Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happily Ever After

HAPPILY EVER AFTER
(the Sunday Scribblings prompt is Happy Ending)
The picture at the top is not at the start of this story. This story starts with a terrible accident and a near death.

Daria Bishop, who is our granddaughter, had been an accomplished athlete from her grade school years. At various times she was encouraged to train as a swimmer or as a distance runner, with the expectations of her respective coaches that she would eventually become an Olympic contender.

At the beginning of this tale, she was twenty-two years old and a member of a local womens’ bicycle team, already with a record of success as a road racer. She also had as yet unrealized ambitions of participating as a tri-athlete.

Out doing her customary fifty miles on her beloved (and expensive!) racing bicycle one late afternoon, she legally and with proper signaling turned left at an intersection. A truck exited from a service station at the right side of the street. Its driver, apparently anxious to get home for supper and also turning left, cut the corner and mowed into Daria. As she fell, Daria instinctively curled into a ball and tightened all those athletic muscles. Two truck tires passed over her chest and waist (leaving tread marks that could be seen for many days).

If she had not been wearing a bicycle helmet, the fall itself would have killed her. If she had not recently been doing upper body strengthening routines, the chest compression alone would have killed her. As it was, she was terribly injured with several internal injuries and going into shock, and as paramedics vocally estimated that she would be DOA at the hospital where she was flown in a medi-vac helicopter, she made a conscious decision between the beckoning peace of death or life with the great physical pain it entailed. She chose life and fought for it.

During her hospital recovery she spent much time pouring over bicycle catalogs, looking for an even better replacement for her totaled bike. When, after many weeks of recovery in her mother’s home, she was able to mount the new bicycle, she found herself reluctant to venture onto street or road. Unable to yet practice many of her former activities, she fought depression by becoming an advocate for mandatory bicycle helmets such as had saved her life.

Seeing her name in a cycling magazine and struck by both her enthusiasm for her cause and the same last name as his, Andy Bishop, well-known road racer on international circuits (including Tour de France), wrote her a letter. This started a long-distance friendship through mail and phone calls that culminated in Andy’s decision to fly to California and to meet Daria in person. As I have heard the story (Daria or Andy, correct me if I’m wrong. My sources are all third-person ones), Andy thought, “This is the woman I want to marry. I don’t care what she looks like.” And then, he said, as he left the plane he found the most beautiful girl in the world waiting for him.

Daria and Andy visited for less than a week and set a wedding date for exactly a year after their first meeting. That day is the one shown in my upper photo (photographer unknown to me), November 10, 1991. The wedding was at a beautiful stone working winery in the Sonoma hills with rolling ridges of trees and autumn colored grape vines beyond a wide green lawn. November is often rainy in this region, but the wedding day was warm, windless and sunny. Guests were ferried to the hilltop site by bus, as private cars were not allowed up the winery’s winding unpaved road.

Many, many touches reflected Daria’s taste, from the completely non-commercial flowers from gardens that decorated the natural bough alter, to having both her father and her step-father escort her down the aisle. There was a string quartet playing on the lawn to greet arriving bus loads of guests while appetizers were served on the wide stone terrace. Daria’s mother leaned toward me and whispered, “do you feel like you’ve wandered into a French movie?” After the ceremony, shaded tables magically replaced the rows of chairs on the lawn and a scrumptious lunch was served. and after that, a rock group played for dancing on the terrace.

Now for another photo, taken fifteen years later, as Daria and Andy celebrated their wedding anniversary in New York City. (I removed the frame, which said Daria Bishop photography). I won’t go in to the details of the life between these photos, except to say that Daria and Andy have two adorable children, Summer, aged ten, and Baxter, aged seven and a half. To find out more, explore Daria’s blog. Suffice to say, they have lived happily ever since the wedding!


And here is bonus photo of the Bishops having fun as a family.

33 comments:

Granny Smith said...

Daria, if you find anything in this post incorrect or offensive, let me know and I will change it - or, for that matter, zap the whole post if you wish.

Geraldine said...

What a beautiful, inspiring story Granny Smith. There are never enough happy endings. Happy Anniversary and many more to wish this lucky couple. You've captured their story, so well. Hugs, G

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Tammy said...

Granny! That was a very romantic story and she didn't have to change her name. ;) So glad she survived! HUG

SmallWorld at Home said...

I absolutely LOVE this beautiful story with such a happy ending. Gave me tremendous goosebumps and a lump in my throat.
SmallWorldReads.blogspot.com

Devil Mood said...

