On Love and Long Distance

Mark and Leah, seeing each other for the first time in months at his apartment in Texas.

Mark and Leah, seeing each other for the first time in months at his apartment in Texas. Heart melted.

I have a boyfriend in my life and his name is Mark. I met my boyfriend when I was 6 years old and he was 5 years old too. We have been truly best friends and we become boyfriend and girlfriend. We been doing long distance relationship for over 10 years when he moved from Omaha Nebraska to Elgin Texas that is close to Austin.

The story of Mark and Leah begins in preschool, where they met when they were 5 and 6 years old.

The story of Mark and Leah begins in preschool.

They continued to grow up together, always remaining good friends.

They continued to grow up together, always remaining good friends.

Mark, the gentleman he's always been, requested to take Leah out to dinner. "The First Date"

Mark, the gentleman that he’s always been, requested to take Leah out to dinner. “The First Date”

Mark and Leah participating in a Special Olympics event.

They’ve always been there for each other, encouraging whatever dream they set out to accomplish. Here they are at a Special Olympics event.

Graduating high school!!!!

Graduating high school!!!! Two years later, the journey of their long distance relationship would begin.

A Long distance relationship it can be really hard thing to do. And after you are together and you have to say goodbye at the end. It is hard to live on your own separate ways and be connected.

It is a comfortable thing that both of us want to be together and not to be unseparate. We want to be together forever always and it is a hard thing to be unattached together. We want it to be glue together forever always and not go to be separate.

I have advice about long distance relationships. The first thing that you can do is call them to talk on the phone or write them a love letter. You can also send an email on the computer. You should figure out when you will be able to be together again. Then run it by his Mom and Dad and My Mom and Dad too and to figure it out all together and they let us to know about it too and run it by us too about everything when they figure it out through with My Mom and Dad and His Mom and Dad too.

When he comes to town I love to be together with him and like and love to dance and sing and give performances to My Mom and Dad. We love to spend our time together and we love to play board games and play Wii together. And love to go out on dates together for lunch and dinner and sometimes for breakfast too. And we love to go out for dinner with his Mom and Dad and my Mom and Dad too. And we love to go to the movie theater together too. Both of us enjoy by watching movies and music concerts and Music video’s and tv shows and regular other stuff on tv too.

When I see him again I feel how happy I get when I see him for the first time. And how I feel So excited to see him and give me a big giant hug that hold a long time. And also to give his family a hug too and his Mom and Dad too.

Together again and happier than ever.

Together again and happier than ever.

I tell Mark that when you get back can you call me and tell me you are safe. If he doesn’t remember then I call him. We make our long distance relationship work. I love my boyfriend Mark with all my heart truly forever.

Reunited and it feels so good! Dancing MACHINES

Reunited and it feels so good! Dancing MACHINES

Love Letter from Mark to Leah:

Love Letter from Mark to Leah, 2014

“Dear Leah,

I always think about you I miss you a lot in my life this book I making for you to feel your heart with joy & love & peace these things & always make you happy. You know I love I always make you I always be there for you in my heart was been for you.

 Love You Sweetheart.”

I have watched my sister Leah battle the challenges of maintaining a long distance relationship for about 10 years and counting. I have now been working to do the same in my relationship, as I moved to Paris, France to experience life abroad for 10 months total. I will be honest, it has been HARD. You’re not alone in life, but you’re lonely. You continue living your days, but something is always missing. You’re seeing and experiencing incredible things, but your heart is not fully feeling them.

Love knows no boundaries, of that I am sure.

Love knows no boundaries, of that I am sure.

One thing I know for certain is that love is the same in any language, between any type of individual, across any distance. This is a time, which happens way more often than people realize, when the fact that Leah has Down syndrome and I do not completely does not make a difference in our experience.

Our hearts are beating and burning exactly the same way.

Being able to connect with Leah through our long distance relationships has been really special. She asks all the right questions and answers mine with wisdom and experience.

Leah has always had this way of knowing just the right thing to say to me, especially when the right thing to say is simply, “aw, come here,” as she hugs me.

Managing long distances relationship together has allowed Leah to play the role as the experienced big sister that she so innately desires to do.

Her strength in managing her relationship with Mark has given me confidence in love. Witnessing them together…dancing, cooking, laughing…seeing each other for the first time in months…it can only be described in the most beautiful views. It’s Monet’s Water Lilies before your eyes. It’s standing with your toes in the sand looking out into the blue ocean. It’s that sunset you hiked with all of your strength to make it in time to see the sky painted in deep oranges, purples, and pinks. It makes the distance worth it.

This here is true love. You can't write that.

This here is true love. You can’t write that.

Now, my experience with long distance will come to an end next month when I return to the USA. Leah, however, will continue this journey with Mark. This has been something that has been so difficult for my family, even to the point of them selling our childhood home and moving to Texas (where Mark lives) from Nebraska to see if it was the right fit for Leah. They have since returned to Nebraska (but more on that later!).

One of the main things we’ve learned is that love doesn’t have to look one way. Leah and Mark make it work. Their love is real. They accept that their love may look different than most relationships for now, or that it may look different than most relationships forever. But it’s worth it to them. Because of that, they have shown me to always, always put my hope in love.

Upside Down Love

Here’s to turning our minds Upside Down.


  1. Rhinedd

    Oh you are both so brave about your long distance relationship, I’m not sure I could handle it as well.I feel very proud of you both.I am so glad you have let me become part of your journey. Love to you all.xxxx

  2. Roger Rentel

    You ladies are beautiful inside and out. I am proud to say I know you. Your writings are so heart-felt and beautiful. Love from Judy and I.

  3. MaryAnn Schiefen

    This is beautiful, Leah and Lindsay. Yes, it is hard to maintain a long distance relationship but both of you seem to have worked extra hard doing it. God bless you!

  4. Leah Jacobs

    So here’s a strange coincidence: my name is Leah, too. My husband’s name is Mark. We have twin one year old babies named Ruby and Hugo. Ruby is typical, Hugo has Down Syndrome. We live in Medford massachusetts and I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog!

    • Cindy Stodden

      Hello Leah!
      I am Lindsay and Leah’s mom, Cindy Stodden. Thank you for your message and I wish you and Mark all the best as you raise your beautiful children. As your life with Ruby and Hugo unfolds, you will experience more beautiful moments than you can imagine. Will it all be roses,….of course not. But will it fill your heart with joy? ABSOLUTELY. Welcome to my wonderful world — I have learned so much about life by allowing myself to see things through my daughters’ eyes. Notice that is plural — how incredibly blessed we are to share life with our very individual, very unique, and very awesome children! I hope you continue to enjoy this blog.
      Here’s to parenting!!!

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