Updated: Jun 5
We only get one life. Your life is in your hands and you and you alone are responsible for your happiness. No one on this planet is owed anything. You are given life, either live it or whine about it. Your choice.
At Last, by Etta James. That was our wedding song, ten years ago. May 29, 2011. Ten years ago, I had the wedding I always dreamed of to the right man, my second husband. I did it exactly the way I wanted. We had a beautiful backyard wedding and absolutely everything was perfect.
Mind you, I had a huge wedding back in 1985, to the wrong person. I left him in 1994 and never looked back. Best decision I ever made for myself and my children.
Me taking a picture at my engagement part in 1984.
That wedding wasn't what I wanted back then. I didn't want to marry in the church, I did it to make my mom happy. I had a big reception in a beautiful venue, but there were people invited that I didn't even know and never saw again. Yes, Italian parents think EVERYONE they ever knew should be invited to their children's weddings. I didn't want all those people, but, again, I appeased my mother. I would have loved a backyard wedding, but mom worried about the weather. I DID have a beautiful backyard engagement party at my insistence.
The day before the wedding, Hurricane Gloria hit Long Island (for more on Long Island, see my category). I always say, somebody up there was trying to tell me something. (see Long Island - South Shore On The Coldest Day of the Year)
Most weddings were cancelled. My venue was the highest bidder on a huge generator. We married by candlelight in the church with a cassette tape run on batteries playing the wedding march. If that wedding had been cancelled, I don't think I would have ever wound up marrying him. Walking down the aisle, I felt doubt. When I walked toward my now husband, I felt nothing but elation, absolutely no doubt whatsoever. That's the difference from the very beginning.
I remember the girls I worked with in New York City at the time my first wedding was being planned. They thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. A huge wedding, a handmade, custom wedding gown made by my talented mother, a big reception on Long Island paid for by my parents. It was all so perfect, a fairytale.
Back then I was young, healthy, thin (even though my ex always thought I was fat) and everything "worked" for me. If I must say so myself, I had attractive legs, gorgeous hair (always got compliments on my hair since I was a small child) and I could eat anything I wanted. I could wear spikes to work and then go dancing all night long and my feet and legs worked. Though once I was married to a shortie (only about 5'8" if that) I lowered the heels a bit. On the outside looking in, I had it all.
I had a great job in New York City when I met my ex and I was earning more than he was at the time. I had the bank account, the insurance and the career. If it weren't for me, he would have NEVER gotten into the field he was in. I got him in. My dad was a VP on Wall Street and he worked for my dad's company.
The perfect story, right. WRONG. I was young, healthy, and capable of earning good money. But... living with the wrong person was misery and I don't choose misery.
When I met my second husband, I was already sick (see The Day My Life Changed), he had been let go from a really good job along with 56 others through no fault of their own (he was a lieutenant at a private college) and I was trying to keep and grow a business during and right after a recession. Many of those let go along with my husband lost everything, including their homes. Luckily, my husband wasn't one of them.
My former boyfriend and my current husband are both 6 feet tall. I'm only 5' 4". I could have worn the sky high spikes, but, by then, my legs were bad and I couldn't wear those kind of shoes. Figures right.
My nephew and godson was very sick (see Cooking For Cancer Patients and Their Families) when my husband and I met. Another family member was battling breast cancer at the same time.
My husband had endured the loss of a 5 year old years prior to my meeting him. I endured the loss of a man I was in a long-term relationship with. We'd both had heartache and more was coming and we knew it.
Me with my kids in 1995. I met my current husband in 2010.
When we met, nothing was perfect. I was a tired, single mom of two, one still a teen. Thankfully, I had great kids. Never in any trouble. Both always responsible, making the right choices and so busy with work, school, family and close friends, they didn't have time to get into trouble. But, teens are teens and it's exhausting driving them everywhere, attending activities and have groups of their friends over.
Finding good paying jobs was nearly impossible. Not because we were not qualified. I had a Bachelor's Degree and years of experience with skills that were transferrable. He had years of experience as well but jokingly calls himself a rent-a-cop as the ignorant public refers to his field. (see Ignorance is Bliss. But, It Could Mean Life Or Death) Little do they know that the police rely on guards, work closely with them and guards have stopped many incidents that would have caused devastation, but no one hears about it.
Job just weren't out there and those that were, didn't want to pay. I did finally find a good position working for the government. The pay wasn't as good as it should have been, but for the times, it was decent.
Moral of the story, when you are young and "perfect" and think you have the world by the b*lls and your eyes are filled with stars and your head is filled with dreams of the perfect future you will build, you can be thrown a curve ball. That ball will probably hit you right smack in the face. Bam.
