15 years ago, I was working at the Westin St John, my 8th hotel in 17 years and feeling pretty uninspired. I yearned for a way to create a living that could bring happiness to others and make my heart full.
I began my wedding career as a marriage officiate and have had the honor of performing over 800 wedding ceremonies. It is a very sacred circle within the marriage ceremony, a place where couples make their promises to each other, through the good and the bad, in sickness and in health. I have been privileged to witness these precious moments, many times with many different stories that go with them.
11 years ago, I married Steve and Nancy. Avid sailors they chose to marry aboard SV Calypso with their friends and family joining in their celebration. I remember their happiness and genuine caring of each other, they had met in midlife and were elated to be spending their life together.
A year ago a received an email from Steve,
“Hi Mary, This is Steven, Nancy and I were married on a sailboat off Cruz Bay by you on May 27, 2004. It was beautiful, magical, and happiest day of our lives. Nancy passed away suddenly June 29th and I'm just devastated. We had recently celebrated our 10th anniversary and had renewed our vows in Jamaica. Thank you so much for all your help with our wedding, it seems just like yesterday. Below is a link to Nancy's memorial page, there are several pictures posted there from our wedding day.”
Prior to Nancy’s sudden passing, she had been planning an extended road trip for the two of them, stopping in a variety of locations along the way. Steve chose to take that trip and stopped at each location to remember and honor his love.
The last stop was another ceremony for Nancy and Steve, again in the USVI on a sailboat in the Caribbean on their 11th wedding anniversary. As Steve, Nancy’s sister Karen and I sailed with Captain Phil of Wayward Sailor, we headed toward Lovango Cay.
We chose the sweet spot between Lovango Cay and Congo Cay to complete Nancy’s wishes. We listened to some of Nancy’s favorite music, drank champagne and we toasted Nancy and her Mom, who passed shortly after Nancy.
Shortly after, we were met with two magnificent rainbows, one for Nancy and one for her Mom. Once again, I was privileged to be part of the sacred circle. As Steve wrote to me later:
You know it's a rare thing to have a friend like you, we may not see each other very often but the few times we have, have been life changing for me, You'relike a lighthouse to this sailor within me, don't ever change, I love you.......Steve
Full circle, love changes form, but love never fails. Thank you, Steve for your friendship and your caring heart. Sail on Nancy, knowing how deeply loved you are.