DARRINGTON — Diana Bejvl remembers her son’s reaction, spreading his arms wide in joyful exuberance.
“I’m getting married!” he told family members last October.
“Being our family, he wanted us all to share his joy,” his mom said. “It was like he won the hundred million dollar lottery.”
Alan Bejvl had found the love of his life, Delaney Webb.
He was 21. She was 19.
“They were already sharing,” Diana Bejvl said. “They would get those little glances or finish each other’s sentences. Everybody wants a love like that.”
Diana Bejvl said her family is unusually close. They regularly scheduled family time with their three adult children.
Nevertheless, she said, she wanted to talk to her son about his pending marriage, and discussed it for about two hours. “I said, ‘Why are you getting married now? Why aren’t you waiting?’”
Her son responded with his typical, straight-forward, disarming manner. “All I can tell you is I want her to be my wife and she wants me to be her husband,” he said.
“Does she make you laugh?” his mom asked. “Every single day,” he replied.
“They were kind of old- fashioned,” his mom said. “I knew they were going to be fine.”
Her son was at the home of Delaney’s Webb’s grandparents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, which overlooked North Fork Stillaguamish River, when the mudslide occurred. All four died.
The young couple had already sent out “save the date” notices for their planned Aug. 16 wedding.
Alan, an avid four-wheeler, would drive up on “Bumblebee,” his yellow-painted off-road quad. “He was going to build an altar down by the river,” his mom said. His plan was to pick up Delaney in her wedding dress and have her sit in his lap as he drove Bumblebee to that spot.
Alan’s three-year plan was to have the altar moved to property somewhere between Oso and Darrington where they would build a log cabin, his mom said.
Alan and Delaney had different interests and styles, but still found a way to blend them, their families and friends said.
Delaney “always had to have her makeup on and her hair done,” said Jessica Morris, of Marysville, who had known Delaney since fourth grade. “She never wore sneakers unless she was running.”
Her choices in music changed as she went through phases, from hard rock to country, Morris said. Her interests would sometimes change just as quickly. “It was fun to watch her and it was funny,” Morris said.
In 2010, she joined the cheerleading squad for the Darrington Loggers football team, said her mother, Nichole Webb Rivera.
In one unimaginable afternoon, Rivera lost both her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, her daughter, Delaney Webb, and her future son-in-law, Alan Bejvl.
Alan and Delaney might have owned their own business someday, perhaps having a bed-and-breakfast, or training dogs and having a kennel, Rivera said.
“I’m really honored to have been her mom,” she said. “I’m going to miss her a lot.”
Alan was “very much country,” his mom said, raised on a family farm without TV or electronic toys like Xbox. He would join his brother, John, 25, and sister, Lisa, 23, for quad riding weekends. Every summer, the three of them picked out a high mountain lake to backpack to.
Delaney soon learned to share Alan’s love of four-wheeling.
One day, Alan, whose clothing preference leaned toward white T-shirts and jeans, suddenly showed up in a purple plaid shirt and Calvin Klein jeans.
Even Alan seemed a little astonished at his adopted fashion sense, care of Delaney. “I never thought I could pull this off, but this looks good,” he told his mom.
A few weeks later, Delaney showed up in a camouflage hoodie. “But it’s pink!” she said.
Alan had planned to meet his family for lunch at 2:30 on March 22. He never showed up. “Then we understood what had happened,” his mom said.
Alan’s final Facebook post was a message to Delaney, written about an hour before the disaster.
“Ten things I need to be happy,” it says, with the words “you” repeated 10 times.
Delaney responded at 9:41 a.m.
“Aye,” it says simply, with a smiley face.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.