We got married in August! It was a wonderful day with family and very close friends. We each have two children and all of them came to Toronto from other cities for our wedding. We felt supported by all.

Friends were involved in most aspects of the wedding. A few helped us set up the party room the night before and others contributed their signature side dishes to complement our main course.

Our children contributed to our wedding service in meaningful ways. Special thanks to Sarah Bunnett-Gibson, our Minister who created a personalized service that was honest and touching.

It was a whirlwind day! Our favorite people together, celebrating love. The best part was getting texts and e-mails afterwards saying variations of ‘Best wedding ever!’ We’re excited about what we can create as we move into our marriage and forward in our lives. We’ve each been married before and are being intentional about creating our new relationship.

New beginnings are important to mark. It’s ingrained in us in North America that September is a brand-new school year. In some ways, it feels like a natural time to begin again. What do you want to start this season? What do you want to let go of?

I was setting up a time to meet with a friend and she said that her life can be defined in two words: ‘What if’. She was widowed 3 years ago and was emotionally dependent on her husband. He also dealt with the details of running their home and family, while juggling his career. They had a happy marriage and she’s stalled in ‘What if’s’. I get it. These things take time.

I’ll admit that it’s easier than moving on. Letting go of ‘what was’ is tough, but life is a one-way street. It’s important to share our stories to process them. This can be done with friends or family or in therapy (in a process group or with a private therapist).

This work can be supported by counting our blessings. Write three things down each night that you are grateful for – it sure was a game changer for me. To see all that I still had, rather than what I’d lost.

I feel very lucky to have found someone to love again. It wasn’t easy or fast. It was intentional. I didn’t want to stay stuck in ‘What if’. I knew I needed to take risks. Little risks at first, to build up the risk muscle. I supported friends who took risks and took notes. One moved to Mexico. Another went back to school. Today, it feels like it was worth the effort. Who knows what the future holds? Not me! I’m just a woman on a one-way street.

This poem was read at our wedding. My father wrote and recited it at both my children’s weddings. I read it at my parents’ burials. It was time to hear it again.

 

Like Beads on a String

By R.O. Millard

 

Love one another, love truth and beauty,

and what can come between you

and your dream of two long lives

Lived almost as one life

 

Love’s labour’s never lost; its sweetness

Lingers after, to be taken up

By other twos who, younger now,

will from you learn to live almost as one

 

And those of us who’ve loved

and dreamt and lived long lives

will look at you and them and know

The cycle has been taken round again

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