The Gift of Motherhood

Peggy and Her Girls

When my friend Peggy said she would like to tell me one of her love stories, I wasn’t sure what we would be talking about and I was thrilled to find out it was motherhood. For Peggy, she has experienced great loves in her life starting with her parents, and family. Peggy cruised through her childhood with not a care in the world and felt great love for her parents. Along the way, she developed friends who she loved and then Peggy got married and shared her love with her spouse. The natural next step was to have children but nothing prepared her for the love she would feel toward her children.

“There’s no greater love between a mother and her child.” Peggy would agree with the poet and playwright, Robert Browning’s words, “Motherhood–all love begins and ends there.”

Peggy said, “You parent your children as best you can–you discipline and you fumble through and you hope you are doing all the right things and keep loving them and helping them to become happy, fulfilled and productive.”

Every parent has their ups and downs, their sorrows and joys and beneath all of that there is an undeniable, unconditional love. Sometimes you question it and sometimes it’s tested but it’s always there.

Peggy

It’s in times of struggle and trauma that it really hits home for Peggy. Looking back at parenting, Peggy recalls certain times where she really felt that pang of motherhood: handing her first born child off at daycare for the first time after six months of maternity leave; forgetting to pick up her youngest at lunch one day and listening to her quivering voice on the phone calling from the school office; watching her fall of a slide at a playground and thinking has she permanently injured herself; and then leaving her eldest at her dorm in university and thinking how did she grow up so fast.

Each of those instances and many other parenting events elicited a visceral reaction within Peggy–a physical, gut-wrenching, heart racing, panicking feeling. Each time, Peggy remembers feeling she didn’t realize she had emotions like that and it caught her off guard. She would ask herself where are these feelings coming from and then realize that’s love and the love you have for your children. This feeling is one of the many gifts of being a mother–the understanding that the love runs so deep, and it’s so unconditional and its forever. The bond is there and will always be between children and their mothers.

There is no play book to being a parent and you stumble your way through and there is always this amazing love and bond. Peggy knows father’s share similar feelings for their children, but Peggy believes for mothers the bond is on a whole different level.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Peggy. We know that your girls are very lucky to have such a warm and loving parent. Broadcast Love wishes you many more fun adventures with your girls.

Small Dog Spreads Big Love

Baby

Terry, who, now in her 70’s, has known several loves in her lifetime–the falling in and out of love, some romantic, some short and painful, some family and many longterm and lasting loves. However, there is one love story that has left an indelible print on Terry’s heart–the love of a three and a half pound, twelve-year old chihuahua called “Baby”.

Terry received a call one day from a friend at a rescue society who asked if Terry could foster this little dog. Terry was somewhat reluctant having already three dogs and a cat and was afraid they wouldn’t accept her as they were all older themselves. The lady explained it was just for a couple of weeks until a forever home was found. Baby arrived with a mangled foot, a limp, and an insatiable appetite. Upon arriving she gobbled up her food and then proceeded to eat all of the other dogs’ food as well. The other dogs seemed to know she needed the food and they didn’t mind.

Terry and her dogs had a morning routine to walk for an hour through a park and then to the beach and then home for naps for the dogs. Baby, despite her limp was able to keep up with the group. They learned quite quickly that Baby hated the beach–she could be found hiding behind washed up logs. As a result, Terry and her crew of three dogs, changed their routine to accommodate Baby.

Terry watched with amazement as Baby seduced each of her housemates one by one. Terry’s granddaughter adored her and was immediately smitten. Baby understood the household dynamics–Murphy was the oldest and only male and he easily succumbed to Baby’s charm. It took a little longer for Baby to win over Muggins-a four pound multipoo and her daughter Sashi but by day 3 Baby had moved into their day baskets. Then there was Big Blue–a very independent cat. Despite Baby’s ridiculous shows of bossiness, Big Blue did not retaliate. After four days, Baby had taken over–she slept where ever she wanted, they had changed their walking habits so she wouldn’t have to go on the beach, and she ate out of any and all dog bowls.

Baby was born a party girl–just like her owner, Terry admits. She didn’t mind having her toenails painted pink by a granddaughter or being dressed in ballet clothes. When attending a party, her feet never touched the floor until the party was over–always in some guests’ attentive arms. She had a fan club in the neighbourhood and it didn’t matter where she went with Terry–drug store, gift shop, the bank, she was greeted by shouts of, “Here’s Baby!” and out came the treats. The bank made a point of buying special small treats for Baby and she was even included in their staff photo. There’s Baby scooped up in the arms of the well dressed bankers in the middle of the corporate photo.

Somewhere along the line, Baby stopped limping–maybe a year after she arrived and she realized she didn’t have to eat everyone’s food anymore–that she would be taken care of and want for nothing. Terry, who has adopted a few dogs says it can take awhile–years for them to recover from trauma and a significant dose of patience but they are the most grateful, loving companions.

Baby never left the “foster home” and lived there til she passed away at twenty. Terry wonders how such a tiny little chihauhua could spread so much love and gratitude to so many.

All four of the dogs and the cat are gone now but my memories of their beautiful, unique Spirits will live with Terry forever. That is love.

