Thursday, August 10, 2017


Four years ago today we were rushing around preparing for our Commitment Ceremony. Forty people from seven countries were invited. It had been a week of festivities with friends flying in from different continents leading to special dinners and precious time together.

My dress was ready, made by my late friend Barbara  and my friend Marina rushed to the florist to pick up my  floral headdress.

Llara, Julia, Marina and I walked the couple of blocks to decorate the hall. Patricia was busy preparing the food.

Rick and I had written our vows.

Then it was there.

We exchanged our vows, led by Father Robbert, and aided by my daughter, ate very well, danced to "Love is better the second time around" chatted with our friends.

Like all newly formed couples we weren't sure what would happen next.

What did has amazed me. I am happier than I have ever been in my life and I've been happy most of my life.

Our problems were external such as living permission, a birth certificate issued with a wrong date, filling out tons of paperwork.

We were tested with my cancer which only made our couple stronger.

We learned to humor each other, talk things out, negotiate. Mostly we have had fun in little and big things. Watching a DVD at the end of the day or a romantic evening in Liechtenstein, trips to exotic places or walking to the tearoom around the corner.

Once we were able to clear away certain legal idiosyncrasies of three countries' legal systems, we had a legal ceremony (In many European countries only the ceremony at city hall is legally valid) on May 17, 2015. This time there were two guests, our witnesses, as much family as is possible without blood connection. A lunch at restaurant nearby included champagne.

What a surprise my friend had for us that night. Friends and neighbors came into celebrate with us.

The legal ceremony may keep the authorities happy, a good thing.

What really counts for me was four years ago when I shared my heart and soul with a wonderful man.

Today I reread our vows. They have been lived up to.

Donna-Lane's Vows
Rick …
I cannot give you my heart today for you already have it. You came back into my life when it was full and you made it even fuller.
I know you’ve made tremendous changes so we can blend out lives and every day in every way I promise that I will make you glad you did.
I want to encourage you in your great strengths: your kindness, your lovingness, your creativity, your warmth.
I will be there for you when dark clouds cross our horizons and together we will find the sun even on the blackest days.
I loved you, I love you, I will love you.

Rick's Vows
Donna-Lane ...

You are my soul mate, my life partner. I believe I have loved you from the day I met you. We have been given a unique second chance to be together.
And I intend to devote the rest of my life to making you happy.
You did not need me in your life. You have an abundance of people who love you, and whom you love.
You have welcomed me into that very special circle and I will do everything I can to be worthy of your turst.
I want to bring you joy and laughter.
I want brush away tears, to comfort you in sorrow. I promise to support you in your aspirations, challenge you to be the person you want to be, and to honor and respect your individuality with my whole heart and soul.
Je t’aime ma chérie, je t’aime.

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