34 years ago, my best friend and partner married me in front of family and friends with Rabbi Cherise officiating. Just five months earlier with Debbie & Dave Meredith as our witnesses, we were legally married by Rabbi Isenberg in a very intimate ceremony. (No, it was not a shotgun wedding!) However, for reasons not to be published, we chose to make a commitment to each other followed by our big event on Sunday, July 15th, 1984.
When selecting our venue, it was necessary for Richard and I that we would choose a place that would be standing and in existence for many years. We wanted the ability to go back to the location and wander the halls or at least drive by it as we would reminisce. The site we chose was at that time called the Quaker Hilton Hotel in downtown Akron. The hotel was known for its historic past as the Quaker Oats factory where the silos that held those oats were renovated into round guest rooms. Today this facility still stands and is now part of the University of Akron, no longer a hotel, but it is available to rent out for special events. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaker_Square)
My husband of 34 years is still my best friend. Just like BFF’s we have our disagreements that turn into Ups and Downs. We have survived 34 plus years of sunshine and rain. Some of the rain turned into stormy days and nights, bringing us closer together. We know we are not the perfect couple that advertisers feature as the beautiful people, but we see the beauty in each other even on the darkest of days. When they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder the statement is true and poignant. When your eyes carry that feeling to your heart, you know you don’t need to be advertised at all. You know you have the real thing that makes you feel breathless.
We are not big celebrators and as is often the case our special days look like any other. For us that makes each day unique and grateful that we found each other (at our best friend’s wedding, many thanks to Iris Light who insisted that I come to the rehearsal dinner for her son Lanny (Rich’s friend) and daughter-in-law Helen (my best friend). Rich and I clicked, and the rest is part of our history.
Since that hot and humid day in 1984, many of the special people who were part of our wedding have passed on. Including Ed & Loretta Hale (the best loving in-laws anyone would cherished to call mom and dad); Harmon & Dorothy Moss (my parents who took Rich under their wing calling him. son and treating him as if he was their third son). We have also lost many aunts, uncles, even very special cousins like Gloria Seigel who share our special day. Friends also moved on, and contacts have been lost (SADLY we miss Dave & Debbie Meredith, Randy & Sue, Elliot, and other individuals that were part of our working circle. For those still in our lives, we feel lucky to have you as we reflect on that day.
Today as I sit here nursing an injury I will take the time to remember all of you and hope that this message may reach you. Today we celebrate our marriage as well as the family and friends who are all still part of our hearts.
This message would not be complete if I didn’t send out my love and friendship to my husband, Richard Hale, my partner for eternity.