Friday, February 15, 2013

Our Story, Part 2

Yesterday, I shared the story of how Scott and I met.  Part of our story is that we had a legal marriage AND a wedding.  I thought that today I would explain why we did both.

It's all because of this beautiful girl:

This is a picture of my stepdaughter, Amber.  At 18 months, Amber was diagnosed with Epilepsy.  Through many years of doctors and hospitals, her official diagnosis was Severe Intractable Epilepsy.  Essentially, this means that her form of Epilepsy could not be controlled with medication.  By the time I met Scott, Amber had to be put into her second or third medically induced coma to stop her seizures. 
The moment Scott introduced me to her, I loved her.  She loved shopping, "bling", and Scooby-Doo.  I knew things with Scott would be serious when he allowed me to go with him to visit her in the hospital.  He had never taken any other girlfriends with him before.
As the years progressed, Amber was spending more and more time in the hospital about 2 hours from our home.  When Scott proposed, we were going to wait a bit before getting married, but something was telling us we needed to grab an opportunity to get married with Amber in attendance.  After a few other options didn't pan out, my friend Leann was able to help.  Her husband's aunt is a magistrate in a nearby county in Pennsylvania.  She agreed to do a marriage ceremony for us, even if it had to be spontaneous, and she was also willing to come to our home to do it!
On February 15, 2010, Scott, Amber, and I got dressed up and headed to the next county for our legal marriage ceremony.  We each told only a couple of people, but I didn't want any one in my family to know.  I still want my wedding day to be my wedding day in everyone's eyes.  My friend Leann was our only witness.
We just had a basic ceremony and didn't even exchange rings.  Just the judge, ourselves, Amber, and Leann (who ended up being our photographer).
Our decision to have our marriage done legally with Amber there was a good one.  On our wedding day on August 7, 2010, Amber was in the hospital in a medically induced coma.
We wanted to have a wedding because we really wanted to celebrate with our friends and family.  It was bittersweet because Amber couldn't be there, but we really did have an amazing day.
It turns out that our decision to do both things was very wise.  On September 2, 2010, Amber passed away from complications of epilepsy.
Losing her was a devastating blow.  We went from the joy of being married to the lowest of lows.  Marriage vows state "for better or worse," and we certainly started out with a lot of worse.  But we have grown stronger through it all.
Not a day goes by that we don't think of Amber and miss her.
I know that this post has a major does of sadness mixed with a lot of good.  But the sadness is a huge part of our story.  Now that I have gotten to know some wonderful people in the blogging world, I wanted to share our story: the good and the bad.  Both parts make up the person that I am and the couple that we are.

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Ashley McCardia said...

oh my, Becky. I had no idea. obviously. but Jake and I read this together...I could never imagine going through something like this. You are such a strong and amazing person for going IN to a situation knowing that the outcome was pretty much a coin toss...and you are brave. I really admire you two. and I am so sorry for your loss. No one should ever lose a child. I really adore you becky!

Ash Z said...

What an amazing story. I am so glad you got the first ceremony in so she could be there. So sorry for your loss. Now that I am a parent I could not imagine losing a child. She is always looking down on you guys.

Kimberly H said...

That is so amazing that you got to celebrate your legal marriage with Amber - she was such a beautiful little girl and it's awesome that she got to be there for you and her dad on that day. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad that you shared her story with us today. Lots of love your way!!

Susannah said...

Wow, Becky, I'm so glad I came back to read this! I'm so sorry for your and Scott's loss. What a blessing that the two of you were able to be married in her presence. That truly is something you'll always hold onto.

The Cavallaro's said...

I am so sorry to read this, but I am glad that Amber was able to see you guys get married (whether it was a big wedding or not!) I'm sure she appreciated being included!

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