When life is in chaos, riddled with disease, people you love are dying, your investments are dwindling, your years of hard work is no longer worth a dime to those hiring, and doctors are asking if your medical problems are "all in your head" and nurses are suggesting your are a drug seeker, you can STILL meet Mr. Right.
When the world seems cruel, you can meet the ONE who will partner up with you and you will fight the world together.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people and sometimes bad people have good luck. Yeah, it seems like a terrible joke. However, remember, life is what you make it, no matter the hand you are dealt.
You are responsible for how you feel. You can choose happiness or misery. I've always chosen happiness. I never gave anyone the power to make me miserable. When a husband tried, I left and changed my life. When a boss tried it back in 1983, I found a better job. When medical issues made their attempt, I kept fighting until I found a doctor who could help.
We control our own destiny. We could whine, and throw a pity party or we could fight with a smile.
The first time I met my husband in person, the first thing I noticed where his kind eyes. Within minutes of talking, I saw he was funny as hell, family oriented, and moral. Not long after I learned he was loyal, kind, loving, a dog lover, and responsible and devoted. I soon realized he was very knowledgeable about history, his passion. He was the complete opposite of my ex husband and much like my former boyfriend. Maybe he didn't look like an Adonis, but to me, he was adorable, cuddly and had a cute face.
My husband has been through a lot since birth. He was raised by an aunt, whom he loved dearly and sadly lost a few months after we married. It was less than a year after I lost my nephew and Godson. Starting off married life losing two people so dear to us could have wrecked havoc. We were not without our issues. No marriage is perfect, for sure. But... we worked it out and stuck it out.
I accepted him as he was and he accepted me as I was. We were both overweight. and had medical issues What some don't realize is that for some people, like my husband, for reasons that are personal and we won't get into, food is a drug of choice. It's an addiction same as cocaine, heroin, alcohol and gambling. Food was my husband's drug and addiction. Addictions are often caused by trauma. I could have looked at the outside and ran, but I would have missed all the wonderful on the inside.
Us on our wedding day and us a few years back.
Not long after we married, he had gastric bypass surgery and lost 200lbs with me cheering him on. I lost 50 pounds with him cheering me on. I had finally found the right dietician who understood my issues, making life easier.
Me, the summer before 12th grade, on the left and me this year on the right. They took my high school picture a year prior to graduating. I was working in New York City on Wall Street for my dad's company. I was a paid summer intern. I had big dreams. I wanted it all. To travel the world, to marry and have four kids, to have an amazing career. to own my own business.
1999 Disney Cruise with myself and my two kids.
I did the majority of my traveling after I left my ex husband. Every year I took my kids on a "big vacation" at least one week. We did many long weekends too.
We took a Disney Cruise and several trips to Disney with friends.
Vacations to a Pennsylvania resort just the three of us and camping trips with 40 family and friends.
I travelled with my then boyfriend to Maine, Mexico, and on cruises and we took the kids with us on some trips to Maine and on a cruise and to Great Adventure and more.
The best part was, there was no one there creating havoc, causing trouble, misery and walking around angry at the world. We actually HAD fun, more than I could say for any trip taken with my ex. UGH.
My husband and I now have a cruise planned for next March with another couple. We wanted to go for our ten year anniversary, but, again, life got in the way, COVID saw to it that we wouldn't be going. So... we will celebrate our 11 year.
I didn't get four kids, but I got two and I'm grateful. I did own a business and my family owned many businesses and still does. It has it's pros and cons.
Life is what you make it. We all have our problems. We all have our cross to bear. We've all been discriminated against, treated unfairly, hurt, lied to, and dealt with hardships, bad jobs, idiot bosses, and illnesses. We can choose to overcome and be happy or we can think the world owes us something, whine, complain and be angry and miserable.
I've dealt with prejudice through the years, nasty men in high positions hitting on me or treating me disrespectfully (I had a judge say to me once during a job interview, "Why would I hire you, you're just going to get married, have a baby and quit." A JUDGE said this to me in 1984, knowing it was wrong and illegal. By the way, he was wrong. I never quit, I always worked. I could have made a fuss, cried, been angry, etc. Instead, I dismissed the jerk and found a job that offered me more money and better benefits.
Me thought the years, always choosing happiness, no matter who or what tried to ruin it!
I always choose happiness! Dump what is trying to make you miserable. Get that better job, screw that asshat Judge, find the right man, to hell with the abusive ex, do what's right for you.. If others don't like it, it's their problem, not yours. Your only concern is that you live your life happy. The way to achieve that is to be honest, loyal, kind and never intentionally go out to hurt anyone. As long as your choices aren't illegal or will intentionally hurt another, then go for it and never care what anyone else thinks.
To my wonderful husband, happy 10 years and here's to another 10!