I married Phillip Hernandez on June 16, 2000. Our first date was January 16, 2000~and there were more than a few people who openly questioned our sanity when we announced our intention to marry. Divorce rates for blended families were quoted to us, some wondered aloud how we could be certain this was the right choice after such a short courtship, and other people shook their heads in wonder at our rash behavior.
But we knew. We knew that in each other we found a lifelong love. We knew that together we could build a real partnership. We knew that the respect we held for each other would be a solid foundation for our lives together. We knew, even then, that life was short and that we wanted to spend every minute together. We knew that marriage wasn't easy, but we believed our relationship was a work in progress. We knew that the good times would be sweeter if we shared them, and that the hard times would be easier if we split the load. Knowing all this, we both wanted forever to start as soon as possible.
What we couldn't predict was how long forever would last. I didn't realize when I made the out-of-character decision to marry this man so quickly how deeply grateful I would be that I did. What if I didn't choose to follow my heart despite the many misgivings of friends and family alike? What if we waited for a year or two to be sure our initial certainty about our relationship would last? What if I allowed my fear of failure to stop me from taking a leap of faith? Thankfully, I have no such regrets.
My life as Phillip Hernandez's wife was full, and oddly complete. Together we raised a unique, and loving, family; shared adventures that included climbing mountains, scaling rocks, and flying downhill on bicycles and over canyons in a helicopter; discovered remote and beautiful vacation spots; worked as a team to remodel our little house; built relationships with others that continue today, and fulfilled our marriage vows...right to the very end. There is not one moment I regret, nor a thing I wished either of us would have said. We lived our marriage vows the same way we lived our lives, with enthusiasm and joy.
Thank you Mr. Hernandez for being willing to leap on June 16, 2000. Loving you has changed my life, and I know that you will be waiting for me under an oak tree.