The Untold Story of When God LITERALLY Saved my Husband.

Today, Greg went four wheeling with his Dad and Dave.
I spent the day with his mom, going out and about.

But all throughout the out and about of today
 in the back of my mind echoed this truth:
God saved my husband.

About 8 years ago, these group of gentlemen – minus Dave & plus Neil- went four wheeling
and my father in love had such a blast, he claimed it the best day of his life,
up until Greg got in an accident.

Somewhere /somehow his four wheeler flipped,
 as did he
my beloved Gregory.

I tell this story, because this blog is to testify of God’s goodness and mercy in our life,
and his leading us into the unknown of everyday.

Along with a broken femur, and some other injuries
Greg wasn’t coming out of his surgery induced coma.

Obviously you know how the story ends,
Greg came out of the coma,
his femur healed,
 and he’s my husband

But what of that week?
What of that anguish felt by his loved ones, pre-Thressa?
What of the tears wept,the desperation,the prayers cried out,
and the sharp heartache of being completely unable to bring him back to life.

From what I know his faith filled mom’s anthem became

“Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name “

As you know we moved to PA,
and as we packed we sorted clothes to keep toss or donate
 We came across his dingy shirt he was wearing when he got in his accident,
and without thinking twice Greg said “Toss”.
“Greg of  course not because when we see it we’ll remember GOD SAVED YOU”,
with that mature portrayal of persuasion skills,or perhaps his lack of desire to fight it he agreed.

In the Bible they set up altars to remember the work God has done,
keeping this dingy shirt was my little way of setting up an altar,
 to remind me of God’s mercy of saving my husband before I even knew he existed.

Often we want to forget.
Forget the pain,forget the sadness, forget being helpless.
But oh what a joy to remember,
what deep appreciation there is in remembering;
our humanity, our deep need for God, and how He provides.
That in the helpless time of our lives,we’ll remember where our help comes from.

Now we sit here me typing;
 as Greg and Dad in-love eagerly pour out their stories to Mom in-love and me from their adventure.
Laughter fills the room as they regain warmth on this 28 degree winter day.
My faith filled mom in-love is relieved,
and I’m just over here telling the story,
of when God brought my husband out of the coma and into life.

But not only does God bring us to life,
he redeems all our sadness & pain,
for the beautiful things in life;
 thankfulness, laughter and exposing the intimate vulnerable moments of life
to remember,encourage others, and bring God praise.

What's 20 Seconds ?

Recently Greg & I watched We Bought A Zoo
 and stumbled upon this quote,
whose message we’ve agreed
 has served instrumentally in propelling our relationship forward
even before we knew this quote existed:
You know, sometimes all you need 
is twenty seconds of insane courage. 
 Just literally twenty seconds 
of just embarrassing bravery.
 And I promise you, 
something great will come of it.  
On this day in 2012 I called Greg to let him know I liked him.
On this day in 2014 he let me know he liked me for life
I’m a big sucker for reflection, 
so of course today I reflected on what this day has been for US.
This dreamer & her realist. 
& this is what I’ve gathered,it’s the:
20 seconds 
 to make that phone call 
to ask that question
with no guarantee of what the outcome.
 Below I’ve included our lengthy story, 
that wouldn’t necessarily have been, 
were it not for the 20 seconds  
of insane courage & embarrassing bravery.
So today I encourage you & I encourage me
-with the disclaimer to first & foremost be wise and safe –
to have more 20 seconds moments
because something great might not come of it,
but the possibility that something great DOES come out of it,
 makes it so worth the risk,
and in this time is money culture we live in , 
makes it SO worth the time. 
besides in the grand scheme of things,
whats 20 seconds?  
February 23rd 2014
 Love is a verb
 Love is commitment. 
And on the 23rd of February Greg took action and committed.

A little background is usually necessary in order to really understand the true dynamic of any love story . They say a pictures worth a thousand words, and I’ll do my very best to stay below that ( but no promises …so brace yourself).