Self Love–It All Starts Here

Alison

Alison is a long time friend of mine and this is one of my favourite interviews because every time I watch and listen to her self love journey, I learn something new. In this interview, rather than our usual questions, I gave Alison three quotes and asked her to respond to them. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us Alison!

Alison came from a family of chaos, abuse, and a lot of addiction issues. When Alison had her own family she wondered how she would parent when she was never parented herself.

How was I going to be highly functioning when I didn’t have a lot of self worth? I had a lot of self hate and self loathing.

Alison

When you bring up your family you want them to have a better experience than you started from. As life went on the trauma kept showing up most often where and when she didn’t need it to show up. It all came to a head when her daughter was assaulted and the incident changed her life. It was her daughter, who survived and is blossoming getting through the trauma with grace and dignity, that inspired Alison–she needed to match that. Alison went for therapy and had to learn to love herself because she was not loved as a child in a way that would allow her to be an emotionally stable person. She was filled with a lot of anger and resentment. Alison felt she didn’t have validity to be here on earth and that her only purpose in life was to look after her alcoholic mother who raged at her everyday. Through these experiences Alison learned that her purpose was to meet everyone else’s expectations. The thought that Alison could have a life of her own and be her own person was a totally foreign idea. Through a process of ten years of working through the traumas she experienced as a child, she now has much reverence for the process of self love. Her caveat for anyone thinking I don’t love myself and I need to work through this would be–it sounds easy but it isn’t. It’s hard work and worth doing the work no matter how long it takes you or how late in life you start your journey. In 2014 Alison came to a realization, that if she got cancer and died she would have no regrets because she had finally come to a point where she loved herself. Learning to love herself was an epiphany and she hopes that by sharing her story more people can come to that point.

Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing.

“That statement is me–now let me put some context to that,” she said. When Alison was in therapy, her therapist asked her, “Why do you think through all of this you’ve been able to keep going?” At first Alison didn’t know and she pushed Alison to really think about it and Alison said “I just have this need to persevere and put one foot in front of the other.” Upon later reflection, Alison realized that down deep inside, she’s an optimist who sees beauty in every corner of the world. Alison kept seeing the beauty and grabbing on to it–connecting with it even if she wasn’t conscious she was doing that. That belief in the beauty of the world, kept her going.

Alison admits, she couldn’t meditate to save her soul and went for long meditative walks instead. She walked everywhere in order to stop the rumination that was usually negative thoughts or things that were bringing up anger and resentment. Walking calmed it all down so she could be at peace for those moments.

I don’t think you have to be exceptional to find something worth loving in yourself. Just the fact that you woke up and did something, you are so important just for being you. You don’t have to accomplish anything to still be valuable in this world.

Alison

The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate.

Alison quips that she thinks that’s just getting older. She feels lucky to be older because her parents both died at 52 and her brother at 36. Alison is more tolerant and less tolerant as she has aged. She is less tolerant of people who have harsh judgements of her or other people having lived that as a child and as a young adult. Alison explained, “I’m not that person but I can be drawn into the negativity and I didn’t want to stay around people who are negative and judgmental anymore–catty women, or holier than though people. ” She’s not tolerant of that. Instead of fighting them and lashing out, she cleaned house of all the people that did not bring her joy, positivity and kindness. Kindness, compassion and joy became so much a cornerstone of her life. Now she is able to just walk away from those people.

On the other hand, Alison is extremely tolerant of different ways of living. She knew when she was 11 that her brother was gay before that was even a term. He was who he was from birth. She loved him dearly and it was very painful to her when he took his life. She has compassion for alcoholics even though she lived a miserable life around alcoholics, Alison understands that these people are suffering. Alison has much empathy and compassion for people who don’t love themselves. Empathy because we’ve all been there.

Alison believes that sometimes we’re going too fast and we don’t realize we’re just all human beings just putting one foot in front of the other. Although there are things you shouldn’t tolerate like the judgment and judging of others, there are things we control for the most part–our actions and our decisions around who we spend our time with. When you spend time with healthy, happy, positive people with strong values it affects you. Alison pays attention to who she spends time with now, whereas before she was too concerned with being liked and accepted. She would mold herself to be accepted. Now she realizes,

You can never have self love when you’re trying to live others’ expectations.

Alison

To love yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good.

Alison was not a perfectionist but she was really hard on herself. Anybody’s judgment crushed her and she would be mad at them and then mad at herself and then resentful and it just created a vicious cycle. She’s learned to cut that off and have boundaries around herself. Alison learned to know what she could and could not do and be okay with that. You’re not meant to meet other people’s expectations. Learn your own boundaries and respond to them. She believes that we have access to way too many other people’s voices through social media and we need to find time where we can listen to our own voice whether it be through meditation (she’s getting better at it) or meditative walks. These other voices are distractions and tempt us to respond to every other voice out there but our own–they make you think you have to do this or that. We need to sit with ourselves and remind ourselves that we are good enough.

When we act from the heart and from a place of love, compassion and empathy we are all good enough.

