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Ten years ago today would have been the day I married my beloved Sergio. It's amazing to me, thinking about how far I've come, after spending this afternoon happily splashing in the pool with my husband Ray and our two daughters. I love my peaceful and joy-filled life, and am so incredibly grateful to have the love of these two incredible men. For those of you early in the journey, I know it's almost impossible to imagine that you will ever feel peace again, but take it from me, time and change really do their thing. And no matter how far away I am from the reality I imagined I would have had with Sergio, I remember this day every year- the day of what would have been...
Originally, knowing this day ten years ago was going to be tough to endure, I thought I would go on the honeymoon Sergio and I planned, a Mediterranean cruise, but thankfully one of my closest friends, Genny, talked me out of it- "it will be torture seeing all of those other honeymooners on the cruise" was enough to convince me. Instead, I chose to do some bucket-list traveling-- a week with my mom exploring the lavender fields of Provence, France, followed by a week with Genny trekking along the Mediterranean coast by car. Looking back, I managed to create some beautiful memories in spite of such a trying time, and I have no regrets because it was a great way to take care of myself and my broken heart.
I wrote the following in Sergio's guestbook on legacy.com on the actual day- the message still stands, ten years later...
August 1st, 2002
Bormes les Mimosa, France
My beautiful Sergio...
The sun rises on what was to be our wedding day, and instead of waking up with butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of what would have been one of the best days of our lives, I awoke with the stark emptiness of not having you here to spend the rest of my life with...
I looked over the balcony of mine & Genny's hotel room, across the village of Le Lavandou and out to the Mediterranean, and with all of its natural beauty that the earth has to show me, nothing fills my heart the way that our love does, and I want you to always know this- I know you already know this...
When I think back to this time last year when we found our reception hall, I remember looking at the altar where we were going to exchange our vows, and I remember getting so emotional, having to fight back tears because the amount of love I felt for you at that moment was so overwhelming. I guess that was what you felt that morning that we slow-danced in our dining room to our wedding song, "The Very Thought of You", by Natalie Cole, the week before you gave me my ring. The words, "You'll never know, how slow, the moments go, til I'm near to you..." have a whole new meaning now...
My love, there are days when I think that I just can't bear this anguish of not having you here, but all I have to do to find the courage to keep moving forwrd is read your last birthday card to me:
My true Soul Mate,
I've loved you in a past life,
I love you in this one, and I will love you in the next...
Your Soul Mate
I know you are with me, and I am thankful for all of the little signs you send to give me the strength to get through each day, my Bunny, my love...
And though I already took the oportunity to say our wedding vows at your Memorial service, I wanted to write them to you today, on our wedding day, for the whole world to read:
Today I join my life to yours.
From this day on, I will be your partner and companion,
for you are my dearest love and my very best friend.
I look forward to the joy we will find in eachother's separate successes, as well as our shared ones, and welcome the challenge of whatever obstacles we encounter, for I know that whatever we face, we face it together.
Because your happiness is vital to me, I will help you to grow as an individual.
I will also strive to be more fully myself because you deserve no less than the best of me.
I pledge that I will listen to you when you speak,
encourage you in times of doubt, comfort you in times of sorrow,
and be a refuge of strength for you in times of uncertainty.
I will be faithful to you all of my days,
will always be honest with you,
and will cherish and adore you every moment of my life.
This is my solemn vow...
My love for you is infinite and eternal, my beautiful soul mate,
Your loving wife,