I am so grateful to be here today.
As many of my friends and family know, I’ve been a hopeless romantic my entire life. I distinctly remember being a young teenager at the movie store with my mom. Each time we would go together, she would give me the chance to choose any movie I wanted. Each time, I chose Notting Hill.
Jeannette, the love you’ve shown me is beyond anything my childhood self could dream up. It’s heartwarming, genuine and fierce… sometimes all at once. At the same time, your love has taught me to find what I spent so long searching for within my own self. You’ve shown me how to love me, and I’ve never been more comfortable just being me. I vow to always inspire you to see the same in yourself.
But as you know better than anyone, getting to today did not come without some challenges. When things were at their worst, I had to face my biggest fear: what if we can never recover from this? I remember laying awake at night as you slept, kissing your head, bent over and praying for your strength. There were many restless nights. But while a year of battle took your hair, it never once took our spirits.
I’ll never forget a conversation we had earlier this year, when a good friend asked you a simple question… “If you were to live one year of your life over again, which would it be?” Your answer was quick, You said “this past year”. As shocked as everyone else was, I felt the same. During that year, we would grow inseparable as we battled and learned to cherish the present. It didn’t matter if there was an occasion or reason… every night we had with each other was a reason to celebrate life. That’s the beauty of us, when we’re together… the sun is always going to follow us.
What I’ve learned from cancer is that nothing is guaranteed in life. I can’t pretend to control any of it more than anyone else. I’ve struggled mightily knowing some things are out of my hands. What I can guarantee is that my love for you will always be present. Every step of the way. I vow to treat every day with you as absolute sunshine in my life. Every year will be better than the last.
I love you.