Alison

Alison jokes that she’s glad she didn’t live during Pinterest–she would have had a nervous breakdown. Her daughter reminded her of all the fancy cakes she made for her birthday and Alison said, “I did it and I enjoyed it but there was always part of me that was questioning, am I doing this because I want people to see what I can do so you’re more apt to accept me. Now if I were to make fancy cakes, it would be simply because it was fun to do and it would be okay if it didn’t work out Pinterest ready. Part of that is the wisdom that comes with age.

Alison’s final piece of wisdom was that the journey is worth it. It can be very painful especially when you bring up dark times but make the effort–get a therapist to assist you along the way. She found journaling her journey helped Alison listen to her own voice. Sometimes the voice says you didn’t handle that well. Don’t beat yourself up–it’s okay, just stay focused and moving forward-making little changes on whatever resonates with you. For Alison, she found the book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills very helpful. The four agreements are: Speak Impeccably; Have the courage to ask questions; Don’t take anything personally; and At the end of the day, Do your Best.

Life is a journey and we’re only here for a short time. No matter what your circumstances self love is worth the journey.

Alison

Broadcast Love is grateful for you sharing this crucial journey with us Alison and we wish you many years of love and joy.

Take a Chance on Me

Engaged to be Married

Colin and Sheila

Colin and Sheila met on Match.com and Colin got a message that they had been connected. He had seen a couple of other women from the site prior to meeting Sheila. However, her profile intrigued him. Sheila mentioned that she had an Irish father and enjoyed kitchen parties, playing games and was influenced by her time spent in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Colin’s father was from PEI and his mom is from Nova Scotia and there was this Maritime connection and he thought,

I have to meet this woman because I know it will be a cool experience.

Colin

Sheila was trying to get off of Match.com because she didn’t like it and she had been pestering her daughter to help her remove her profile. Often our daughters act as personal assistants when it comes to technology–just ask mine. Sheila’s daughter was busy and kept putting her off. Sheila hadn’t been answering any of the requests but the beginning of Colin’s response caught her eye because he said his mom is from Nova Scotia and his dad is from PEI. Sheila decided to open his response and it was very sweet. Sheila had mentioned in her profile that her friends say she reminds them of Aunt Clara from the sit com Be Witched and at the end of his response, Colin said, and by the way my boat is called Be Witched. Sheila decided she would respond to this one last guy. She said, “I love your picture–you must be on a magazine.” Colin in his self-effacing manner responded, “If I was on a magazine, they wouldn’t sell many copies.” They decided to meet that night because Sheila was leaving the next day for PEI. They met at Vittoria Trattoria in Ottawa, Canada.

When Sheila walked in, the first thing he said was “Your pictures don’t do you justice. Sheila sat down beside him and replied, “Now I’m sitting next to Superman. Has anyone ever told you you look like Clark Kent?” They stayed and talked til the restaurant closed and then carried on their conversation in the parking lot as they watched all the staff leave an hour later. Sheila was talking about how much fun she has in PEI in the summer and then suggested that Colin join her. Colin suggested that was the wine talking. Sheila taunted him with “Aren’t you whimsical?” and Colin said “I can be whimsical but in the cold hard light of day that might not be the best idea.”

The next afternoon she texted Colin, “Guess where I am.” She had left at 1:00 a.m and driven to PEI arriving at 2:30 in the afternoon. Sheila wanted to know if he had booked a flight. Sheila told all her cousins and children, “this might seem crazy but I went on one date with this guy and I invited him down here.” No one thought it was crazy with the exception of one cousin–he was more skeptical and checked Colin out on Instagram. Her kids thought it was fun and great until the day before he was to arrive and then her son started to question whether he might be a Ted Bundy and would the family be safe. Sheila had given strict instructions not to tell her parents that they’d only been on one date. When she mentioned Colin was coming to her parents she made it seem like she had been seeing him for awhile.

Colin was a little nervous himself and joked, “How do I know that you aren’t a member of a cult and you’re going to sacrifice me off the red cliffs of the ocean?” When she picked Colin up at the airport, she had two carpets rolled up in her backseat that she was returning to a store. Colin joked about being somewhat concerned he’d be rolled up in one of them.

Despite their initial concerns, they had a fantastic time together. They went to a ceilidh–a kitchen party where her dad played and entertained a group of tourists. The following night they went to a hootenanny–open mic night close to their cottage where Colin met about 130 family members. When they crossed over the sand dunes onto the beach there were all these umbrellas set up and over 100 people milling around–like Colin, most of them were over six feet tall and Sheila said, “This is my family.” Colin felt like he had known Sheila for years. He left a favourable impression on Sheila’s parents bringing them rum and wine and coloured drinking glasses. Behind Colin’s back, Sheila’s family members were giving her the thumbs up. After dropping him off at the airport and returning to her family, Sheila exclaimed she had never met such a salt of the earth gentleman in her life.

A couple of weeks later, she met Colin’s mom and was asking herself “Is this for real? Are we falling for each other so quickly?” At the time of the interview they had been together only four months but they had been on different trips to Toronto and boating adventures and had fallen in love.

Colin and Sheila are currently engaged and will be married in 2021, Covid allowing.

