Is love worth fighting for? Well, I mean, obviously, yes. But today, we are turning our attention to the ongoing war in Ukraine. We are not political pundants. And nor are we experts in humanitarian crises. But we are here to talk about what we do know, which is the power of love, and why we all deeply care about our fellow human beings. I'm Sarah Wendell.
I'm Alicia Rai, welcome to lovestruck daily, where we bring love stories to your ears every single day. I'm in love with that. With you,
you know, it can be really hard to watch something so devastating happening and see so many pieces of it live. And yet at the same time, there is a feeling of recognition when you see someone who can instantly identify what is truly absolutely without question important and pursue that for themselves. And I have so much empathy and horror for what is happening in Ukraine. Yeah. And without downplaying what's happening. We have some love stories, some hopeful stories.
Yeah. And I think it's really important in dark times to remember that love is such a strong emotion and it will prevail in whatever way you know the the arc of justice, you know, Advents,
the arc of history bends towards justice, right? Yes.
The arc of history does bend towards justice. So it just takes a little bit of time. Sometimes it's not a straight line. And so no, but I wish I would hurry the hell up. But no, no, I know. And I mean, this is, it is so tragic to see so many terrible, inhumane acts. You know, it's just hard. But there are acts of love during this time. We have traveled this way before and there is much to be learned. Yeah. And you know, there's courage and fighting for what you love. And that's worth celebrating. So, we'd like to do that, while still acknowledging how hard and serious this is.
And this is a topic we've touched on before. We've talked about love stories in the Holocaust. We have talked about queer relationships at times when those were forbidden, illegal or both. And this is this is not the same, but like you said, love prevails. So are you ready for some love stories?
I'd love to Yeah.
Our research team has found so many incredibly inspiring stories, of people finding love and moments of connection in a war, you might have seen some of these pictures, and we will put links in our show notes. But there are several people who have gotten married, and then immediately turned around and gone to fight. And for me, that sort of captures, like I said, the boiling down to the essentials, I love you, I love my home, I will commit to you, I will commit to my home, and we will fight together. That is not a position I've ever personally been in. But having gone through the COVID pandemic. I also understand life is very short. And it helps to really identify what it is that you value most in your world. So there are two Ukrainian soldiers who got married on the front line. She wore camouflage and he carried a rifle. And they've been together for 20 years. But the conflict spurred them to get married because they literally don't know what will happen tomorrow. And that was covered on CTV and the BBC many, many people have seen the pictures of their on the frontlines marriage, another couple chose to get married in the church they wanted because they just wanted to be together. And as the priest was conducting their ceremony, they could hear air raid sirens going off. And they hope to have a more celebratory ceremony in the future. When Ukraine is free.
I hope they have the biggest, most joyous
party they can imagine.
I when I read this story, I thought it was so striking to me. I mean, I'm planning my wedding now. And in a different you know, time and place pretty much and one thing that they covered in the story was that the couple have planned to get married on May 6 and celebrated a restaurant with a very, very cute terrorists the bride. Yes. And they had to scrap that of course and and they were it was just going to be them and the river and beautiful lights and of course that all change once the assault started. Yeah. And they had to they got married in the church. And after that, they're going to the local territorial defense center to see what they can do, which is a very different celebration than what they initially planned on.
I do not speak Ukrainian, but I do want to give an update attempt to say their names. So they're just not anonymous people out in the world, these are real. These are real people. And that's your ina Ariva and her partner Sviatoslav. First in, and if you speak Ukrainian, and I have just done a terrible job, I apologize to this couple. They got married in a bomb shelter while the invasion from Russia was happening right around them. And they ate traditional Ukrainian bread in one of many underground shelters that had turned into a maternity ward wedding venue and general area of asylum and protection. Overnight, she did have a bouquet and the independent had pictures of her bouquet. And it is so beautiful. One thing I love about this picture is the people around them are so invested in their moment. And it must be really, it must be really something to to say, alright, we have the bread, we have the bouquet, we have all of the parts of the wedding. Notwithstanding the fact that we're being attacked, this is our wedding. And we will find happiness together. Another story that our research team found was a couple who got married in the United States before the wife headed back to Ukraine to defend her home country and left her new husband in chicago until he can join her. Now she has asked that her name not be publicized, so that she can be safe. And their wedding gifts included medical supplies for her to bring her parents are sheltering in a parking garage. And her new husband has to wait till his visa comes through to join her there. I cannot imagine wanting to get married and not wanting your name to be published because it makes you a target.
