Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Pearl of Bora Bora




Hello everyone! I have been asked by the lovely Marsha at Splenderosa to join her International Blog Party "By Invitation Only." It is quite a thrill to be participating along with some of the blog world's finest. Today's theme is "Weddings"...





My photos are faded now. But my memories are fresh. I am not single. Nor have I been married. I have a ring but it is not a wedding band. Let me explain.


Two wild things, two wanderers recognized something in the other and fell head over heels in love. They enmeshed their disparate lives by creating a team as a travel writer and photographer. And discovered the world and each other...together. Wherever they were, that was where home was. 


And so my companion Remi Benali and I found ourselves on Bora Bora in February 2005. It was our most glamorous assignment so far, covering Bora Bora Cruises slow circle of the Leeward Islands for the French travel magazine Hotel & Lodge. We swam amidst the sharks only to find that a floating champagne bar had magically appeared when we came up for air. We were giddy with good fortune, dumb-founded by our luck. But it is also harder work than one outside of the métier can understand and we took it so. We didn't see the time passing but felt it brushing past our skin.


One evening, just as the sun was tipping its hat in farewell, I could hear Remi's gentle pad behind me as I gazed out onto the swirling sea. I turned and saw he held a jewelry box in his hand. My heart started to pound and I searched his gaze. Was this...? Would he...? No, no, not exactly. Inside the box, was the most beautiful pearl, one that glimmered green like the waves below me on one side and glowed pink like my heart on the other. A feeling, a moment, solidified into a tangible thing. It is a commitment ring. A promise was made with it and it has been kept. It is the most precious object I own. 


Five months and much paperwork later, we made that promise legal by making a PACs or a Pacte Civil de Solidarité in the Town Hall, an exceptional option here in France. Solidarity. To stand by each other, to promise to take care of the other. It is so right for our couple, who have been through so much after having previously been so independent. I wore a white Margiela jacket and we stole a quick kiss as the notary wished us congratulations. But that was it. No champagne, no cake smushed in faces. We rushed back to our tiny apartment and started packing our bags for an especially challenging assignment in Tibet. We left before dawn the next morning. There was no time for ruminating high in the Himalayas but what we saw imprinted us strongly, with weight. And fifteen minutes after our return to Paris, Remi found an internet ad for a house that would finally take us to Arles, the city that had called to us. In Provence.

In Tibet. ©Remi Benali

All of this doesn't mean that I don't have my moments of rêverie. I honestly have no idea if we will ever tie the knot as our being together is still an active, not a given choice, but if we do, I know exactly where I would like us to go to do so--back to Bali. We have been twice on assignments and it is magical for both Remi and I. We have roamed the island and been intoxicated by its romance. We could have a simple ceremony on the beach with just our immediate family at our sides. We could be barefoot in the sand with the waves as music. I would charm Remi into wearing his sarong (he is even more masculin in one)...


...and I would don my favorite champagne silk bias gown with matching vintage pearls.

And of course, the pearl of Bora Bora. 


And although our lives have taken another turn, our existence is now quite simple and our travelling days are perhaps over, for the past eleven years I have been with an incredible man. Finally, all of our voyages together were our lune de miel. For yes, we did dine by candlelight in the garden and spread the rose petals out with our toes the evening that I took the above photo along with too many memories to mention. Today, I run my finger over the pearls surface and remember that I don't need any more than all I already have.

I never dreamed of being married, not even when I was a young girl. I don't know why, my parents certainly gave me a wonderful, lasting example. But I did hope, for so long, that one day I would meet a man that I would love and respect, who would feel the same for me. Who would appreciate me for who I am and vice versa. That we could build a life together in trust. A wedding then of heart, mind and spirit. 

I feel very fortunate.


Cue music:



For those of you that are visiting for the first time, I really want to extend a warm bienvenue. And for my wonderful readers and friends, please take a moment if you can to visit some of the other posts. You will be able to find them all at Splenderosa. How wonderful to explore and dream! 