Colin had advice for people using the dating apps. He said he felt badly for some of the women reaching out to him. They came across as really lonely and anxious and wanting to meet someone. His suggestion was to have a friend review your profile because it’s your first impression and you want to get the messaging right–what do you want to present. Colin believes everyone deserves to find love and if you’re ever on these sites and someone reaches out to you, as a sign of politeness you should respond to their message even if you aren’t interested just to say “thank you and I wish you well on your search.” He spoke to people who’s feelings were hurt by no response.

Colin told Sheila on their first date that he really liked her profile but her pictures didn’t do her justice and told her that she should get better photos. Sheila was thinking obviously he’s not interested if he’s giving me advice on how to move forward, which was the exact opposite of how he was feeling. Colin’s suggestion to others is to get a great photo–have someone take a photo of you that you feel great about and really reflects your personality.

Sheila, thinking Colin wasn’t interested, totally relaxed and they were able to talk freely and it seemed like they’d known each other for years. Sheila’s love of games and kitchen parties painted this picture of a fun-loving person and that is what Colin was looking for. Sheila’s friends comment that they are very similar and they get along on so many different levels. One of the things Sheila looked for on profiles was whether a person seemed to have a lot of friends because that’s really important to her. Maybe not everyone thinks about looking at that aspect of a profile but for Sheila there would not be a match if one of you was very extroverted and the other person quite introverted.

Broadcast Love wishes Colin and Sheila years of fun-loving kitchen parties, hootenannys and houseboat adventures together.

Distance Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Married 10 Years

Rosemary and Neil

Neil, originally from Yorkshire, England was working for an IT company in the south of France, and had to travel to Alaska for work which resulted in a layover in Seattle. There was an ice storm and people were stuck at the airport til planes could be de-iced. Neil was at a bar looking to get something to eat and sat down beside Rosemary. They “carded” him when he ordered a drink and he was laughing about that because it is highly unusual in Europe to be asked for ID in a pub. Neil had the first iphone that was available in Europe and he had placed it on the bar. His pick up line was, “How do you like the new iphone?” Rosemary laughed because she had had her phone for quite awhile but the line worked and they started a conversation. Rosemary was flying to her second volleyball tournament in two weeks to cheer on her daughters.

Rosemary had to go back to the gate and check on her flight status and Neil walked her back to her gate. He left and as he walked up the ramp to his gate, he had this niggly feeling that if he didn’t get her number he might regret it. When he returned, Rosemary was almost through the gate and had he been any slower to get there he would have missed her. He asked if she had a business card and she gave him one. The only card Neil had was one from a business acquaintance in Japan so he put his number on the back of the card and handed it to Rosemary and they went their separate ways.

About two or three weeks later, Neil found Rosemary’s card and thought he’d send her an email. Rosemary joked with her girls about receiving the email as she had already thrown Neil’s card out. Her teenage girls were intrigued because they had been trying to get their mom on eHarmony and one of their friends even offered to write the response. Rosemary wrote Neil back asking about Alaska and whether he had seen any moose. The emails continued for a few weeks and then he asked if he could call her. Rosemary said, “No” but on his third request, she agreed.

Rosemary was nervous–she didn’t know much about Neil. Unbeknownst to Neil everything he did was being scrutinized as to its legitimacy for example, it was an international call from France so that checked out. He would call everyday and chat about things and the girls would get their mom to put him on speaker phone because they liked to hear his English accent. At one point, Rosemary mentioned she was surprised he had travelled so much but had never been to San Fransisco and offered to show him the city if he was ever in the vicinity. Neil had to return to Australia to renew his visa and arrangements were made for him to visit for a week on his way back to France. In the meantime, Neil bought Rosemary a small piece of land in Scotland which made her a titled Lady of Scotland–a fundraiser for the land conservatory.

Rosemary was still hesitant and when she picked him up from the airport she made sure her friends knew that she was with him. When he arrived, Rosemary introduced him to her friends first and they believed he was legitimately interested in Rosemary. Despite her friends’ reassurance, Neil stayed in a hotel and never found out where she lived nor did she meet his girls. The first day in San Fransisco they met up with a friend and were basically chaperoned. Over the course of the week, Rosemary showed Neil all around the area including Carmel, Big Sur and Monterey. Neil asked if he could come back in about a month or so and Rosemary said, “Sure that would be nice.” Two days later, Neil phoned and asked if he could come back that weekend and that was the start of 15 round trips over two years. The second time he came out, he got to meet the kids and the third time he stayed at their house. Six months after they met, Rosemary flew to London to meet his friends and family and his co-workers in Nice, France.

Rosemary’s Grandfather used to get up early in the morning and her Grandmother said, “Louis, you can get up as early as you want, just don’t make a virtue out of it.” He would bring her coffee every morning and it was her quiet time to read. Neil went out and bought coffee and croissants when they were in France and brought them back to the apartment while Rosemary was still sleeping and when he walked into the room the way the light shone it looked like there was a halo above his head. Rosemary saw that as a sign from her Grandmother that he was the one. Neil still brings Rosemary two cups of coffee every morning in bed.

Neil said he knew Rosemary was the one, when they were in France and went to a small village called Eze between Nice and Monaco. There’s an old castle on the top of the hill of the village owned by the Swedish Royal Family with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. It was pouring rain and the wind was blowing so hard the rain was coming down sideways. Rosemary was still keen for the adventure. Her sense of adventure sealed the deal for Neil.

