Standing on the catwalk looking at his creation Devon Marks couldn’t help but to think back to the beginning of this five-year journey. He remembers the day clearly as he traces the scar on the left side of his face, moving his finger down from his temple to the line of his jaw. It’s barely noticeable when you are talking to him, but when he sees his image the mirror it stands out as a reminder of the worst day of his life, and the start of this incredible story.
The date was December 21, 2004 while he was reluctantly driving his family from their home in the hills of California to his in-laws in Pendleton Oregon.
Sarah’s parents were not too thrilled with Devon. They felt that he had taken their baby away from them. Their plan was for Sarah to spend her four years away from home doing her “Navy thing” then she would move back and marry the Willett kid that lived down the road. She and David Willett had been an “item” in school and were expected to marry as soon as they had graduated. When Sarah had announced that she planned on going into the Navy so that she could go to college it devastated her parents and David. When she told them that she had met and planned on marring Devon, it sent her parents over the edge. David was fine with it since he too had found a new love and was planning on getting married. When he and Sarah sat down to discuss these new developments in her life, he began to laugh and told her that he had been seeing Wendy Jacobs and couldn’t find the courage to tell Sarah that he was going to marry her. They had had a good laugh, hugged and wished each other well. Sarah’s parents were not so understanding, they blamed Devon for making their entire plan go to pot!
So, now when Devon and the family go to visit, Sarah’s parents often ask if she and the kids can come but leave him at home, the mood is tense. Sarah understands the situation and only makes Devon take this trip once a year for Christmas.
“You know they hate me right” Devon says to Sarah with that crooked smile on his face.
“They don’t hate you, just how you have corrupted their little girl and ripped her away from the perceived perfect world they had planned for her.” Sarah replied.
“Well if they don’t hate me why do they refer to me as “him” when they talk about us?”
“Because they can never remember your name” was Sarah’s reply.
This light hearted banter was a tradition on this trip, they would go back and forth like this for an hour or so while their children, Anna and Micah would sit in the back seat looking like two fans at a tennis match their heads moving back and forth listening to the respective parent send back their volley of words giggling the whole time.
Devon had to admit that the trip thru the Blue Mountains in the northwestern part of Oregon was breath taking. The road wound thru the mountains like a snake working its way to the heavens. Snow was everywhere giving them the crisp clean feel of freshly laundered linen. The day was bright with the bluest of skies, Christmas music was playing on the radio and the kids were singing along at the top of their lungs.
With a smile on his face Devon thought back to the first time he set eyes on Sarah, he had just come out of surgery from a gunshot wound that had happened on what ended up being his last mission as a Navy SEAL. He and his team had been sent to destroy a chemical weapons manufacturing plant that had been discovered in a Middle Eastern mountain range. The Intel they had received was sketchy to say the least and turned out to be completely inaccurate as to the amount of security protecting it. His team was told there were less than twenty solders come to find out there were over fifty. The team was able to get in undetected and set the explosives but on the way out they were spotted by a soldier that was trying to find a quiet place to hide and catch up on his sleep. The fire fight that ensued was intense and left twenty-five enemy soldiers dead or wounded and three of Devon’s team wounded, him being the worst with a bullet to the chest and a shattered knee cap.
They had gotten him out and to a military hospital in Germany, where he went straight into surgery and ended up in a coma for three days before waking up to Sarah starring down at him.
“Where am I?” he choked out.
“You’re in a Naval Hospital in Germany; you were brought in with a gunshot to the chest and one to your knee. It was touch and go there for a few, but it looks like you’re going to be fine.” Sarah told him.
“Can I see the Doctor? I would like to thank him for saving my life.” Devon asked.
Sarah smiled down at him and said, “You’re welcome.”
After an awkward apology and introduction, Sarah came to visit Devon everyday he was in the hospital, they started up a relationship while he was in rehab and were married soon after, Devon began using his Engineering degree to design and build ships for the Navy before going into the privet sector. It has been bliss ever since.
“This is going to be a great week; I’m not going to let my in-laws spoil this feeling.” Was the thought Devon had when he coasted around a lazy curve and into the nightmare that followed.