Love is a force of nature and comes in all different shapes and sizes. It is bigger than just you and me. We cannot dictate how, when and where love presents itself.

Love strikes like lightening when we least expect it. Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, agendas, or secret codes. It may have a different meaning to me than you, but love is, without a doubt, a special bond you didn’t see coming in the first place.

Being that February is deemed the month of love, we took it upon ourselves to uncover incredible love stories that are in our own backyard. From newly engaged, to together for over 30 years, to a heart throbbing story of a mother and her newly adopted son, The Poconos could very well be the perfect setting for the next Nicholas Sparks saga.

First Loves

While many would classify “young love” as nothing more than teenage hormones, Faraz and Rabia have defied all odds with their extraordinary love story. Fresh to the United States from Pakistan, Faraz never imagined his life would be altered during a trip to a local department store. His mother was excited to discover that one of the employees was of the same ethnicity and eagerly introduced herself to the woman. Unbeknownst to Faraz, he was talking to the woman who would one day become his mother-in-law. After a chat with the kind stranger, Faraz’s family was invited over to her home, where he saw his wife, Rabia, for the very first time. “The first thing I see is… she had two ponytails, she’s standing in the kitchen, cooking. At the age of thirteen,” he fondly recalls. As Faraz and Rabia grew up together, they also became each other’s first loves. Rabia says she always admired how kind Faraz was to everyone around him, while Faraz states that she came into his life as an angel.

As the years pressed on, the pair began living their lives at separate paces. However, one thing remained amidst the two decade gap… they never forgot the sweet bond they once shared. Reconnecting many years later, Faraz and Rabia knew that they would not only be each other’s first loves, but their last loves. When they reconnected 17 years later, they experienced “the same lovey-dovey feeling we had when we were children. That’s puppy love, but we call it our first and last.” Faraz and Rabia are proof that genuine “young love” is not just a phrase, but alive and thriving.

Social Media Reconnection

Anyone who says that social media is a mundane internet platform might want to reconsider that assumption. With a trip planned for Kim and her daughters in mind, Bob commented on a post that lead to more than he could have ever imagined. “So I offered some trails, some tips, for her and the girls on the trip… never expecting that I would wind up on that trip with them as well later that summer.” Kim said that it didn’t take long for them to figure out that they were in it for the long haul. Their love of the mountains, community service, and helping others are goals that the pair are very passionate about.

Bob and Kim emphasize that their relationship is not a fifty/fifty give and take type of marriage. They are dedicated to giving one hundred percent of their effort, in every aspect. They firmly believe in spending quality time with one another, and will share in the household tasks to ensure that it occurs often. Bob and Kim are a beautiful picture of mutual support, respect, and love. Thanks to the powers of the online community, Bob and Kim now have a story worthy of posting.

Becoming a Mother

While other mothers have 9 months to prepare, Mary had 2 days. She immediately received emergency custody of Noah which allowed her to be in the hospital every day to see him, hold him, sing to him and pray.

From being afraid to hold him because he was so tiny, “he fit in the palm of my hand,” to where just a year later, Mary and Noah grew stronger together.

“The best day of my life was when I went into court and they granted me full guardianship. It has been a miracle. Not only did I save him, but he saved me. He saved me from myself. He saved me from the void I had from not being able to have my own kid. It didn’t take him coming out of me to love him as much as I do. He is everything I could have wanted and I prayed for him for a long time.”

Thinking she would never be able to experience being a mom, Noah was the miracle she needed.

Best of the Burg

We are always looking for the best businesses and individuals who are making an impact in the Poconos to highlight in our magazine.

For more information on the Best of the Burg, contact TEPSBEST at 570-476-4000 and dial 7.