Having met on our first day of college in 2009, you would think it wouldn’t take me until  February 23rd of 2012 to realize that I liked him. Apparently everybody else knew…except for Greg and I. So moments after I realized how I felt about Greg, I dialed the digits that are now engraved in my memory. I called him up right then & there to let him know how I felt. Granted, I hung up right away after confessing my like, but thankfully he responded with immediately calling me back and even better reciprocating the like. Four hours later our conversation continued as we made plans to see each other on March 10th!

Keep reading. It’s all necessary build up. You’ll see. Sure enough, as I was studying in D.C. our 1st date took place there. On our way We visited the National Botanical Garden, had lunch/enjoyed the entirety of Eastern Market on a Saturday,perfect for my history buff fiance we visited the National Mall ( Jefferson Memorial, WWII Memorial,etc.) and we stargazed along the Potomac River sitting underneath cherry blossom tree. Where all this is relative comes is coming into play. I promise.

On our way to my apt for some Jumbo Pizza, I had been planning to surprise him and take him iceskating along the National Mall in the sculpture garden. Ohmygracious he LOVED it. Never saw it coming, and we had such a blast together. So as we skated and skated we had to get off the ice once or twice because Greg’s skates were bothering him so much. No worries though,we got back on the ice and skated the night away.

Fast forward to February 23rd 2014. Typical Sunday. 
We started the day with a delicious and I mean DELICIOUS breakfast at Strawberry Place ( fresh strawberry covered nutella and banana stuffed french toast, oh & with strawberry icecream on top), if you haven’t been there GO! 

No suspicious activity here, Greg & I just thoroughly enjoy going out to eat at places with great food.
So then we headed to the wonderful church we’ve been attending in Nyack, Living Christ Church, as we nourished our souls and praised our God together in community.
No suspicious activity here, Greg & I just love Jesus and are committed to nourishing ourselves in His love and living lives that give Him the praise He deserves.
Okay okay you’ve been patient =P 
But I don’t want to forget a single detail of this perfect day, 
besides anticipation is good for you. 
Okay I’m not really sure how true that last part is 
but if you really wanna know you’ll keep reading.
So Greg had asked me on Friday if at some point during the weekend,  we could go iceskating because we hadn’t been yet on our own this year and it’s something he loves. SO of course I obliged, I have so much fun iceskating with him, even though he thinks he’s Wayne Gretzky on the ice and in laughter/nervousness I gotta stay asking him to simmer down with them moves.

(Side note from Greg: Never in a million years would I compare myself to Wayne Gretzky. In fact, I really am not that good at iceskating, I suppose Thressa sees me as being good at it because it is something I really enjoy.)

So we’re in the car jammin after church to D.C. talk, Jason Mraz, and other artists ( if you’ve neve jammed with us, I’m sorry that you’re being deprived & missing out on life).

 I notice we’re still driving- okay we’re like halfway on the tappan zee hahaha – and I’m confused because we should’ve been at the Palisades Mall by now. So I ask, ” wait I thought we were going iceskating? We definitely passed the mall right?”. To which without missing a beat he replied ” Thressa, why would we go there? Ice skating at the mall, no.I was thinking Chelseas Piers”. “Oh alright” I said.

No suspicious activity here, Greg & I aren’t really fans of the mall… at all. So for him to respond that way, I was in total agreement. The less time of my life spent at a mall the better.

(Side note from Greg: I would like to add that we were not on the Tappan Zee Bridge anymore, we were actually about in the Bronx driving on the Saw Mill Parkway at this point.)

Bryann starts texting me asking me to send him a picture of me &my mom &Greg for my moms birthday,so I’m all preoccupied. Now I know, that was all just a ploy to get me to send him a picture so that once our engagement became official he could proclaim how proud he is of his little sisters engagement on Facebook. When we park the car, ChelseasPiers is nowhere in sight. I asked Greg ” Are we in the Bronx?” and he says  “no my love,we’re in Manhattan”. 
No suspicious activity here, Greg doesn’t like paying for crazy city parking so naturally I think we’re just parking here and walking to the piers. 

(Side note from Greg: in fact I responded that we were in Harlem, and while it is techinically in Manhattan — it is an important detail that helps to paint the story.)