87 comments:

  1. Sounds like the real thing! hugs H

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    1. Hugs right back at ya Heather. More beautiful Indian palace resorts please!!

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  2. A delightful story - a true soul mate is a rare gem. You know one when you have one!
    You don't need a marriage certificate to endorse your relationship's authenticity.
    Bisous.

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    1. So true, Elizabeth. As always you know just what to say...

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  3. Divine... You write so beautifully Heather...I am quite teary reading your precious love letter... xv

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    1. Oh no! No tears Vicki. But you can imagine how excited I was to surprise him with this...

      Thank you for your kind words and support, Ms. Archer...

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  4. A lovely love letter with such expression of love and care- and your document signed means a long commitment--- but marriage is not just that a commitment, but a vow in front of all your friends and people you love, that this is your chosen one and you wear his ring to show it on that finger. A sign of respect that you have chosen to be his wife. I know you are happy the way you have decided, but marriage is not anything to be frightened of doing, its marvellous and fulfilling, and really does make a difference in how you feel about each other... its weird but true, that until you do it you don't know what you've been missing... just like not having children, you find its so amazing how your feelings react, but telling someone who has never had them is hard to bring it across in words... I love your blog and you really are special both of you... all the best... J

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    1. What a lovely and heart-felt reply, Janzi--thank you!!! I actually have a dear, dear friend who recently wrote me the same idea in a different context. I find it beautiful.

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  5. A very big welcome Heather...lovely to have you with us ;-)
    Such a beautifully written post.
    Catherine
    xx

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    1. Merci, Catherine--I really am delighted to be included!!!

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  6. A deep poignant story of true love, so different from my story, but love has infinite facets...i met a young man i hardly knew, we married on a spur of the moment for other reasons than true love and became soul mates. Your story is one of fairy tales, so beautifully told, in places i love. you inspired me....perhaps i would return to Bali to celebrate 30 years with the man I deeply love..

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    1. Je suis très, très touchée par votre histoire, Francine. Isn't life so surprising? What a gift it gave you, the one that you weren't even looking for. Thank you for the compliment and by all means--go! Go to Bali! What a wonderful, perfect place for your 30th anniversary. And if you do, please let me know so that I can drive you crazy with suggestions. :)

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  7. Such a ray of sunshine ...... It beams from your page with warmth and care - enjoy your travels through life and make sure you both keep blogging the honeymoon to us as your work is wonderful! Hold each other close, no matter the destination! Wow ... what can one say but here's to many joys for you! Cheers guys!

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    1. Cheers, Wyn! Your wonderful responses never fail to make me smile so broadly--merci!!!

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  8. Dear Heather,

    My good guess is that (1) you already know this song quite well and/or (2) even if you don't know the song, you probably don't actually "need" to hear it, since you and Remi seem already to have figured out for yourselves what it has to say.

    go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYi7kOMZXQo

    Admiringly,
    David Terry (who is currently really afraid that, one of these fine days and using this new computer/browser of mine) I'm going to publicly distribute the link to whatever porn-site I've obviously been trolling for the previous six hours. I'm pretty sure this is the right link, though....)
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. I have good news for you Mr. Terry (and clearly NOT Reverend Terry), the link is the right one! Whew. ;) I haven't heard that song in such a long time. Far too many to even think of it in terms of Remi and I so thank you so much. What a beautiful gift. So like you to give it too. I listened to that album over and over and over--I wonder if the message sunk in and stayed?

      I have a little story for you about Sting. This was many (over 20) years ago and I was working as a "hostess" at a big benefit in NYC. Despite the many celebrity guests, my fellow hostesses were all most excited about his arrival and he did not disappoint. Of course, this being NYC, our little group was all very determined not to stare at him as he entered the room but he beat us to the punch by walking right up to us. "Isn't my wife the most beautiful woman in the world?" he asked, turning to gesture at her where she was talking in another group ten feet away. Luckily, he didn't wait for an answer as we were all utterly speechless. That question wasn't for show either. He meant it. Isn't that lovely?