A year later they went back to Europe for a holiday. On their way to Prague, Czech Republic they had a layover in the Munich airport giving them time to do a little shopping. A ring in the window of the Bulgari jewelery store caught Neil’s eye. “Now that’s a pretty ring.” and Rosemary replied somewhat surprised, “You like THAT ring?” Rosemary had actually bought that ring for herself and then decided to return it because she thought it was too expensive. Neil asked, “Would you like that ring as an engagement ring?” This question caught Rosemary off guard and she said, “We need to sit down and talk about this.” This was a couple who lived in two different countries and they needed to figure out how this would work.

After a lovely dinner in Prague, Neil officially proposed to Rosemary as they walked over the beautiful medieval Charles Bridge. There was a second proposal when they returned to California. Neil not only asked permission from Rosemary’s father but her daughters as well. Neil recalls walking through the hall of their home and asking Rosemary’s two daughters if they minded if he proposed to their mother and they said “Oh we know already.” They were all sitting around the kitchen island and Neil got down on one knee and asked Rosemary to marry him in front of the girls. Two years later on the day that they initially met, they were married in Monterey, one of the first places they had visited together. They travelled to Australia on their honeymoon. Neil and Rosemary have been married for ten years.

At the time, it made sense for Neil to move to California and become a US citizen. However, Rosemary may become a dual citizen at some point so they can return to England and Neil’s family.

Combining families from different countries is not without its challenges. Some people say that long distance relationships don’t work but this one did because as Neil says they were blessed and he was able to work from wherever and had the resources to travel back and forth. If you have a long distance relationship and you can’t see each other regularly then he believes one of you has to move. Otherwise, you’ll be apart so much, you’ll loose the connection.

Rosemary believes combining two families with children requires balance. In a new relationship, you have to ensure that your time is divided such that no one feels ignored. Rosemary had an understanding with her girls that because Neil wasn’t in the same country, when he came to visit, he was the focus of her attention and then when he left, Rosemary focused on her girls.

Broadcast Love wishes Rosemary and Neil many more years of happiness and adventures.

More Than Just Family, This Brother and Sister are Best Friends

Sarah and Evert

Evert was born six and a half years after Sarah in their family home. Sarah was the first to identify that their new family addition was a boy and she was very excited to have a baby brother. From the get go, these creative siblings have had a connection developed through their nicknames for one another and their family members, and, the creation of comics built on each other’s characters. Sarah and Evert enjoy a variety of activities together–they have trained for a 10K race together, they go on walks and see movies and play lots of cards together. Most importantly, they have allowed each other to totally be themselves and love each other for who they are.

About five years ago, they went on a family trip to Portland during Easter and they spotted a giant Easter Bunny made of two pounds of chocolate called Big Binks in a grocery store. From that Easter Bunny, came their future nicknames–Big Bits aka Sarah, who is larger than life and Bits, aka Evert who is round and fat. When Sarah was little they called her Princess Monaco Betsy so they later changed her nickname to Betty. Their love of the letter B has expanded and all family members and close friends now have nicknames starting with the letter B including Beatrice, Berek, Bam, and Barry.

When Sarah did a student exchange in Singapore, Evert created a comic for her as a way of reassuring her about her trip and that he had not forgotten about her. Before Bits was part of the story, Bets sat around in the house and watched TV all day and her mom told her to go outside and loose some weight. Bets tried to leave and go to the gym but she got stuck in the doorway and they had to call in the fire department to help pull her out. Her fat would move but she wouldn’t and she just kept growing until she was a giant and broke the house. Betty was left standing there in the the ruins of the house and she was the biggest living creature on the planet. The next comic was about how the two of them met in The Land of Fat. In this one, Evert or Bits wasn’t really part of the family. He was standing in line at Tim Hortons, making his selection when Betty, this giant creature stepped through the ceiling and breaks the Tim Hortons and is eating people and crushing things in her path. Betty sees Bits not running from her but just looking up at her and she asks him, “Aren’t you afraid of me?” and he replied, “Not really.” They start talking and realize that they have quite a lot in common and that they are both misunderstood. Betty and Bits become friends in this world that doesn’t really appreciate them for who they are. They realize they are bigger than life when they are together and can conquer anything.

They rarely fight and if they do have a disagreement over simple things, it only last a few moments before Sarah apologizes and says, “Love me again.” Sarah hates getting mad at him and Evert gets mad at himself as well should they disagree.

Take the time to really get to know your sibling. It’s worth it–you may just find a best friend.

Sarah

Sarah and Evert tell each other they love one another everyday. As adults they have gone off in different directions however, their love and support for one another is always there.

If Your Inner Voice Says Go To That Barbecue, Take a Listen

Married 25 Years

Cindy and Chris

Cindy and Chris own and run a boutique hotel in Cruz De Juanacaxtle, Mexico called Villa Amor DelMar and have been together 27 Years

Chris and his boat were stranded in Victoria because he needed a part and it wasn’t available–he had to wait. He called his friend to meet for a drink and his friend was going to a barbecue for the Victoria Chapter of Young Entrepreneurs Organization(YEO) and invited him along–Chris was a member of the Vancouver Chapter and he decided to go. Cindy was also a member of YEO–having her own interior design company. She was reluctant to go to the barbecue because everyone there was a couple. At the last minute, for some reason, Cindy decided to attend.