As I remain on my phone Greg says “Babe can you get off your phone and just take it all in”. To which I think why is it important I take it in its just manhattan? But I just say “hold on bryann really needs me to send me pictures and he’s on a time crunch You know Bryann”. Then he just says “please Thressa”
and come on now with a face like that how could I say no?
As I put my phone away I look up and am all types of confused. “Babe wait… are we not going to Chelsea’s Piers & is this Bryant park “?  To which he gently replies ” no sweetheart we’re not & this is Central Park”.
No suspicious activity here The weather is beautiful so if Greg wants to walk around in Central Park instead of going ice-skating then by all means let’s. Besides the thought of going ice skating was so exhausting. 

 Hopefully he changed his mind I thought… but on any chance that he did not, I was not going to open my big mouth and ruin what he was so excited to do all weekend. He never really asks me for much, so should one mysteriously appear we’re going to skate as long as he wants.

Sure enough we approached a lovely little outdoor ice rink & I knew I was committed to having a blast, getting some exercise and a side of sore feet for Greg’s sake.
So we stood in line paying for our tickets then walked over to get our skates Greg made sure to tie my skates supertight, and we were off onto the ice. 
I felt such a tightness in my skate but I figured take the pain T. 
Always so much fun ice skating with Greg because he has no inhibitions on the ice. Skating with him is altogether terrifying and exhilarating.
So we skate and skate and skate for quite some time, but I can’t take it anymore and say ” Greg can you please fix my skate it’s really bothering me”. So he makes the first attempt and then we skate some more and then ask him ” honeybear can we please sit down so that you can fix my skate”? Before I know it we’re off the ice & he unravels my skate. Then I ask him if he could please massage my left foot that was aching from the tight shoe, he does so without a second thought. I think to myself, gotta love this man.
No suspicious activity here because he treats me so well, Greg is always rushing at the opportunity to serve me,take care of me, and comfort me.
So as hes sitting there, massaging my feet he asked me ” do you know what day it is.” I say ummm February” .  (Now I realize that February is the month not a day =p ) ” but T what da-” I cut him off and say ” ohhh February 23″ and we both smile remembering the day I called him two years ago. So he says “we’vecome along way” and we laugh and reminisce about how much we’ve grown in the past two years.
No suspicious activity here because we often reminisce on our friendship in college, and about when we started dating . It’s just funny and rewarding to look back to see how much we’ve grown.

But then, ohhhhh, but then, he says it.
” Thressa,two years ago on this day you changed my life forever,
so today I want to change yours” 
Caiu a ficha. 
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
But before I can process anything, he’s down on one knee.
” Thressa will you marry me?”

Stunned. Shocked. Speechless. 

Did the typical cliche hand to the face thing… 
I’ll never know why that’s a natural human inclination. 
Like the ring isn’t being thrown in our mouth so why do we cover it? 
(Side note from Greg: for visualization purposes, and also for the sentimentalists, 
the ring is a three stone yellow gold ring.  

The left stone is Sapphire (the stone for September) representing when we first met each other.
 The center stone is a Diamond (the stone for April) representing when we began dating. 
Last but certainly not least, the right stone is Amethyst (the stone for February)
 representing when both me and Thressa changed each other’s lives in 2012 and now 2014.)
” well ” he says as he gives me that  irresistible smirk that’s always captured my attention” say something”

Then I proceed to kissing him and then I screech and say 
“Whhaaaaaaaat?  Is this real life ?Is this a joke ? Are you kidding? “
Some playful hits from me to him, just because I can’t handle what just happened. 
I’m overflowing with emotions from A to Z . 
We’re laughing,we’re hugging,
he says “I love you”.
… Then I kiss him and immediately think oh no what a bummer nobody is here to capture this perfect moment, but there’s no way I’m telling Greg.
“oh and by the way turnaround” so I turn WHAT ANOTHER SURPRISE I CANT HANDLE THIS “Grace has been here the whole time capturing the moment  and when we’re done skating we have an engagement photo shoot to get to” .
What?!?! What?!? Thank You God I think to myself. I’m overjoyed.Exctatic. Blessed.
(Side note from Greg: For clarity sake, she screamed…a lot. And all the screams happened before I said “Well” and before you even actually responded. This may actually be the first time that I’ve witnessed Thressa literally at a loss for words.)

