Couple shares a love story that goes the distance

RANDOLPH — No distance is too great to stop true love — not 8,000 miles or even the vast Pacific Ocean.

James Fye and his bride, Analy, know firsthand the trials of a long-distance romance as their love story started on different continents – James in Randolph and Analy in a small village in the Philippines called Dumangas.

James’ friend from Randolph married Analy’s friend from the Philippines and they were virtually introduced in a roundabout way through Facebook. James sent an initial message to Analy in August 2018.

“It was a long, long message,” Analy said with a smile. “He introduced himself and how he knew about me.”

After she confirmed with her friend that James was the real deal, the couple messaged constantly. Messages turned into phone calls. Phone calls turned into video chats.

The video chats turned into love.

“When I wake up and I open my phone, there’s a message coming from here, “Good morning, princess.” It was really good that he takes an effort to message. And then, we just fell (in love),” Analy said.

With the 12-hour time difference and an Internet connection unreliable at times, James admits he didn’t get much sleep but wouldn’t have changed one minute of it.

“The way that she loves people – family and kids – it’s incredible. She’s very caring,” he said. “That’s really initially what got to me about her,” James said.

Three months into their blossoming romance, James knew he had to meet Analy in person. So, he took the 8,000-mile journey with a nervous head, an excited heart and an engagement ring in his pocket.

James’ flight was due to arrive at 6 p.m. Analy, flanked by her brother and cousins, arrived at the airport plenty early – 1 p.m. – so they would be there to greet him. They waited and waited with no word from James. He was equally anxious and not able to communicate with her that his flights had been delayed.

“I’m thinking, ‘What is she thinking? Is she going to be there? What do I do if she’s not there?’“ James said.

He finally arrived around midnight and Analy ran toward him, enveloping him in a hug.

James’ first stay in the Philippines was a whirlwind of meeting Analy’s family, solidifying his in-person relationship with her and asking her to be his bride. The couple wed Dec. 22, 2018, in a Philippine church wedding like what is also customary in the United States, complete with pre-marital counseling and surrounded by family and friends. (Nebraska family attended virtually).

In January 2019, James returned to Nebraska married but alone. It was understandably an emotional time.

“He left his pillows,” Analy said. “His smell is still there. He left his sandals also. Everything that reminds me of him, made me cry.”

But James would be back, making several trips that year. In July 2019, he made the trip again and the couple went on a “mini” honeymoon and worked on finishing visa applications and required paperwork to make it legal for Analy to emigrate to Nebraska.

Medical exams, vaccinations and her final interview at the consulate took place in February 2020. And, fittingly, it was Feb. 14 - Valentine’s Day last year - when her visa was finally approved.

Now she’s been in Randolph for a year and says she gets homesick for her family and friends, fresh seafood, and the beach. But she’s found home right here in Northeast Nebraska – in the people she’s come to know and love.

“People are amazing here,” she said. “Even if you don’t know each other, it’s ‘Hello!’ and just friendly, and ask “How are you?’”

While they are settled in Randolph now, their love continues to deepen and grow with a baby boy due in April. They plan to get their own place and continue to enjoy just being together – in closer proximity both physically and emotionally.

“He’s the complete package,” Analy said, grabbing James’ hand. “He’s silly. He’s crazy. He’s very loving. He’s sweet even in public. He really loves his family which I really like. He accepts me for who I am and has long patience.”

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