As Angela was driving home one evening, she could not even remember what she and her husband Jon had been arguing about that morning. All marriages have their own set of silly little arguments - Angela knew this – but, what she did not know was that this particular argument was about to end in an extraordinary + memorable way.
Angela met Jon when they were both serving their country in the Military Reserves. Angela loves to joke about their relationship early on during their deployment together.
“When I met him, I actually couldn’t stand him. But, eventually we became friends and began dating in 2007 when we returned from our deployment.”
A few months into their new relationship, Angela received a job offer in her home state of North Carolina and Jon hesitantly moved home to California where we was employed as a paramedic with the San Diego Fire Department.
“I thought I didn’t want a long distance relationship when he went back to California. Jon and I are like night and day, but we love each other so much. We were only apart for 2-3 months before he came back to North Carolina to be with me.”
Angela and Jon married in 2011, and though it would seem as if this love story had finally found it’s happily ever after, they knew their story could never be complete without a child.
“We tried to have a baby for a long time, even seeking out professional help.”
After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they waited another year before trying again. Nine months later, Angela + Jon welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world.
“Isabella changed Jon so much. As a father of a little girl, he now understood what kind of man he wanted her to marry one day.”
Back to present day, Angela entered her home ready to make up with her husband. Instead, she was astonished. There, in the middle of the table, were two R. Riveter Bags.
“He knew I had been following R. Riveter on Instagram for a long time and that I had been wanting a bag.”
These bags weren’t just any ordinary bags, however; they were two handcrafted R. Riveter Heirloom Bags, made from Jon’s San Diego Fire Department Turnout Gear + purchased with his first paycheck as a fireman in North Carolina.
“When they go into a fire, they have to wear gear with reflective tape. R. Riveter turned that into these beautiful mustard bags. They are so gorgeous. I was completely blown away. His San Diego FD patches were embroidered onto the larger bag and reflective strips were used in its design, too! It was such a unique gift and really from his heart.”
Jon explained to Angela that the larger Otto bag was for her, while the smaller Patton bag was for Isabella.
“He wanted to give her something that had been a part of him.”
And so when Isabella is old enough, she will receive her Heirloom Bag which contains dozes of messages from family members and friends.
“Everyone has been leaving her notes about how to be a strong girl and their favorite bible verses.”
But, Angela’s favorite message waiting for Isabella in her Heirloom Bag is one left by Jon and herself:
“What a miracle you are. God has a special plan for you. You are such a blessing.”
Love, Mommy + Daddy.
Interview + story by: Kellie Gunderman