. we needed an angel to guide us to each other. Our angel was Donna Mark."
Once they were introduced, their love story unfolded naturally. On their first date, they held hands across the table, and the following morning he sent her lilies with a card that simply said "Wow". "Sometimes I think fewer words are more effective," he grinned. "Well it sure worked, didn't it honey," she giggled. From then on, they were inseparable. A mere six months after they began dating, they were picking out rings, and two months after that, they were engaged. As Kathy reminisced about the proposal, she laughed about Dan's excitement and showed off her stunning diamond. "He just gave it to me right here in the house. I think he was just really excited. He spoiled me! After five years, we still look at the ring from time to time and say, 'We done good!'"
Due to legal reasons surrounding Kathy's divorce, the engagement lasted nearly four years, but in that time the couple realized how truly compatible they were in every way. I was in awe as I listened to the newlyweds describe their life of adventure and similarities. They both share the same taste in music, movies, activities, and a love for travel and entertaining. "We have traveled all over the world: to Italy four times, including living in Rome for a month, to Egypt, Istanbul, Ephesus, Athens, France, London, Australia, South Pacific, Tahiti, Bora Bora, New Zealand, plus all over the United States, including two cross-country road trips!" Kathy recalled. "If you can sit next to someone for 32 days in a car and not say a cross word, you have to be compatible," Dan joked.
As if their compatibility wasn't apparent enough, it was confirmed when they separately took five extensive tests for marriage counseling, and the results came back nearly identical. "The counselor told us we had scored 100 percent on three of the tests, 90 percent on one, and 70 percent on the last. He said, 'based on these results, I don't have a whole lot to say,'" Dan beamed, and shot a flirty glance at his blushing bride. "We are still gaga over each other, and after all we've been through, I know we are so lucky to have found each other," Kathy said.
As I concluded our time together, I asked the couple to each tell me their favorite thing about the other person. Their answers warmed my heart. "I know how much he loves me and I feel supported and can be myself. He told me a long time ago that he wanted me to always feel safe telling him my truth, and that is so valuable to me," Kathy said. "I love that she is always thinking about other people. She is a very sweet and considerate person who is everybody's best friend. She is greatly loved wherever she goes," Dan replied. Kathy's eyes filled with tears from the words of her prince, and I witnessed the true sincerity behind their tender and loving relationship.
As I turned to leave, Kathy said to me, "We have a great love story, don't we?" Yes Kathy, without a doubt.
Family: Between the two of them, six children (Jake, Risa, Robinson, Rebecca, Bryan, Brandon), four grandchildren, and a fifth coming in March
Wedding Date: 10/9/10. "It was basically a four-day party for 80 people!" said Dan.
Favorite times of the year: Christmas and Cinco de Mayo, when they throw a huge party which has grown to more than 150 people!
Words to live by (paraphrased from Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus): "A man is Mr. Fix-it, a women's whole life is home improvement, and her man is her favorite project. The woman tries to fix the man, the man tries to fix 'it', but in a marriage you can't fix anything. You have to love each other for who they are."
RIP Donna Mark, who lost her battle to breast cancer at the age of 50. Thank you for opening the book to a wonderful love story.