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Giving Love a Second Chance

In September 2017, Joseph Ernest Glisson Deaux checked his phone during work and saw a text from a woman he had barely spoken to over the last few years, Marissa Beth Arnold. He and Ms. Arnold had met in April 2014 at a work event and dated for a few months, but before their relationship could get serious, Ms. Arnold’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mr. Deaux’s mother also had late-stage cancer, and although they both had feelings for one another, they decided to stop seeing each other to focus on taking care of their families.

Apart from running into each other in an airport and a few text exchanges, Mr. Deaux, 35, and Ms. Arnold, 35, had not stayed in contact. Which is why Mr. Deaux, who is a commodities reporter and deputy team leader at Bloomberg News in New York, was so surprised when he saw the message from Ms. Arnold, a freelance public relations consultant in New York. Ms. Arnold was planning to stop by the Bloomberg News office the next day to attend a talk the company was hosting, and the two decided to grab coffee together before the event began. Both of their mothers had died since they dated, and they didn’t shy away from talking about grief when they saw each other.

“There was a comfort because there was a level of maturity in the conversation that wasn’t like two people reconnecting to go on a date, but two people truly catching up,” Mr. Deaux said.

Both avid runners, Mr. Deaux and Ms. Arnold made plans to meet up for a run in Central Park about a week later, after which they stopped for food. Ms. Arnold was uncertain at first whether meeting up with Mr. Deaux again was the right decision, but soon found that not only did she enjoy reconnecting, but that the feelings she had for him had not disappeared since they last dated.

Credit…Becca Dilley Photography

By the end of their day together, “I think it clearly was a date,” Ms. Arnold said. “We were like, all right, there’s still attraction here.”

They began dating again, and after taking a trip together in December 2017, they knew that they were serious about each other. They started to look at engagement rings, and moved in together in June 2019.

About two weeks after they had finished unpacking their last boxes from the move, Mr. Deaux and Ms. Arnold each went on an evening run, on separate routes. Partway through her run, Ms. Arnold got a call from Mr. Deaux, who claimed that a toe he had stubbed earlier in the day was causing him serious pain.

“I started to sprint toward him,” said Ms. Arnold.

When she found him, Mr. Deaux didn’t seem to be in pain. Before she could ask him what was going on, he pulled out an engagement ring and asked her to marry him. Mr. Deaux slipped the ring on Ms. Arnold’s finger. She and Mr. Deaux, who had been faking the injury so she would meet up with him, then finished the rest of their run together.

“I think the main reason I love her is just how much she cares,” Mr. Deaux said. “She cares for me obviously, but the way she is caring for other people. She was the person who took care of her mother when she was sick. She’s got that caregiver persona.”

The couple were married on Aug. 28 at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, the Depot, in Minneapolis, in front of about 150 guests. Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman officiated.

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