Laura and Brayden Faganello are a husband and wife photography and videography team based in Victoria, British Columbia who are making waves after Laura shared their incredible story on Facebook.
It’s a story that makes you think of the phrase, “Fact is stranger than fiction.”
Laura recounts, “Nine months after I married Brayden I sustained a brain injury that completely changed our lives. While setting up for an event, a large pole dislodged and fell on my head.”
“My next clear memory is of waking up thinking I was 17 years old, and not knowing who Brayden was. My memory of meeting, falling in love with, and marrying Brayden was gone.”
Talk about a devastating turn of events.
Laura had a long road ahead of her, and she was beginning from square one.
“Over the course of the past two years since the accident I’ve had to relearn how to read, write, and speak coherently, learn to live with the short and long term memory loss, cope with constant pain, and come to terms with the fact that I’m married to someone I don’t truly know.”
The physical and emotional impact of the accident was devastating, to say the least, and it came with its fair share of frustration.
“I went through a period of anger and depression; I felt like so much had been ripped away from me. I desperately hoped my memory would come back, that someday I would look at Brayden and remember everything. Unfortunately, that has yet to happen.”
Laura struggled with the physical pain but also the emotional conflict of being married to someone she didn’t remember dating. She came to a point where a decision had to be made.
“I eventually realized I had to make a choice. I couldn’t stay in a marriage that I didn’t remember choosing. It’s really hard to feel completely devoted to a marriage when you feel like you just woke up to it one day.”
Instead of giving up on her marriage, Laura decided to start dating Brayden again.
“Even though I didn’t really know who Brayden was, I saw how kind and patient he was with me. He was sweet and silly and quirky, and I wanted to try to make it work. I took off my rings, and I told him I wanted to date him.
Brayden became my best friend, and then my crush, and then my love. I haven’t miraculously gotten my memory and all my old feelings for him back, but I have new feelings and new memories. I’ve learned that love is a choice, and I am choosing to love Brayden.”
On August 9th, Laura posted the following picture on Facebook, announcing that Brayden had proposed to her (again), and that she had said yes (again)!
I asked Laura what, if any, impact her temple covenants had on her decision to stay with Brayden and work things out.
“Yes, one of the biggest reasons why I originally stayed with Brayden was because of our temple marriage. Though I didn’t remember making that commitment, I knew how important temple marriage was to me and how much I prepared for it as I was growing up. I knew that if I had made the decision to marry someone, it was because I was 100% sure about them. I was very hesitant to break one of the most important covenants in my life just because I couldn’t remember making it.
I’ve learned that love is a choice, and I am choosing to love Brayden
There were times I felt as though my agency had been taken away from me because I was facing the consequences (both good and bad) for a choice I did not remember making. This brought both anger and comfort to me as I considered the impact of agency in my life. Someone else chose to put the pole where it could fall on me, but I could choose to move on without bitterness. I chose to marry Brayden, and though I no longer remembered that, I could choose to love him again. Making those choices can be really difficult at the time, but I have learned how many blessings are awaiting us as we make those positive choices.
Beyond staying with him because of our temple covenants, there were so many tender mercies that kept me going. As promised with the atonement, Christ truly made up the difference. I was given just enough strength to accomplish what I needed to, I was blessed with a glimpse of memory in the moments I desperately needed it, etc. My husband truly went through the refiner’s fire and became a much better man than who I originally married. He became more patient and Christlike, and he has been the biggest light in my life. Now, I can’t imagine life without him.”
We wish the best for Laura and Brayden and are so grateful that Laura has chosen to continue her journey with Brayden by her side. May their life be full of joy, laughter, and an abundance of new and magical memories.
You can follow their photography and videography page here > Faganello Productions on Instagram
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