33- years- ago today Rich and I married for the first time. To make a long story short, we were scheduled to go to court on February 7, 1984, to retain custody of my oldest son. On the advice of my attorney and therapist, it was suggested that since Richard and I were already living together and planning a life together that we go into the courtroom married. I fought this for a while as I didn’t want to just marry my best friend to win custody of my son. I wanted to marry my best friend and the man I loved for being my best friend when the time was right for us, not because someone thought it should be the right time. However, on Friday, February 3rd in the study of Rabbi Fred Eisenberg with our witnesses, Debbie and Dave Meredith. We kept this information hush, hush until we stepped into court.
After our little ceremony, we went, to lunch with Debbie and Dave who kept our secret and that night we treated Steve to a special dinner at Hibachi in the Valley, for “no reason.” However, on Tuesday, February 7th before we shared our news my ex-husband announced he and girlfriend were engaged were planning on marrying in the summer. I felt deflated and disappointed, this was not the way I chose to wed, and yet here I was married to my best who I loved, but we were not “in love.”
On February 8th, we shared our news of marriage and family and cohesiveness and the judge granted that I remain the custodial parent. With my mother and mother-in-law in Cincinnati for support with us we spent the day together with my best friend Helene and her husband Lanny who had introduce Rich and I to each other. We called my dad and my father-in-law and shared our good news, and life went on. In July, Richard and I married again in front of family and friends falling in love but still not quite there, but we knew we were the best of friends that want to be together for a lifetime.
33-years has been both a lifetime and like a snap of the fingers. We have our ups and downs and the journey has not been the way we pictured it at all. We lost Richard’s day just three years after we married. He was my MR. ED. He was a big loving, cuddly big bear. I loved him with all my heart. I could talk to him about anything at any time. It became our joke when he was ill, on my 37th birthday, just days before he died, he wished me a happy 39th, when I said I wasn’t 39th, his response was, you will always be 39 and happy! Mr. Ed died on the same day, March 9th as my Baube Ida. I know my Baube was waiting for him, she would love him dearly.
For many years after that my mother-in-law was as much a part of our little family as she was willing to be. She traveled to Detroit with us to join in family celebrations where my relatives welcomed her with open arms, to know Loretta was to know an Angel. Both Loretta and my mom became girlfriends and when they got together they sure could create havoc.
My dad did not try to take the place of Mr. Ed but he was always a father to Rich and Rich created a bond with my dad. Rich never denied me time with my parents and even when I felt a bit of resentment towards them he would always encourage me to call or for us to go visit. My husband always knew what was right for our souls and still does, that’s why we have made it to #33.
Falling in love is a process and I can’t say when it happened for Rich or me. I can tell you that a couple of years ago, I fell out of love with Rich. I still loved him! He was still my best friend. I could not imagine life without him, but I did not feel that he was special until one day I woke up and I looked at him and it just felt right again. I began liking myself again, and from within I saw what was / is so special about my person that I fell in love with.
Rich and I are not conventional celebrators. Whether it’s because we have never had the financial stability to plan to celebrate or planning a celebration sometimes is just anticlimactic for us. We tend to go with the flow and that tends to work best even when it may feel disappointing at the time, we make up for in other ways. It’s not about the day, it’s about the life we are creating daily.
Thirteen years ago, my father passed away on one of our special Anniversary Days. Initially I thought I would never be able to look at this day in the same way and feel the love that we created. However, I was wrong because my father is the one who taught me to love and to live each day to the fullest. My dad lives on in my heart and today I know Pops and his DVasha are looking down on me and my loving husband, Richard, wishing us a Mazol Tov on #33.