Oh my, even for a sad-endings kind of girl like me, this is so gripping and enchanting! I loved it!

:)

Lucy said...

Granny Granny Granny!! THAT is one amazing beautiful story!! ( My kind of tale!) How wonderful that they met due to those tragic circumstances and what a strong courageous granddaughter you have! This really was a perfectly happy ending! thanks so much for allowing us to read it. :))

Marianne said...

Beautiful story.

Steve said...

Ah my dear young lady such a wonderful post.......Thank you for stopping by my blog...your input is always appreciated.

Michele said...

This was an incredible "happy ending" story - Inspirational AND romantic... and so well written, too. Daria and her husband sound like they now have a lovely life, and wonderful family to share it with. Lovely!

I'm so glad you visited my blog, otherwise I wouldn't have read this special story of yours. Thank you.

Michele (aka Aprilbaby)

daria said...

Wow Gigi! I am delighted to have been your "Happily Ever After".
I am astounded that you have such an impeccable memory. I didn't even remember that I poured through bicycle catalogues until I read it here.
This brought back so many memories and I was wiping the tears away as I read. But they were tears of joy because I can see that I really am so fortunate and have had such wonderful life! It's so strange to think that my life could have ended so easily that day.
Thank you for telling my story.
I love you so much!
xoxo daria
p.s. I still have tire tread print across my rib cage...can you believe it?!
p.p.s Thanks everyone for leaving such sweet comments here.

latree said...

this story is so touching. I hope the happines will meet no ends.

Sam's wife

Beautiful Witch said...

What a lovely happily ever after story. :)

anthonynorth said...

A marvellous story. I always believe that from adversity, something good can come. This is one story that proves it!

linda may said...

Great story Granny, and all the more lovely because it is true, a happy ending indeed, though not at its end yet.
Granny I have chosen you to pass an award on to I hope that's O.K. Please have a look in my blog to pick it up.
Love Linda

Robin said...

What a wonderful true to life fairy tale. Thank you for sharing it.

Karen said...

What a beautiful story--a real fairy tale!

Gill said...

What a beautiful, inspiring story, so tenderly told.

View my blog here

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

What an amazing story. Thanks, Granny. I needed it this week.

Becca said...

I can't think of a more perfect happy ending story than this one! Thanks for sharing it :)

Jon said...

A captivating story, with a perfect happy ending.

Tammie Lee said...

I was in tears as I read of the accident. Seems so rare to survive something like that.
I am so happy there is a happy ending to this story! The wedding picture is beautiful!

Amarettogirl said...

truly beautifully written story granny smith, i just spent much of my hard earned money on a beautiful bike...my husband, an avid rider himself, urged me to purchase a bicycle helmet...i will now go to the store and let him believe it was for him that i now give in to safety but it is for your story, pictures and possibly a happy ending of my own. thank-you

keith hillman said...

A lovely story beautifully told. Thank you for posting it for all of us to share.

Overeducated Twit said...

What an amazing story. They deserve every bit of happiness the years have brought them.

Greyscale Territory said...

An incredible story of stamina and courage. And Granny, you tell it with such sensitivity.

Just beautiful all round!

nonizamboni said...

Oh my! Now I know sweet Daria's history--amazing and wonderful. And so beautifully written, as always. This just made my day.
Also, thank you for your kind and encouraging words about my writing--which I'm never sure if it makes sense or not. But I keep on for the healing factor. Bless you, dear friend, for caring.

rebecca said...

what an incredible story! i've never heard of anyone being run over by two trucks and surviving... just shows the excellent physical condition she was in.

and what a lovely, lovely ending. this was a perfect take on the prompt. i think you did her and her life justice.... i will surely go now and visit her blog.

((hugs))
rebecca

Maisie said...

This story would make a great Lifetime Channel movie. You really described the wedding well.

Texas Travelers said...

I love stories with happy endings.

starnitesky said...

What a wonderful story!

KaiBlueCreations said...

Aloha Phyllis, Oh my gosh, what an endearing and heartwarming tale of tragedy and romance.
Andy certainly is Daria's knight in shining armour..coming to her rescue on his 21 speed..( Or close to those gears..)
Daria is thee most inspirational princess worthy of love, life and happiness.
I wish their family all the best, thanks for sharing..
PEace, Kai

Denise said...

Wow! What an amazing story! Such remembered detauls, just like a grandma would remember! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Gillian said...

Everything happens for a divine reason, doesn't it Granny? Here via Kai, and thank you for that heartwarming inspiring tale of love!!!
So very cool. You write very well.
Off to see Daria's blog now :)
xxo