BARNEGAT, NJ - Barnegat Bride Chrissy Chapais has firsthand experience when it comes to "distance making the heart grow fonder."  She and her husband Arthur Joseph "AJ" exchanged their vows on Valentine's Day. Thanks to the pandemic, and the shut down of the borders, they find themselves a country apart.

"Even though we're separated by physical distance," shares Chrissy. "Our emotional connection just keeps getting stronger. However, it's really not what we had in mind, and we're both frustrated that we have no control over the situation."

It's a love story that began when a man and a woman literally met in song. Over a year ago, Chrissy and AJ found themselves matched up on "Smule-The Social Singing App." The phone application professes that music has the power to "break down barriers, touch souls, and bring people all over the world together."  Apparently, the company's mission statement hit its mark with these two songbirds.

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 AJ, who lives in Canada, made the selection of their first duet together in a virtual live jam with Lady Gaga's "Always Remember Us This Way."  Although Smule allows users to see one another in a video chat format, AJ had taken steps to block his camera. That changed when their song was over.

"I remember thinking there was something about this woman," AJ admits. "I wanted her to see that I was a real person. It was almost as though I went into auto-pilot mode."

Their first conversations were short, with both thinking the other was romantically unavailable. Chrissy recalls hearing a little boy in the background, Little did she know that five year old Tommy would ultimately become part of the reason she would fall in love with AJ.

Over time, Chrissy and AJ began communicating outside the music app and their connection became stronger. They spoke for hours and hours on a daily basis.

"I remember saying that AJ was the male version of me," Chrissy says. "From the beginning, we both acted silly and yet were passionate about the same things."

Ultimately, the couple decided to meet up and have made multiple in-person trips that confirmed their undeniable chemistry. After all, what's a twelve-hour difference when it comes to love? The two marveled at the synchronicity of their lives and knew they were meant to spend the rest of their days together. They alternated visits between Canada and the states.  On one of AJ's return trips to Canada, he took Chrissy by surprise when he dropped to one knee at the airport.

The two set up plans to marry in Niagara Falls on October 10, 2020 with family and friends joining in their celebration. However, the date and the distance both seemed too far away. While they still plan on a reception in October, Chrissy and AJ legally became husband and wife this February. They decided to settle down in Canada so that little Tommy could stay near the rest of his family.

Chrissy is a social worker and knew her license would not immediately transfer to another country. She researched and found she could remotely teach children English who came from other places. Chrissy sent in her passport for the name change and waited patiently for its return.

And, then the coronavirus made its way into North America. It's not just that Chrissy hasn't yet received her passport back from the government. While she considers it essential travel to be with her husband, the border police might disagree. In light of the pandemic, the newlyweds are stranded in a physical sense.

 The couple have returned to using technology as a means of communication. Chrissy even chips in and helps with Tommy's virtual learning. In the evenings, Chrissy and AJ  do their best to continue date nights. They laugh at movies and share their deepest secrets. They try to find normalcy in a world suddenly gone surreal.

Of course, they've also gone back to their roots and captured their feelings in song.  "Half a Day Away" is an original creation that embraces both their love and frustration. It tells the story of how even with boundaries beyond their control, the couple's love brings about incredible melodies.  The lyrics to the song:

 

Verse 1:

Babe, when the world starts turning and brings a new beginning.

I'd travel far and wide just to get to you.
Blocked borders, closed doorways.

They don’t mean nothing, baby.
I would move mountains just to get to you.

Chorus:

You're only a half a day away, but it seems like a lifetime
It's like you're worlds away when your body's not next to mine.

Every hour, every second. You know it's true. That every part of me waits for you.

Verse 2:

762 miles.

I would have held you tighter.
If I’d known it would be the last time in a while.
I would've kissed you longer
My grip would've been stronger
If I’d known it'd be the last time in a while

 

Chorus:

You're only a half a day away, but it seems like a lifetime
It's like you're worlds away when your body's not next to mine.

Every hour, every second. You know it's true. That every part of me waits for you.

Bridge:

On the journey to be whole,
 You'll find the best part of your soul.
You will travel many hard roads.
At the end you'll get to find what you have searched for all this time

Was always only half a day away
Only a half a day away

 

Chorus:

You're only a half a day away, but it seems like a lifetime
It's like you're worlds away when your body's not next to mine.

Every hour, every second. You know it's true. That every part of me waits for you.
Copyright 2020 Christine andArthur Jos