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While working at a hotel in a quaint mountain town in Alberta, I met a girl who worked in the spa. She was from B.C. and I from Ontario. We hit it off and had great chemistry, but unfortunately for us she was leaving for Kenya to volunteer at an orphanage for young girls. Despite our strong feelings toward each other, she was reluctant to begin a new relationship, as she was soon to embark on a trip around the world to a remote part of Africa, with no plans to return to our quaint little mountain town. Instead of letting her slip away, and quite possibly never seeing her again, I wasted no time in throwing caution to the wind and I bought a flight to Nairobi. After a couple more months and many vaccines, I met her in Kenya at the end of her volunteering, quitting my job in the process because I could not get time off. It has been almost two great years now gallivanting around the world and we are happy to celebrate our second Valentine's Day together in Whistler!
On August 7, 2012 I, Derek Mendonca, decided to ask my girlfriend to marry me. So when I woke on that day I just had to set it up. First, I placed a note and three roses for her outside her bedroom that told her to meet me at the place where we met — which was Dusty's for a Super Bowl party. When she got there she found another note and roses that told her to go to the base of the Whistler gondola. There she found a third note with more roses. This time the note told her to go to the lift that takes you to the top of the world. At the Peak Chairlift there was a final note with more roses that told her to go to the top and get her final twelve roses. And that's where I met her, wearing a suit, and I got down on one knee gave her the twelve roses and asked her to marry me, and she didn't hesitate to say "YES."
- Derek Mendonca
The craziest thing I have ever done for love was to let him go. It was over a year ago that my Australian boyfriend of five years told me he missed home and that he wanted something different. Whistler wasn't cutting it for him anymore; it was time for him to leave. I didn't ask him to stay or ask him why. I let my best friend, my soulmate, walk out the door without any protest. At the time it was my biggest regret. How I could I just let him go? I decided to work on myself, focus on my goals, volunteer in my community and reexamine what I wanted in my life. After four months of no contact with my now ex-boyfriend (who was still in Whistler), I finally agreed to meet him for a drink. I had it all planned out. I wore my best outfit, got my hair done and played out the possible scenarios in my head. Fantasizing that should he want me back, I would tell him to eat his heart out! When I saw him for the first time, my heart melted, as soon as I saw those crystal blue eyes. It didn't take long to hear that I was missed, that it was the biggest mistake of his life and that his life just wasn't the same with out me. I was flabbergasted. I wasn't sure what to do. A couple weeks went by, I pondered and wondered if I could accept someone back into my life that hurt me so badly. Fate obviously felt I needed a little push in the right direction. I had a freak accident, which left me with a completely dislocated patella, torn PCL and meniscus with 11 stitches. My ex-boyfriend came to my rescue! He took care of me, physically, emotionally and financially. He never left my side and gave me everything I needed. His time away allowed him to grow and figure out what he really wanted out of life. Now there is no doubt in either of us, we know we love each other very much and what we have is very special. I was crazy to let him go, but now I know I have my best friend back forever. Love you babe!
- Kara Thornton