      As Head In The Clouds As Ever,
      Heather

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  9. Heather this is a beautiful tribute to your love and strong bond, thank you for sharing so generously
    Sharon
    x

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    1. Merci, Sharon. :) Heading over right now to see what kind of beautiful you have prepared for today...

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  10. As usual, Heather, a beautiful story, beautifully written. Thank you for revealing the background of your very touching mariage. I love your ring and lovely champagne gown and vintage pearls. Perfection.
    Bisous...Victoria

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    1. How is that chubby cheeked Grandson of yours doing, Victoria? Hope all is well with you and yours and thank you so much for the very, very kind compliments!

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  11. Hello Heather,
    I am new to your blog, your newest follower thus and will add to my blogroll, for such a beautiful blog must be shared! Your way of sharing captures imagination, and the honesty in how you shared your special love and bond, is magical and appreciated.
    with best regards from Afrique du Sud
    Colette

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    1. Dear Colette, you really know how to make an entrance! Thank you so much for signing up and I will look forward to saying hello over at your place. What a gorgeous, fascinating country you live in...

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  12. I, too, felt entranced as I read along. Such a beautiful and exciting story, Heather. And, now I'm waiting to see Remi in his sarong!! You guys have been everywhere, haven't you? Sharing all these experiences is what makes a life. Sharing, discovering, being awed, and working together creating something tangible is one of the biggest joys there is. I think your relationship works perfectly for the 2 of you. All of us of "By Invitation Only" are so happy to welcome both Remi & you into our group. Sending a big Texas hug, my friend....

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    1. Ma chére Marsha, you are going to have to wait a very, very loooong time before you see Remi in his sarong! The only way that I even got away with posting that photo of him is by having the entire post be a surprise for his eyes this morning. Which was fun. And yes, we were very fortunate to travel so much together--and as you perfectly understood, to create something tangible always meant a lot to us. It still does--he is so supportive about my photography and writing for this blog and I remain involved in his business too.
      Everyone has been so welcoming Marsha but I'll take that hug--thank you!!!

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  13. A beautiful story...I will ponder this all day long. I'm such a traditionalist...but inside me is a wild heart. Welcome to the group.

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    1. Thank you so much Mona! And hooray for having a wild heart--all the more fascinating if it is hid beneath a traditional exterior too!

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  14. Oh I loved your story and thank you for sharing it with us. May you have a long and happy life together.
    V

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  15. PERFECT!JUST PERFECT!What a beautiful post!Plus, to see you two front on in the photos!A real JoY!
    Now, I just dont get it why you have 183 looky-lous and some of the others have thousands.It just shows me that good taste is not found frequently!YOur musings and writings and photos so out do some of those other people..........I find so many of them actaully boring after a bit cause they are using photos that are NOT theirs and doing posts that are so mundane!You on the other side write from the HEART!And I love that!Keep going LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.Do you know that was one of my favorite books as a child!??xxxxx

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    1. My Contessa, what would I do without you? You are a one-woman purple kaftan wearing cheerleading squad!!! Whoohoo!

      And ps. That is one oooold photo!

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    2. I couldn't agree more, La Contessa, though perhaps I am a bit biased, being Heather's sister! I think Heather's writing from the heart and original photographs make her a true find - I am so proud of her and her talent!!

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  16. How beautiful Heather! Like you I never dreamed of being married but then someone special came along and changed all that. The husband and I were married on a beach, barefooted with close family and friends, I highly reccoommend it. My wedding present from him was a long strand of stunning pearls. So as you can see Heather I love your story because it rings so close to mine.

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Wow! Debra! I am speechless!! So many similarities, save that we haven't actually married...yet! You never know! :) But now I know who to turn to for pointers if we ever do...
      Bisous...

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  17. Thank you for sharing this story. It is romantic in the best sense of the word. I hope the adventure continues for many, many years to come!