So we set skate back on the ice as fiancé and fiancée.
We skate a few laps as I ask him a bunch of questions
 trying to make sense of what just happened,  
then we end this unforgettable moment with a victory lap 
hand in hand praising our God in prayer!
Shortly after our wonderful photoshoot we arrive at my house and what is a complete surprise for me is only another part of Greg’s plans, as we are welcomed by my family, his parents, music,food,Bubu,passionfruit mousse cake,& Don Perignon champagne to celebrate our newfound ENGAGEMENT! Surrounded with love, encouragement, & prayer!
Simply Put: PRAISE THE LORD ! 

Now That The Love Days Gone

Why do you love who love?
Valentines day has officially come and gone,
 pretty soon the chocolate will go on clearance,
& only the sweet memories of sending love letters to my friends & family will linger.
As will the adventures I had with Greg yesterday;

my Quality Time Gift to him;
a trail of m&m’s that led to 14 QualityTime coupons 
with me at the end asking” Will you Beer My Valentine?”.
Yummy Wawa breakfrast wraps on our way to
Watching Moses at Sights & Sounds;His Surprise + Musical + Bible + Free  gift to me
Jamming to Valentines Mix 2014.
Troeg’s Brewery for Testing & Lunch.
Cultivator,Chocalate Stout,Nugget Nectar for him & Chocolate Stout, Troegenator,& Perpetual IPA for me
An unexpectedly delicious duck confit smoked grapes & white beans for lunch prepared by Troeg’s Kitchen.
our favorite by far was their scratch beer #172 CHOCOLATE STOUT;
a quick pitstop to Chocolate World
 flurryfilled stroll through downtown Harrisburg & across a lighted bridge
Starbucks Frappucino’s for dessert as we window shopped.
the Jersey Girl in me just couldn’t resist trying on this beauti-fur coat on, maybe I’ll be back for you.

It’s a holiday that like it or not, when enjoyed properly, celebrates a beautiful thing.
Obviously humanity yearns to love and be loved. 
Thousands of articles are written regarding this day, which is all well and good,
but I’d like to write about love itself.

The more I live, experiencing different people with different life experiences,
I’ve stumbled across this thought:
Why do we love who we love?
Now that valentines is over, and we get back to loving everyone all day, everyday
we can set aside some time to let that question linger;
Why do we love who we love?

It is my belief that if you ” love” someone based on how they make you feel
or their attributes or the good they’ve done
…you don’t really love them.

Love, true love, should be just because,
unconditional & unmerited.
Because they are a human being

Someones kind& giving heart shouldn’t be the premise of you loving them.
Because then when they act unkindly or selfishly,
does your love for them stop?
 Is your love for them diminished?

What I am getting at is this, when I ask Greg why he loves me,
he says ; I love you because I love you.
which annoyed me at first, but there is no ” why”
there is no condition.
There is no rhyme or reason he just does.

Of course he loves my kind heart,mylaughter, jovial personality etc.
yes he loves who I am, but who I am is not WHY he loves me.
 (which obviously remind me of How God loves us)

This is why we should love others
not because they make us feel good,supported,or wanted.
Love is not self seeking,
& too often love is misunderstood as something quantifiable,as if it could be earned.

We should love who we love because they are.

Now I am attempting to write very tactfully so what I am saying is understood clearly.
I am by no means condoning loving the harmful actions people make,
I am supporting loving the person still.
Knowing full well that sometimes how people need to be loved,
 means laying down the law & not tolerating poor actions.

I feel there is a huge disconnect somewhere along the way regarding ” why we love who we love” ,
everybody jumps into love eager for the adrenaline rush that it can be.
It is euphoric to be loved;by mother, sister, friend, co-worker, husband etc.

But we must know full well when we love who we love, it’s not about what they can do for us,
but what we can do for them,
because we want to make their lives better in any way possible.

Otherwise we’ve got it all wrong & we’re not really loving others, we’re just loving the attention they give us.

I am writing this partially out of response to Valentines day,
but mainly to address something that breaks my heart;
the notion that we need to fit some type of mold in order to be loved
 and straying out of that in any way shape or form takes love away.