When she arrived, the evening’s hostess said, “I have a single guy here for you to meet and introduced her to Chris. Cindy claims he followed her around like a puppy for the rest of the evening and Chris says he was wagging his tail. When Cindy was ready to leave, Chris suggested they go dancing and they did at a local pub called Swans and when it closed down they moved onto another night club called Overtime which was open til 4:00 a.m. When they walked out there were two cabs out front. Chris doesn’t believe in putting ladies in cabs alone so he got in with her and when they arrived at her place he suggested he stay over in the bathtub and Cindy said, “No.”

There is an unwritten rule in the YEO that if a member comes to town from another city you need to roll out the red carpet and show them the city. When Chris called at 9:30 the next morning and asked if Cindy wanted to do something, she agreed and they spent the day together touring around Victoria. That was the beginning of their 27 year relationship. They took turns going back and forth on the ferry as Chris lived in Vancouver.

Within the first month, Cindy knew Chris was the one because she wouldn’t meet Chris’s children until she knew it was for sure and on September 25 a month and four days after the barbecue, she attended Chris’s son’s birthday party. Chris pretty much knew that night at the barbecue. Chris recalls, there was a particular walk along the ocean, staring up at the stars where they discussed their philosophy and realized they both believed in God and were both family oriented people. This walk for Chris confirmed that he’d found his next best friend and partner for life.

On May 27, 1995, around two years after they had met, Chris brought his 750 Honda motorbike over for the weekend with the wedding ring in his pocket. They drove up Vancouver Island to Parksville and Cindy wanted to see a grocery story she had designed so they headed to Rathtrevor Beach. They bought things for a beach picnic and when they were setting up, Chris snuck the ring into the top of the potato salad. Chris had said more than once that he wasn’t ready to get married so Cindy was not expecting anything. Cindy saw the ring in the potato salad and thought the lady in the deli had dropped it and proceeded to try and convince Chris that they needed to go back right away and give it to her. She repeated this a couple of times and Chris just smiled and said nothing. On the third time, Cindy figured it out. Chris got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

BC Ferries is the largest ferry corporation in the world and ferries go back and forth between Vancouver and Victoria every hour and Chris and Cindy had spent a significant amount of time on that ferry route. So much so that Cindy’s brother joked that’s where they should get married. They thought about it and Chris wrote a letter to the Ferry Corporation and they agreed to allow them to exchange vows on the top deck of the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry on August 27, 1995. Pictures in Stanley Park were followed by a reception held in her brother’s nightclub in Gas Town in Vancouver. One of Cindy’s fondest memories is all the little kids dancing and enjoying the disco lights.

Cindy jokes with Chris that she’ll give him one more week if he’s been good. Chris understands that what’s behind that is not taking each other for granted and appreciating each other. They respect and honour one another and they do that in a number of ways. They always say please and thank you. There is no competition about whose job is more important or whose making more money–they’re a team and they work together and help each other out. Chris and Cindy make an effort to eat together every day and say grace. They both work hard and at the same time, respect one another’s need to take a break and have a rest.

Chris asked his Mom on his parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary what their secret was and she said,

Imagine two pieces of gravel being put into a rock tumbler and eventually they knock the sharp corners off one another and they each become polished as a result.

Hi parents have now been married 65 years. Chris and Cindy know there will be ups and downs in their lives but they never quit loving each other. When they first were dating, Cindy was in the car with Chris’s young son and she opened the trunk of her car, which Chris had been driving, and found that her business files had been all strewn about because he had been driving too fast. She was mad and Chris’s son started crying because he was concerned they were going to break up. Cindy bent down and looked him in the eye and explained, “We’re not breaking up, we promised each other we will be together til the end.” His son then confessed that his Dad had taken some corners rather fast.

Eleven and a half years ago, Chris sold his company to the guy who hosted the YEO barbecue where he met Cindy. Chris and Cindy discussed going to Mexico for a one year sabbatical. Although they vacationed in Mexico every year, Cindy was initially hesitant to move there but she agreed. After two years of living and working as an interior designer in the area, they found a property and decided to turn it into a hotel. It meant giving up their dream home in Vancouver that they had just built. This decision was made after significant pray and meditation and they have never looked back having been there 11 and a half years. Chris’s background is in construction and by working together they turned it into a beautiful boutique hotel. Now they have bought the house next door and will convert it as well into hotel rooms. They work and play around the clock and have still managed to find a healthy balance.

Broadcast Love wishes Cindy and Chris all the best in their new project and we know you’ll have each other’s backs for years to come.