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    1. Me too Judith! It sounds like you both might have some wonderful adventures in front of you as well...

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  18. Dear Heather, Well, I'm glad that you liked the song to which I posted the link. I admired the obvious sincerity and frankness of your posting.

    Just for the record (and yes, I'm well aware that I could send this to you "privately")?....

    Herve and I met when I was 40 and he was thirty-one. Both of us had been in love (with other people) long before... and both of us had spent many years being single (mine died when he was 29... and his died in a motorcycle accident in Paris on his way to Herve's damned "surprise" BIRTHDAY party....of all over-written scenarios). So, both Herve and I spent a lot of years assuming that the amour-card had already been dealt and was done with. We're lucky in that both of us are very fond of and very close-with our families.

    When we did "get together"?...one of the major points was that he'd finally & formally adopted a 12 year old daughter (not his "natural" daughter in the least...just a very smart and sweet young girl), who died of leukenia six years ago when she was 14....so, she never came to live with us in America as we'd planned when we bought this house.

    We remain quite wary of formal contracts and "plans" and any notion of a "traditional marriage". It's more than enough for us to wake up each day(whichever ocuntry we happen to be in), find the other person still there, and be grateful for that sort of loyalty and the obvious good luck we've both had.

    thanks for your obviously evocative and quite lovely posting,

    david terry

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    1. David, I had to go walk around the living room for a bit after reading your reply. It made me cry, I'll just say it. But after walking a bit, the thought that came to me is that it says so much about the enormity of the love that you and Herve discovered in that you could even consider to be open towards loving again after losing your loved ones so young. I am so truly sorry with all of my heart that you both experienced such tragedy and deeply grateful for the mystery of life for somehow bringing you two together, two people who could understand what others could not. And that your couple was further able to withstand the passing of Herve's daughter. Ok, crying again. You know, I have always thought of you two as "un vrai couple", a phrase that I don't use lightly and now I know why. Lots of love to you both.

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    2. Well, Heather....good. For various reasons, your sincere posting prompted me to be much more open than I would ever be "in public" (so to speak). Quite frankly, I don't think there's anyone (with the exception of our immediate families and, perhaps, five or so friends Herve and I have individually had since our twenties) who knows anything about anything I mentioned.

      Here's a song which you should hear. as ever (and I just searched for the first time)...turns out there's a live youtube version. I'm so glad I have curtains over my bathroom window.

      go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZIFavgLd38

      It's a song I've known for at least twenty years, but which I introduced to Herve (for all the obvious reasons) about seven years ago). He loves it.

      ----david

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    3. Alright then, bracing myself to listen to the song but before I do...well, hopefully you know. Hopefully you know that your story may really reach out to many as it did me (and it will stay with me long as a reminder). I do hope that Herve is ok with this. To you both I wish Namaste--the best within me salutes the best within you.

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    4. What a wonderful story and what a priveledge I have to be able to share in it and be touched by its honesty and sheer gratitude for what you have! I salute you and thank you for sharing it so generously and making me sit up and take notice. I have just recently divorced after many years and your story has filled me with hope and wonder!

      Veronica
      Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

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  19. Heather, your story has me a little teary eyed. I just love it. And in a world where weddings seem have become more about making a statement that stating a true and lasting commitment to another person, the way you've chosen to live your love makes perfect sense and has so much meaning. It makes me happy, and make me believe a little more in true love. XO

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    1. Dear Jeanne, I am glad that I am not the only one teary-eyed around here! My goodness. I am just so moved by your response. Thank you so much for being your honest self. You know, on Vicki Archer's post today she had a link to her previous post and there was a lovely comment from you and in rereading it today one of the things that I thought was "Look Jeanne was there too!"--very happy that our paths finally did cross.

