It’s no secret. Pete and I were both married before we were married to each other. So when the time came that we decided to marry again, we were hesitant to make any sort of fuss or public event out of it. We would be 45 years old at that point and thought that we should just go to the Justice of the Peace and call it a day–make it official. My daughter Sean, who had just turned 14 at the time, gave me feedback on that plan, “Oh no, we’re going to have a wedding.” Her brother seconded the motion. I am forever grateful. Her wisdom and foresight, and urge to have a party, has given me a memory that I can treasure and re-live for the rest of my life.
These thoughts were all brought to the forefront of my memory last week. I knew that I had the wedding vows that Pete and I had written safely stashed in an envelope, but I had not looked at them since the days following the wedding when I filed them away. Over the last year I have thought about them many times but never had the strength to pull them out. Those types of undertakings tend to put me in a melancholy state for a day, sometimes more. So I choose these moments carefully and make sure I have sufficient time to emotionally recover.
When I pulled the two pieces of paper from the envelope they were still tightly-folded 8x10 sheets of paper that had been minimized to the point that we could palm them as we walked down the aisle.
I didn’t know if it’s cool to share the vows with each other ahead of time. We did. We were both a little bit insecure. What if one of us wrote something so terribly moving and deep (we both assumed it would be the other of us) and then the other said something trite or cliché. So the day before the wedding, Pete and I let each other take a peek at each other’s vows—just enough time to make any needed adjustments. What ensued was what always happened when we were together. Mounds of smiles and out loud laughter. As per usual, reading each other’s minds, we had virtually written the same vows–honestly, they were nearly identical. (I’m not sharing them here, but if you’re ever in the neighborhood stop by and I’ll show you.)
We laughed and felt reassured that neither of us had written something stupid. They weren’t poetry, but the vows were honest and real. They weren’t performance art for a captive audience. They were what we wanted to promise each other.
So as I slowly unearthed and carefully unfolded the vows, these memories came flooding back.
So, last week, October 7, was our 11th wedding anniversary. I decided that these vows needed to be front and center in my life. I meant what I said then and that hasn’t changed. So I found a nice frame, placed them there, still in their semi-folded position and hung them on the wall near the big stuffed chair in our bedroom where I sit and read.
When Pete and I traveled through Italy several times, he opted to call me Princepessa and I called him Pietro, (or sometimes Prosciutto—if you’ve ever seen him perform that will make sense.)
So this, the 11th anniversary of Principessa and Pietro, I read over and over those vows. Happy Anniversary Pietro.