To Bernadette, on the third anniversary of our wedding:
MY TOP TEN MEMORIES
10. Road trip: From Louisville to our new adventure in Arizona over 3 days in a two-seater MINI. “We could talk or not talk for hours.”
9. Dream Weekend: Our weekend trip to New York City where we sat in the front row directly in front of Gregg Allman, I got to meet many of Bernadette’s close friends, and topped it of by getting matching tattoos on our ring fingers to signify our love and commitment even when we are not wearing our rings.
8. Training and Wellness: All the Bikram Hot Yoga, kettlebell and boxing workouts we experienced together in places starting in Louisville and expanding to Rome, Nice, France, Montreal, Cancun, Mexico, Tempe, Arizona, New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Hilton Head, Orlando, Miami, Key West and so many others.
7. The Longest Day: The finale to our magical trip to Europe meeting most of Bernadette’s immediate family, which felt like hundreds, where, during the last day, we rocked to Bruce Springsteen in an outdoor stadium in Rome, somehow found a taxicab at 1am, with our destination written on her hand and a few hours later, we jumped on a direct flight to JFK and got a ride from the airport to Connecticut for my niece’s wedding the next day.
6. Friends and Family: Each occasion where I got to visit and get to know better Bernadette’s many friends and family. Glenda, Terri, Linda, Holly, and so many others, you know who you are. From Los Angeles to NYC to the Keys to St. John she has created so many friendships. Even in her short time with “blistering cold temps” the repeated “I’m freakin’ freezin’” in Kentucky, she connected with, and introduced me to, great people.
5. The Love Shared between Bernadette and My Parents: Every time my mother shares her belief that my meeting Bernadette was “Divine Intervention,” including when I lost my voice, during a keynote speech in South Carolina, from overwhelming emotion, where my Mom took the microphone and finished the story, while I regained my composure.
4. Caring: At the end of my week long visit to the Virgin Islands, when we first met and spent much of our time together, Bernadette showing her capacity for caring, by not only bringing me to the airport, but walking me through the steps to get through customs and making sure I got on the plane safe, spending ever last minute together.
3. Inspiring: In over 100 inspirational talks I have given with her and Ollie (our little white emotional support dog) by my side, the one that stands out most in my mind, where I (and practically everyone else) was moved to the point of exhaustion from the joyful emotion I expressed of having Bernadette appear in my life and be thereby encouraging me every day to live life to the fullest despite having Parkinson’s disease.
2. The Most Wonderful Beach Experience: Bernadette introduced me to the island of Anegada, which you can only get to by ferry once a month or by private plane. The whitest, softest, most comfortable sand and the bluest water that I have ever scene and, near the end of our stay, we laid on the sand intertwined dozing off, while the soft waves covered us, then retreated, as if we were the only people in the world.
1. An Angel Appears: The extreme degree of love that I experienced while standing at the place where we would take our vows, in the home I realized that I built just for this occasion, on the warmest, sunny February day in Louisville, with many of our friends that filled my life with love, some traveling, on a moments notice, from Massachusetts to the Florida Keys and many places in between, the moment that Bernadette appeared on the staircase standing in her wedding dress and I (as well as everyone else) were filled with overwhelming tears of joy. I am more convinced today than even then that I married my best friend and the love of my life.