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  20. Magic Heather...that's all I can say! You write so beautifully and I smiled from one word to the next. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I so appreciaed your letter yesterday. You sent me off on search of my Vanuatu photos which then of course sent me off to Samoa and many other places I had forgotten about. I was thrilled and I have you to thank for sending me down that path.
    Story of Samoa to come and after that...Bora Bora. Small world and getting smaller. We spent our honeymoon and 20th wedding anniversary on Bora Bora. Many changes in 20 years! I am feeling that if we were to meet Heather...we are going to need a bottle of wine and a warm spot to sit...possibly looking out to sea. A kindred travelling spirit...the best kind. :)

    Best wishes Heather...

    Jeanne xx

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    1. Jeanne, should I start saving my pennies-ok, centimes-for a trip to Vietnam? Maybe we can convince a certain other wonderful lady to come too? I am quite serious! I know that we would get along like a house on fire to use an Americanism. :)

      But it seems like your trip down memory lane didn't make you the sentimental puddle that it did me! And yes, it is crazy those moments of "Oh yeah, we were there too?!". But Jeanne, I hope you understand that we certainly could never have afforded such experiences on our own, we were just sneaky enough to find a way to experience them via working for the press (well, that is especially true for the hotel work we did because I was tired of sleeping in tents all the time!).

      As for Bora Bora and Samoa, I can't wait to hear more, again, when you can...thank you for all of your lovely support too!
      Gros, gros bisous...

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  21. PS...I have never used this expression before but I 'heart' in a very big way your champagne silk gown and matching vintage pearls...my favourite colour...the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller... :)

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    1. That made me laugh coming from you! Yes, of course, I should have thought, you would LOVE this gown. It actually is from a good designer but with my bad memory I can't remember who and I cut out the etiquette when the amazing Madame Carmen (sadly now retired) tailored it so beautifully (I must have it somewhere and will go looking for it). It is so simple but a high quality silk and flows like a river...I found it in a legendary store "le mouton à cinq pattes" close to Le Bon Marché in Paris. Happy memory with just the day we agreed to buy it too! I think we must have eaten pasta for a long time but it was worth it!

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  22. Your story embraces what every true love story (and wedding) should - a couple rooted in happiness with a commitment and promise to stay together because you want to not because you should - truly a life together in heart, mind and spirit.

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    1. Thank you Stacey, means a lot coming from you!

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  23. Heather,

    I am so glad to have you join us! Your story is so beautiful and romantic. It is the heart that truly marries not the wedding.

    Wishing you the best,
    Christina

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    1. Christina, thank you so much. And yes, I think that is as much as I can hope for and Remi too--just something that ties us between us and nothing more.

      Sending you all the best as well!

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  24. Oh Heather,

    As I said to Marsha this morning by e-mail, I'm thrilled that you have joined the party.

    Yours is a wonderful, wonderful story and so beautifully written. Your happiness shines through the telling.

    xo,
    Tish

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    1. Tish, it means so much that you said hello today, your support has meant more to me than you know. I am so excited for all that lies ahead of you, you inspire me to no end!

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  25. This is your most beautifully written post yet...perhaps because it is so personal...I enjoyed every minute of your unique and heartfelt story...

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    1. Thank you so much Cindy--I really, really appreciate that!

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  26. I loved your story. This year we will have been married for 40 years. It is always an adventure and has been from the start. In fact, we live right down the road on the D27 from you. That is, part of the year. With my lovely husband, life is still an adventure and a surprise.

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    1. Bah! You live in the hood? Even part time? I am so glad that you stopped by and am looking forward to hearing more about you!

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  27. Now I understand your sentimental attachment to Bora Bora! A very beautiful story, even more beautifully told by one with such a gift for writing. There truly is no greater adventure in life than falling, and continuing to fall deeper, in love with the person who catches our heart with an electric spark. One look, one gesture, one word, is all it takes.

    You are very, very lucky to have found each other - absolute kindred spirits.

    And oh my goodness - that dress and those pearls....I'm speechless! Well, almost. With your red hair, that would be the most exceptionally lovely effect. Lucky Remi! xx

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    1. Lucky me to have such a good friend in you.