So as valentines day has come and passed away I challenge you think about those who have loved you best;
is it not those who have seen your ugly & beautiful;
yet there love for you has remained constant.
Unconditional love.
Not based on how many golden stars,
but just because you are human
and all human beings are radically loved by a magnificent God.
And if he could love me relentlessly & unconditionally ,
who am I to love others in any way other than this?


” When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody,
you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” – Nora Ephron

So 6 months ago today, we did just that.
We pulled a Harry met Sally, and started the rest of our life as soon as possible.
And we must have been having fun, because time has just FLOWN by.

So briefly before this day comes to a close,and completely vanishes before our eyes,
I decided to write a Metade-versary post if you will,
reflecting on the journey of this dreamer & my beloved realist,
venturing into the unknown as husband & wife,
in the form of a few words & a wedding photo that encapsulate what that month has been to us.

August- The month that was all a dream
 we used to read word up magazine,okay actually we haven’t but I just couldn’t resist.
This month we woke up GOT MARRIED 
went to a honeymoon in the breathtakingly beautiful Punta Cana, DR 
flew back, woke up 
and were still officially living the dream.
Believe it or not, marriage was never an essential dream for this dreamer,
but how sweet it is to have a God who knows me far better than I know myself.
Who knows how to fulfill the dreams I never even knew I had.

                             SeptemberThe month where we adjusted

I officially adjusted my last name from a DaSilva to an Irving,
he adjusted to my blanket and bed hogging ways.
We adjusted to our new home, new (for us) furniture,
 and the new deep responsibility that comes with this great power of being husband & wife.
October- The month where we had a blast 
& just wanted to lay down.
“Fall the time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale”-L.DeStefano. We quickly learned we loved the fall, and a minute of enjoying its beauty together was not to be wasted. In laws visiting, hiking, cider brewing& sipping, Choctoberfest, weddings, applepicking, $3 booritos, Blaze, & street fairs. 
Such a blast & so exhausting.
November– The month where we did my favorite things.
Breakfast in bed, scavenger hunts, blessing strangers,spontaneous adventures to a foreign country, appreciating nature, a surprise birthday party from some of our favorite people, going somewhere we’ve never been, starting this blog, and delicious thanksgiving meals with both of our crazy families.
As for my most favorite- Jesus – I was constantly reminded of His love for me this month by my husbands intentionality to show me carinho.

December- The month where we followed

  ” Blessed are the feet of those who bring the good news”, even when our feet realized they would soon pivot towards PA. With December of course came Christmas & our new traditions of AnnVoskamp’s Advent Calendar and real Christmas trees. But this first December of ours was also filled with resume editing, applying to jobs, interviewing, and the beginning of our waiting process.

   January– The month where it seemed like all we did was drive

We drove to spend New Years in the City, drove a U-Haul to move out of Nyack and  into Pennsylvania, drove to Washington D.C.,  drove to visit friends in the city & family in New Jersey, drove to interviews in Lancaster & Hershey Pennsylvania, drove to visit fr-amily in Virginia. Some of our fondest memories we’ve had so far as husband & wife; the sharing of our trials, victories, hurts, apologies, laughter, prayers, and hopes took place in our batmobile just driving.

February-The month where we celebrate loving;
God, eachother & our family
         When you get married life doesn’t stop, 
and we knew that full well 6 months ago today,
 when we chose to forever dance in the minefields together-as husband & wife- for life.
This month we’ve been transitioning, WAITING, trusting, and remembering;
 our God – our unshakeable Love- who roots us,
our family who unconditionally supports us,
and our covenant to another.
6 months 184 days. Half a YEAR ! Happy Metade-versary my Gregory <3
I am so thankful for every moment of this relationship,
you drive me banana’s & I drive you nuts, 
but when I look at this picture of our moms & sister watching us dance,
all I can think of is ” there’s something there that wasn’t there before”
 Each day in all it’s simplicity is better than a fairytale,
because I wake up beside you & I’m stillliving the dream 😉
 I thank God for your life, & for bringing us together
I see Jesus in you more than you or perhaps many will ever know.
You are kind, hilarious,intelligent, focused, patient,carinhoso, meu favorito, 
& now you’re cansadinho so I’m finishing this so we can go to bed.
Te Amo Mais meu amor !