Yeah. And it's it's really, this story is so striking to me because she said at one point that she has to go, because there's no other choice. And the husband didn't want want her to go on our own. Unfortunately, he has to wait for his visa to come through. So she's going to go on to Poland and then Ukraine. Yeah. And I don't believe he's Ukrainian. He's American. Yeah. One thing that I found really remarkable about this is they didn't really plan to marry right now. And so before, before their marriage, she posts asked for advice in her neighborhood Facebook group of where can we get married quickly, and someone offered their backyard up. And so they got married in the backyard of a stranger literally just to get it done. I mean, that is remarkable in its act of kindness to just say, I don't know you, but you need to go clearly. And you have to get this done beforehand. And then everybody's wedding gifts of medical supplies, masks, other items for her to take back from her with her. I mean, that is not again, the wedding that they probably planned for the life they planned for. But the fact that they wanted to celebrate it first is just
so moving. Yeah. Alicia, why do you think it's important to focus on stories like these during a crisis? Because I
think it is really important in times of darkness to know that there is light out there and to know that there is hope. Because without that, like what are you fighting for?
And moreover, it's very easy, I think, especially with media coverage to forget that these are people because you see buildings, you see Rubble, well, that was someone's home, that was someone's office, right. One of the interviews that moved me the most was a woman saying, you know, I had a perfectly ordinary life in Kiev, I went to Coffee with my friends. And I worked in media and my friend was an art director, we're perfectly ordinary people. And now she lives in a tent on the border of Poland, because that's the safest place for her and her friends to be. And it's very easy to lose sight of the people when something goes horribly, horribly wrong. But there are always people and there's always love. And like you said in the darkest times, we want to celebrate that, Alicia, we have some ways to support Ukraine and get involved during this crisis. Our research team has been fabulous in helping us find options to lend support. One thing I did learn when I was doing research for my own posts about Ukraine is that if you can make a regular gift to an organization, even if it's a small amount, the regularity of the gift is the gift, right? Even if you can only give $20 a month $10 A month. Yeah, the fact that the organization can take that money and know that it's coming in every month is an enormous gift. So consider that when you look at what to do if you think oh, I need to make a big big donation know, a monthly commitment means so much to an organization and then they will take your donation and stretch those dollars into ways that you could not imagine. So what are some of the ways that people can get involved to support Ukraine during this invasion in this crisis?
I'll save the children is specifically helping children in Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis relief fund through global giving is distributing to Ukrainian organization. So it's a sort of umbrella organization that then goes out and gives it to smaller organizations who may not have that kind of fundraising power. The Ukrainian Red Cross, of course, is aiding evacuations, providing food and shelter and world central kitchen which I am a huge supporter of I donate to them. Chef Jose Andres is in charge of that and he goes all over the world. His organization goes all over the world they were in Puerto Rico they were in anywhere there's a disaster and they provide meals in those disaster areas. I love his restaurants because I always feel like well at least I'm if I eat there I'm giving something back to a world central kitchen and it's a fantastic fantastic place. And Rostock SOS again, I'm sorry if I'm butchering that, but vos doc SOS is a Ukrainian based NGO that is providing aid in
the area. Chances are in your area, there's also local refugee relief organizations and mutual aid foundations. And certainly there are people who are already near you doing work who would love your help. So if you can, please, please help as much as you want and as much as you can, because every tiny little bit helps overall. Now, this was a tough episode. This was a hard one to do. And I got choked up several times. Now. What is your love to go for this one?
You know, that old Mr. Rogers quote about looking for the helpers in tough times? Like I feel like it gets trotted out.
I am from Pittsburgh, he literally was my neighbor. Yes, exactly. Look for the helpers was something that Fred Rogers said to children, for children to look for the adults who are helping, we are the adults and we can help. We are the helpers. All of us are the helpers. That's also my love to go. You do
need that you have to look for the helpers and you have to look for love and hope in times of crisis and it's okay to do that. It is okay to take a minute and say, well, at least this one good thing is happening in in a terrible you know, terrible situation. Because if you don't have that it's it's almost like you have nothing so don't feel ashamed for for looking for good things in dark times.
If you would like to email us your love story, or a time when you found hope in a dark moment, we would love to hear from you. Email us at lovestruck daily at Frohlich dot media you can find us at lovestruck daily on Twitter and Instagram. Please leave a review. subscribe and tell your friends because we would love to deliver love and happiness to everyone's eardrums each and every weekday. Our researcher is Jesse Epstein. Our editor is Jen Jacobs. We are produced by Abigail steckler and little Scorpion studios and Gillian Davis with executive producer Frohlich media. This is an I Heart Radio Podcast. We wish you a safe and peaceful happily ever after today. With that I'm in love with you I'm in love with you