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  28. Thank you so much for this unbelievable post. Your writing is sublime, and I loved reading every word of your beautiful love story. It really touched me. "Today, I run my finger over the pearls surface and remember that I don't need any more than all I already have." That made me tear up!
    xo isa

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    1. Merci Isa for the truly lovely compliment and I was teary-eyed reading the amazing responses all day yesterday--and it looks like it is going to continue today!

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  29. Oh Heather! Heather! An amazing, romantic story which sincerely touched so many and sparkled a dialog so heartfelt.
    The sunset image is beyond the words but you found them, the best ones, the most beautiful words. You're the happiest girl.

    When we met with my future husband it didn't work out instantly, he traveled a lot in scientific expeditions, I studied, we parted our ways for a long three years. I thought that was it. But one day when I was facing a surgery with 50/50 chances there he was out of nowhere with the bucket , he picked up on the market, full of my favorite huge camomiles. He was in such a hurry that forgot to dispose of the bucket. We laughed , he proposed even not knowing of the outcomes. I was so happy that I actually survived and recovered very fast. The doctor said that flower boy did more for me than him. The flowers lasted for a couple of weeks right to day we were married...and 23 years and two boys later still deeply and truly in love.

    Thank you Heather so much for your graciously written story. Your pearl ring beautiful.
    And how wise of French to have the Pacte de Solidarite. This is perfect.
    All the very best to you and Remi. He shouldn't be shy and allow you to post more pictures of you two.

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    1. Natalie, I am speechless--and you know that is rare! But your story is just so amazing, so beautiful. The power of love. Such a miracle that he arrived just in time and yes, of course, you had so much to live for then to get you through. I can only imagine all of the emotions that you must have felt then and on your wedding day. I am so happy for you both that you found each other again and have built such a strong union together.

      And yes, I agree that the PACS is wonderful--it is available to same sex couples as well, offering nearly all of the benefits of marriage--health care, etc. Very modern for this old country, isn't it?

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    2. Oh, Heather....perhaps (if you're keeping upwith politics in USA) you'll already know about North Carolina's (my state) brand-spanky-new&improved constitutional amendment-----whereby not only same-sex marriage is banned (predictably enough, in this state), but also ANY sort of civil union that fails to meet the standard of "Man & Woman marry traditionally".

      So, as of last month??...no PACS for us...no civil unions...no legal recognition of anything except for traditional marriage with its 80% divorce rate (which, equally predictably, is the ONE topic our right wing politicians NEVER-EVER mention while they attack civil-unions & gay-marriage as "an assault on The SANCTITY of Marriage!".

      Isn't the hypocrisy enough to make you wince? Just for the record?....I have a brother (whom I happen to get along with quite well) who's a very enthusiastic "born-again Christian". So is his third and current wife. Between these two born-again Christians (she's been married three times herself, at age 40-something) they have 6 marriages and eight children by 4 different spouses. That's a remarkable (at least I think so)lot of marriages and children for two people who belong to a church which thinks that a union such as your and Remi's, or mine and Herve's, poses a "threat to The Sanctity of Marriage".

      you needn't reply, since I already have a pretty good guess as to what your thoughts will be.

      Congratulations, again and as ever, to you and Remi.

      Resignedly (if amusedly),

      David Terry

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  30. Talk about a love story......how beautiful! Bora Bora? Being in love? Does it get any better? I think not! Thanks for sharing, enjoyed the story and I think the commitment and love you have for each other speaks volumes that no marriage license could possibly enhance. Love hearing a great love story, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Those were pretty heady times, TIna! I agree. Thank you for stopping by and please give Teddy lots of bisous!

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  31. A beautiful love story, only enhanced by a magnificent writer. Not embellishing the story, but taking us right there to your door step! Continued blessings and story telling!,
    Barbara

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    1. Barbara, thank you so very much for your lovely compliment, my goodness! I am so touched by all of the generosity over this post.
      Sending my Best Wishes to you in California...