The Heart Has Reasons That Reason Knows Nothing Of

Nancy and Andrew

Married 12 Years

Victoria, British Columbia

This is Nancy’s favourite quote from Blaise Pascal and definitely suits their love story. I often wonder how it is that couples I have interviewed end up in the same cities and same events where they meet one another–there does not appear to be much logic to love. Nancy lived in Calgary, Alberta and was visiting a friend in Victoria and her brother whose name is also Andrew. Nancy and her girlfriend were shopping and ended up at Andrew’s surf store as a friend worked there. While talking with her friend, she mentioned she was in Victoria to visit Andrew. The now husband Andrew, went into the back of the store and asked his friend whether Nancy was serious about this Andrew guy and his friend laughed and told him it was her brother.

Right there and then after a five minute interaction, Andrew replied to his friend, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to marry that girl.”

Shortly thereafter Nancy ran into some friends from Calgary and they invited Nancy and her girlfriend to a party that night. When the two arrived, the house was packed with people. Nancy went into the kitchen to get ice where she spotted Andrew. She said it was like the scene from Big Fish where Ewen McGregor’s character sees his love interest, time stops and all he can focus on is that person. She walked right over to Andrew and interrupted his conversation “I need to talk to you.” Nancy knew she was going to marry him that night. They continued to talk the entire night and ended up sleeping over at a friends house on the couch. Andrew asked her out on a date the next night–they picked up food from Little Thai Place and went to Cadboro Beach and sat under a tree which Nancy painted and that tree is hanging up in their home.

Before cell phones, people had to remember people’s phone numbers or phone a friend who had the phone number and that is what Nancy did when she needed her friend’s phone number. She wrote the number down on a random page in Andrew’s phone book. She called her friend to say that she wasn’t coming home that night after her date with Andrew. Andrew dropped Nancy off the next morning around 6:30 am as he was planning on an early morning surf. Instead, however, he drove back to his house and searched through the phone book looking for the number Nancy had written down. Many of you won’t know what a phone book even looks like, but I will tell you they are thick with thin pages and finding one number scrawled on a random page would have been difficult. It’s the kind of thing you do if you can’t imagine saying good-bye to someone just yet. Andrew found the number and they went for breakfast. One of the things that sealed the deal for Nancy was the kind manner in which he spoke to the waitress–she knew he was a good person. When Nancy got back to Calgary, she made a care package for Andrew including a love letter, good coffee and some music and she jokingly wrote, “I’ll see you in a week.” There were cheap fares available back then and she did just that–flew back that Friday. That flight was the first of many back and forth to see one another and the beginning of their whirlwind romance.

Andrew had just gotten out of a relationship and they had planned a trip to Indonesia together and neither had cancelled their flights. He felt responsible, not wanting his ex-girlfriend to travel alone so he went on the trip in the fall. Nancy had no choice but to just be cool about it. When he came back, Andrew broke up with Nancy, not because he had reunited with his ex-girlfriend but rather because that relationship had been long distance and he didn’t want another long distance relationship. Nancy was heartbroken but she did not try to change his decision. She believes in the saying, “If you love them, let them go.” Then they didn’t talk again until November when he called to check in on her–she lied and said she was fine. That New Years Nancy had broken her collar bone and was staying at her dad’s sleeping in a chair to remain comfortable and that is where she was when she received Andrew’s call at 3:00 am on New Years’ Eve. Andrew was very amorous but Nancy gave him a cool reception which made Andrew more attracted to her–he knew he wanted to marry Nancy. Andrew came out to Calgary for business in January and they saw each other. Nancy was very cautious, partly because of her feelings and also her families’ feelings because they had seen how sad she was and weren’t sure getting back together was a good idea. When they saw each other, the romance just picked up from where they’d left off.

Their long distance romance consisted of many interesting mini-holidays because when you only get to see each other on the weekend you want to make the most of it. Andrew and Nancy were on a surf trip and he was driving her back to Vancouver airport for her flight back to Calgary. They had talked about moving in together but Nancy was cautious and had joked, “I can’t possibly move in with you because you have no room in your closet.” She flew back to Calgary and when she arrived at work the next morning, there was an email from Andrew with a pdf file of an architectural drawing of a reconfiguration of his bedroom to include a closet for Nancy. She saw the email, stood up from her desk, packed up her items and gave her boss notice. Shortly thereafter, Nancy drove to Victoria and moved in with Andrew. Despite her families’ concerns about her ability to get a job Nancy was hired her first week in Victoria and surprisingly, to her parents–not as a waitress.

Nancy reflects, “When we first met, it wasn’t the right time for Andrew and I cared enough for him that I was willing to wait for him. Andrew was the only person who had ever broken up with me and now we’re married. He made his own decisions and I need someone who is whole and complete in themselves.”

Nancy and Andrew were about to travel to Tahiti where Andrew had planned to propose on a beach. He picked the ring up the day before they were leaving and he was so excited, he couldn’t wait. Andrew asked Nancy while they were sitting on the couch that night. Nancy replied, “Of course.” like he was asking a rhetorical question. The two families were both excited about the engagement despite a few initial concerns from Nancy’s mom.

Andrew and Nancy value each other’s opinion and just naturally made decisions together from the beginning. They also have the same ideas about how money works which is such an important factor for couples and worth having a conversation about before moving in together.

Nancy mentioned their core values are the same but that doesn’t mean they agree on everything. In fact, they are both quite opinionated and differences of opinion are not unusual. Andrew is quick to add, differences of opinion don’t have to be anything more than that. You can agree to disagree.

