The Women We’ve Become 

This was more than a beach destination wedding. It was one of us finding her happy. One of us being the three young women at this wedding that at one time in the not so distant past were happily and blissfully married, unaware of the tragedy and loss life had in store for us. None of us could foresee facing the reality of and, working through infidelity, pedophilia and death. But we did. None of us, at one point or another, saw light at the end of the tunnel. But we’ve found it. We all thought this life hurdle, this inconceivable loss, would be our defeat. But yet we conquered. These women are my comrades, my heroes and my motivation.
We cried to our friends and family. We read books and consulted therapists. We journaled, suffered panic attacks and have gotten considerably more comfortable with the “you don’t know my life, bitch” look. From the perspective of the random aunt looking on, it seems unbelievable that those three girls embarrassingly dancing like no one is watching, belting Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” could have suffered what every wife fears when she makes the commitment to marriage. That those smiling, overflowing with life and love girls could possibly understand life, loss or struggle. But we know. It will always be there for us. Not in the forefront of our minds hopefully, but very much a part of us. We learned what truly matters to us, who we can count on in times of need and the strength that is available to us when we practice the self love that is essential to healing through circumstances such as we faced.

Lori’s wedding is her and her beloved (Pictired above. Photo Cred: Cindy Dover Photography) showing the world that betrayal, loss and hurt, while a part of our stories, will not define the book of our lives. We all believe in our happiness. We all know that through fighting for our own empowerment and living lives that are true to our most authentic selves that we are paving the way for others who are still looking for their power and resilience. We might seem like girls, but it was the act of taking back control over our lives and building our own happiness that, incredibly, we shaped the women we have become.

I spent every morning on the beach practicing my sun salutations and meditating in stillness with the dynamic energy of the ocean reminding me in a very physical way that everything is always changing. Attachment is both silly and destructive because the next wave will turn everything on it’s head and sometimes it’s just the change of perspective we need! She is saying to us, “This too shall pass my sweets, this to shall pass.” Knowing this allows us to enjoy the beautiful moments more because we recognize their fleetingness and dance through the storms when they rain down on us, always knowing that blue skies are behind it.

The bride and groom’s love was apparent. The sun shone on us, allowing us to feel the blessings physically on our skin. The ocean breeze carried the words of the poem written to honor the power of the light of love in the darkest of times to the women who are are still unsure that the best is yet to come. What more could a couple wish than for their ceremony and their love to ignite and inspire others to find that lifelong love for themselves, even it isn’t the first time through like we all always imagined. Congratulations my love, my sister, my friend. May the depth of your grief be ever exceeded by the mountains of your joy.

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