Eighteen years ago on this day, July 1, 2001, I said “I do” to Patrick Feren. Our wedding took place in Burbank at SpiritWorks with Rev. Dr. Marlene Morris. However, our real journey together began in 1997 and perhaps many lifetimes before then.
As we often do on our anniversary, Patrick and I have been looking back on our time together during the early days. This morning, I just cried. We’d been through so much. I’m not talking about just physical ailments or near bankruptcy or other disastrous experiences in the world of form. We had those, but I’m really talking about the time we spent feeling that we didn’t deserve to be happy. We didn’t know that is what we were doing, but as we looked back on the past and reiterated all the stories, we saw it so clearly.
The most wondrous thing about the whole journey is at the time, we didn’t realize it. We had some of the what others would consider the most unhappy experiences in the world of form, but all the time we had something called faith. We never gave up and we actually still had fun at the same time. It wasn’t fun in a superficial sense, but a sense of deep joy for our lives and the ability to dream, be creative and grow.
The vow we gave each other on our wedding day was that we would never stay the same and we have not. From the life of struggling actors, to working in menial jobs, to bringing home less than $100 a week, to living in apartments with crazy neighbors, to saying yes our first house, to saying yes to becoming practitioners and then ministers and to finally saying a big yes to the dream of having our own ministry on one of the most beautiful places on earth, I do not think there is anything we have not experienced. We have had a very full life.
What I realize is in our whole together life, we never changed anything but ourselves. I believe that it was our resilience during every experience and taking our challenges and making wisdom pie out of them that finally brought us to where we are today.
And the journey never ends. We still ask ourselves everyday the most important questions: “What am I doing? Am I still excited and passionate about it? Is it important to me and my relationship to the world? Am I still growing? Am I happy? The answers shift and change us and demand that we continue to take our own inward journeys and also our together journey.
I am sure that Patrick’s mom was right when she would lovingly say, “You two are perfect for each other. You are both crazy.” There is nothing wrong with being crazy when it means that you are willing to step outside of the box of complacency and normality and always say there is more to this. If craziness is taking responsibility for where you are and willing to go from there to the next and the next, we are definitely crazy. If following your heart and those things that call to you from the deep is crazy, count me in.
I cannot think of a better person then the one I am spending my life with. We compliment each other, we are the perfect balance, and we are passionate about living and each other. We care about being happy and we demand that each other is happy. We are in love, we love, and our love steps outside of us to the bigger picture.
I am grateful for 21 years of knowing the most perfect partner, lover, and friend. I am proud to call him my husband and life mate. I am grateful to know we will always change and be open to what comes, that we will live life to the fullest. If we ever feel like we’ve reached a stalemate, I know we won’t be afraid to change again.
Happy Anniversary, my love! Life is good and it is even better with you in it.
Love and Aloha,
Your Esposa, Rev. Rita