The Story of Jesse and Kelly Cottle

I have a story that needs to be shared, and I regret that my words will never do the justice that it deserves. It is a story of the two most beautiful people in the world, and their journey destined to find each other through any obstacles. I want to share the story of Jesse and Kelly.

Kelly and I have been friends our entire lives, literally. Our older sisters met in preschool in South Africa, our parents became close and our families stuck together from crazy holiday trips to immigration to the United States. Kelly and I spent hours and hours together, swimming, biking, putting on dances, making up all sorts of business ideas as eight-year olds, playing Mancala, and dreaming up crazy concoctions in the kitchen. I’ve seen Kelly grow into such a beautiful woman inside and out, with such a gentle spirit, who has a heart for God, she sees the greatness in the little things, and is loyal beyond bound.

Before meeting Kelly, Jesse was serving our country in Afghanistan. As a Marine, Jesse was working as an EOD Technician, which stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. He stepped on an undetected IED, or Improvised Explosive Device, and was blown into the air, losing both of his legs instantly. But God had bigger plans for Jesse. Three years ago, Jesse’s life drastically changed as he hung onto his life, and carried on with a positive attitude, a grateful understanding, faith and a severely deepened appreciation for life.

Two years ago Jesse came to meet Kelly, a record holding Boise State swimmer, at her swim meet in San Diego as their families had met previously while he was overseas. You would think he might hesitate as he walked across the wet floor in his brand new prosthetic legs he was just getting used to. But you’d be wrong. Jesse, yet again, faced the world with courage and determination, and then, changed Kelly’s world forever.

Kelly and Jesse bring life, love, and happiness to everyone around them. They act as a team, they laugh and play, understand what the other is thinking, they share common values and morals, and most of all, they love each other in a way that can only be described as pre-destined. If you ask Kelly, God had a plan for Jesse to continue to bring happiness to this world. If you ask Jesse, God’s plan was for Kelly to bring him happiness. She carries him on her back to the beach, and he shows her the beauty in the small things in life. She helps him to balance truth, purity and faith while he provides strength, courage and braveness. Together, they have all the right parts. Together, they are whole. Together, there will be no such thing as defeat.

Their story is a true testament to a life of devotion, faith, love, happiness, friendship, courage and loyalty. I am so blessed to know them both, and I will be forever grateful for the day that Jesse’s life was saved. This weekend, I was honored as I stood beside Kelly as a bridesmaid as she married the man of her dreams. Their wedding was spectacular, beautiful and sincere. Kelly looked absolutely gorgeous, and the happiest I have ever seen her. As their friends and family watched, they vowed to forever love each other through thick and thin, sickness and health, wars and turmoil, and anything that faces them in the future. I have no doubt that their love will stay true until death does them part.

Congratulations to the two most beautiful people in this world, your story is an inspiration to me that love has no bounds, depths, or limits.

Love, Chianne




One Comment to “The Story of Jesse and Kelly Cottle”

  1. what a very cool story. I am in the Army, have been to Iraq 2005-06 and as much bad that has come from these wars it is good to see that their is some good. What a beautiful couple. I am envious of Jesse, look at those arms they are huge.

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