Every married couple has a story to tell about how they first met. In 1972 I was employed at a local supermarket while attending medical school in Chicago and an elder teacher who came in for groceries encouraged me to attend a student party. Cecile and her sister Sherry attended the same party accompanied by blind dates. After a full day of classes, five hours of weighing produce and mopping the floors until 9 PM, this was the “last” place I wanted to be—until I met my future bride. My first impression of Cecile was that I had met someone very special. We spoke of our love for Italy and relived the old world charm of the towns we had visited, the people, my Sicilian relatives, the open air cafes, the pasta and of course the Italian gelato. We held each others gaze the entire evening as if we were the only ones in the room. We agreed to meet for dinner one evening and over time a warm and deep relationship developed between us. She was there for me when I had nothing but a burning ambition to become a successful doctor. Her love and faith in our relationship had been strong enough to leave her job as a teacher and close family ties in Chicago to join me in moving to California in 1975. Two years later we were married. They say marriage is a point of no return, but if I could turn the back the clock, I would still choose to love and marry her in a heartbeat. After 45 years of being together and 40 years of marriage, I am happy to say I love her more than ever and am grateful to still have her by my side.
Cecile, I know we will never forget the day our 300 pound safe was stolen from our last place of residence. As you know three of the many prized possesions that were taken were our 18 karat gold wedding bands and a Tanzanite ring I brought back for you during my travels to East Africa. It was quite a loss but we still had each other, our wonderful children Jason and Michelle and our little Maltese-Lily.
And, as far as losses go, Rumi, the great 13th century mystic once said, “Anything you lose comes back around in another form.” With this in mind, I bought you a new Tanzanite ring to commemorate our 40th anniversary and the renewal of our wedding vows. With this ring I thee wed.❤️
Postscript: Tanzanite is a rare gem discovered by a Masai tribesman deep in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
P.S. Dearest Jason and Michelle, thanks so much for the beautiful photo of your mom and me that was taken in 1974 by a friend that you had stylized, enlarged and framed. It would have otherwise been lost in the family archives. We love you.