Nancy and Andrew both have their own interests and they give each other space to pursue them. For Andrew that’s surfing and Nancy doesn’t surf because that’s his solace and she doesn’t want to interfere with that.

Broadcast Love wishes Andrew and Nancy many more fun-filled adventures together!

University Sweethearts

Married 16 Years

Jen and Steve

San Jose, California

Steve spotted Jen standing by a bike rack on the UC Davis campus and the first thing Steve noticed was Jen’s nice legs. Turned out they had several mutual friends. Jen noticed him but they didn’t really have much of a chance to get to know one another and Steve had a girlfriend so he wasn’t on Jen’s radar. Steve to study in Italy for a semester and while he was gone Jen got to know more of his friends as they were all biology majors and took most of their classes together.

Steve returned in senior year and before they dated, Jen remembers telling her girlfriends,

If I just had a chance to have one date with him, I’d be happy for the rest of my life.

Jen

Jen was head over heels before they even dated. They started to spend more time together and in February of their senior year, they went swing dancing with a group of friends–their official first date. It wasn’t long before they started to spend all their time together. Prior to meeting Steve, Jen had been focused on getting high marks–Steve was a distraction and Jen received her first B.

Even though they hadn’t been dating that long–only four or five months, they decided that where ever they went next, they would go together. Jen and Steve knew this relationship was for the long haul. Jen was planning on nursing school and Steve law school. By summer, they met each other’s families and it was a natural fit. Even their friends around them knew they would get married.

They ended up in Baltimore and Northern Virginia–only an hour apart from one another and commuted every weekend. When Jen graduated she moved to Virginia and after their engagement they bought a house and moved in together.

Steve used all of his savings as a summer associate at a law firm and bought a ring from a local jewelery boutique in Virginia. He held onto it until he could ask Jen’s parents in person for their blessing. Around New Years, he had the chance to ask Jen’s parents–he knew his dad was going to make him sweat a little bit. He had been given a big mallet from Jen’s sister as a joke to be used against spiders which he hates. Jen’s father wielded the mallet back and forth in his hand for dramatic affect while Steve asked but in the end both mom and dad gave their approval.

Jen’s parents live on the San Juan Islands and there is a hike to the top of the island and Steve had planned to ask Jen at the top of the mountain. However, Jen was sick and Steve had to postpone the plans for a day. Meanwhile, Jen’s mom had told her family and they were calling during the day to see if Jen had said yes making it difficult to keep the plan a secret. Steve managed and the next day at the top he got down on one knee and proposed.

A year later, they got married in Long Beach where Jen had grown up. They were able to have their reception at the same place where Jen’s parents held their reception thirty years earlier.

Steve wouldn’t say they are opposites because many of their values are the same but at the same time they have different strengths and weaknesses. They make a good team and their skills complement one another.

Jen says appreciating the differences in each other is important. Steve’s more relaxed about parenting and Jen is okay with that because it provides balance. Steve appreciates Jen’s organizational skills and her ability to manage the house and home and get everything done.

Broadcast Love wishes you many more years of happiness and joy.

Love At First Bite

Dave and Carol

Married over 28 Years

Carol and Dave attended the same university and in 1985 they both attended a campus party. Carol saw Dave and said to him, “My best friend’s having a party next week, why don’t you come and bring some friends?” and Dave did. At Carol’s best friend’s party she walked up and offered him some “crisps” aka potato chips. Then she offered to show him a picture of her with long hair. He was smitten. Dave asked Carol if she would like to go for a drink sometime and Carol said Yes, let’s go next week and Dave said, No, I was thinking this week. He was very keen. Their first date was at the Shoulder of Mutton Pub. Not hard to guess where this couple is from.

There were several indications that Dave was smitten with Carol. Dave would come to Carol’s house and wait while she finished getting ready and Carol and her roommates would offer him tea. Dave didn’t tell Carol for months that he didn’t like tea because he didn’t want to be rude. Carol moved to Florida in the States to work at Disney World for six months and Dave came to visit her and brought the four friends who came to the initial party with him.

Carol jokes that Dave still doesn’t know if she’s the girl for him. The truth is Carol and Dave both agreed it was pretty much love at first site. They were only 19 but at some point within the first two to three months they both knew they would be together.

Carol would say I never asked her.

Dave

About five years into our relationship, Dave remembers asking her dad for his blessing to marry Carol. Dave was nervous but he said yes and from that point on the parents started planning the wedding.

Dave says Carol would say that over that length of time–five years, that they just arrived at the conclusion that they were getting married. Dave disputes this and claims he did ask her and they planned a romantic getaway in beautiful Chester, England–one of the best-preserved¬†medieval cities¬†in Britain. Carol chose her ring in Chester, making it official.

Dave says that communication is what makes them work and that you need to find things that you like to do as a couple and do them as often as possible. Dave and Carol go for walks almost every evening. They also enjoy travelling together.

Carol says you have to have fun together. You need to think of the bigger picture–remembering when your head’s down and your kids are driving you mad, you’ve always got each other and you have to invest in that relationship.

Carol and Dave, Broadcast Love wishes you many more decades of fun adventures together.