Captain and Tenille "Love Will Keep Us Together" was Candice and my wedding song. I must admit that I picked the song! What can I say, I am a 70's love song junky in large part thanks to my grandfather. This is yet one example of Candice's tolerance!!!!
Today (Sept. 30th) would have been our 8 year anniversary. I love Candice so very much. What I can say is the day Candice and I got married, this did NOT create a new found sense of love. We had already been in a relationship for 7 years; so after our wedding, our relationship went largely unchanged. However, what I did feel was an enormous shift in how people viewed our relationship. I could not be closeted about being married to a women but neither could my friends and family. We were legitimate - this was a bigger deal than anticipated.
When we got married, we asked our guests to stand by us and support us. I always thought this seemed odd-to be honest. But when sickness hits, and friends and family gather to help and assist, you quickly realize that a marriage requires that very support.
I also know a day will not pass the rest of my life, when Candice will not enter my thoughts. In a tearful moment in the hospital Candice looked at me and said "I bet you wish you didn't pick me now"---I cried and looked at her and simply said - "if I knew in the beginning that this would be our ending, I wouldn't have changed a thing, because you gave me so much happiness and love and you made me such a better person and I wouldn't trade these years for anything". This is my truth.
Excerpts from our wedding ceremony ~ officiated by my sister
Welcome to everyone on this special occasion. Regardless of the wonderful and loving relationship that Stephanie and Candice have shared up to this point, today, that relationship takes on a dynamic and special form. You have come to witness this exciting occasion as they demonstrate their love and faith in one another. It's a day of hope and celebration. The beliefs and thoughts about love shared by Stephanie and Candice are perhaps best expressed in the words of this poem:
"You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each other be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of a temple stand apart.
And the oak and cypress grow not in shadow"
Heather's reading: Stephanie and Candice asked me to say a few words on their behalf before we started the ceremony. For months I have bounced some thoughts around in my head and on paper. Thoughts about some funny stories or some tender moments to share, but when it came right down to it, all I wanted to say is this. To me, one of the greatest gifts in life is having someone to smile and laugh with through all those great moment in life; someone to support and carry you through the bad, and someone to just sit next to you on the sofa for the rest of those days that fall in between. Obviously I have known Stephanie her whole life. I have to say in all honesty, I don't think I have ever known her to be happier, or more secure in who she is as a person. I would think I could probably say the same thing about Candice. But then, that's what makes a successful couple isn't it? When you find that person that you can grow with and share interest with; someone who encourages you and grounds you? Over the past seven years, I have watched them grow into an exceptional couple. You never know what lies ahead or where the road will take you, but I know with all my heart that these two women will see it through together. All I could ask for Stephanie is that she would find someone who would love her whole-heartedly and unselfishly and that she would feel and do the same. I believe with all my heart she has found that with Candice...........