Love Letter: Healing in the Form of a Designer Dress

The emotional upheaval of a serious illness can make it difficult to cope in all aspects of life. When Emilie Poplett, the writer of this week’s Modern Love essay, developed frightening symptoms — fever, weight loss, bruising — she turned to medical professionals and even unorthodox healers for an explanation. While enduring numerous tests and painful procedures, each one inconclusive, Ms. Poplett found solace and temporary healing by buying pre-owned luxury garments. Each purchase was a hopeful promise of a future where she would be well enough to wear them.

When Ilya Hoffman met Christiana Barkley in May 2016 at a sports bar in New York, he had no idea that her father was Charles Barkley, the 11-time N.B.A. all-star and Hall of Famer. In fact, he was far more impressed with her than her father. “Some people might have been like, ‘Oh my god, Charles Barkley.’ To me it was like, ‘Look at this amazing girl,” Mr. Hoffman said.

Four years later, Mr. Hoffman found himself in a bedroom with Mr. Barkley, where he asked the basketball star for his blessing to marry Ms. Barkley. Mr. Hoffman planned a sweet proposal and popped the question with a Ring Pop (followed by a diamond ring). On March 6, the couple married in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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It’s been a year since the pandemic redefined relationships. Even in moments of stress, anxiety and loneliness, we all adapted and found creative ways to give and receive love, joy and hope.

As more of the world’s population gets vaccinated, postponed wedding plans will resume and we invite you to share your love stories with us. Here’s how to share news of your upcoming wedding.

We want to hear from you.

We want to deliver content that truly matters to you and your feedback is helpful. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

Also, here’s how to submit a Modern Love essay or how to be featured in an Unhitched column. Don’t feel like writing more than a tweet, an Instagram caption or a Facebook post? Consider submitting to Tiny Love Stories, which are no more than 100 words. Getting married? Here’s how to submit a wedding announcement.

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