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  32. Thank you for sharing your very romantic, and private, story. It isn't the ceremony that matters, its the commitment and the love and shared life. You found it and you are cherishing it. Felicitations!

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    1. Merci Annette. It is incredible how quickly time passes. Remi and I have been together since 2001 and it truly seems like it was yesterday. So many shared experiences!

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  33. I just adore your writing, thank you for sharing your story ... I love your ring!
    xxx

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    1. And I adore your blog! So happy to have found it, we all can use an extra dose of beauty in our day.

      The ring is so much prettier in person, really distinctively dark green on one side and rosy on the other--good for a moody girl like me.

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  34. Life is so brief. It sounds as though you and Remi have made your own choice, the one that matters to you. I wish you many years of your own happinesses.

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    1. I remember when I was younger and older folks would talk about how time was going by faster and faster, I would roll my eyes in disbelief! Now, already, I hope to make the best that I can out of it. Thank you so much for your wish, it touched me very much.

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  35. Hi Heather, It is a pleasure to meet you and welcome to our BIO group! What a wonderful tale of love and gratitude told so exquisitly and begulingly. I am captivated and enchanted! What a precious pearl both on your finger and in your heart.thank you for making my day and for putting hope in my heart. I recently divorced after almost three decades of marriage so I am in awe of a true love story. Also a new follower

    Veronica

    Tassels Twigs and Taastebuds

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  36. Hello Veronica and welcome right back at you! I thought that your post for BIO was just so lovely. Hope is such a strange but beautiful thing isn't it? I feel really very grateful that this put a bit in your ticker but I bet it was there all along. And I hope that, when it is time, you will stay open. So many these days find love again even after such long marriages. Sending you a hug for strength...

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  37. What a romantic story! Thanks so much for sharing!! xoxo

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    1. Merci beaucoup Melissa and thanks for stopping by! :)

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  38. Hi heather
    Now that is a very special love story! It certainly appeals to our romantic side. Your told it perfectly!

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  39. Dear Heather,
    Oh I loved your story!!You and Remi are a wonderful couple! I can see and feel this!You certainly don't have to be married to be happy!
    I wish you both lots of years of happiness together!
    Hugs,
    Greet

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    1. Greet, you are so wonderful! I always appreciate your warm and heart-felt responses. And thank you for your wish--I feel the same for you and Jan. :)
      Bisous,
      H

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  40. Dear Heather as you can see I am catching up on my writing! This is one of the most wonderful accounts of a couples life together I have ever heard! I wish you both continued happiness always!

    Anita's Parisian Party
    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. Thank you so, so much Karena--I am very touched by your lovely comment and kind wishes!!!

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  41. Thank you for sharing your & Remi's story! I too, never dreamed of marriage, babies, any of those things... I guess I'm just a live-by the-day kinda gal. Although I met my soul mate at the age of 14 and we've been together ever since... We married 5 years ago. Seems to me that you & Remi are already married. You've already made that commitment to each other. That's what counts.

    ~ Clare x

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    1. Cheers Clare--your story is so amazing! How romantic and real. And thank you for what you said about our commitment--it is what counts, no matter the form.
      Bisous.

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  42. Heather after our conversation I knew I had to read this post again and all the wonderful, heartfelt comments. With some time to spare I have now done this. Your post is exquisite in every way, it's a masterclass in writing. If it teaches me one thing it's to concentrate on all the wonderful things I have in life and not dwell on the things I don't.

    As for the comments, well, thank goodness It's not one of my emotional weeks!

    I am with Jeanne, that dress that flows like a river, those pearls. Oh my, like the post they are exquisite and with your colouring and beautiful red locks, visions of Botticelli spring to mind.

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    1. Whew, I thought that at over a week later after posting this, I would be immune to getting teary-eyed over the responses but no. You really surprised me with this Dash. So happy to know you now. Talk about concentrating on the wonderful things that life brings us!!!

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*Anonymous comments are no longer accepted and those left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci!*

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