As promised in my last post, I am sharing with you my version of our 'love story'.
My version of our ‘love story’…
Serge knew the majority of my family for a year or so before we even met. However we officially met at my sister and brother-in-law’s, Ashlee and Shane. I was home from Timor Leste with dengue fever and was taking the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with my niece and nephew.
I had already heard lots about Serge. This ‘odd man’ had been regularly spoken about, specifically the need for him to be set up. Ashlee and Shane seemed to have assigned themselves the role of matchmaker. Personally I think Ashlee and Shane were honestly just getting increasingly concerned that one day Serge would just decide to move into their house.
Unofficially (the first moment I saw Serge) I had come across Serge at Ashlee and Shane’s wedding a month prior to the official meeting. I had known that Serge had been strategically placed next to Ashlee’s friends in hope that romance would fly… obviously that didn’t happen. Serge wasn’t the only desperate and dateless at the wedding, I too was single and on the look out for a man, but there really weren’t many single men available. Dad also had an attempt to draw Serge’s attention to me by highlighting that he had one remaining daughter to marry off.
Alas, with all this encouragement, Serge did not notice me at the wedding – something that I always like to remind him of. How could you not notice,
(a) one of the bridesmaids
(b) the bridesmaid who was carrying one of your favourite little people, Ivy
(c) I was wearing navy, which is apparently his favourite colour on me these days, and,
(d) Dad essentially threw me at him.
OH WELL, luckily I made a good impression at Ashlee’s house.
I was having a slumber party the night I met Serge. It was a Friday night and I was aware that Serge stayed at their place most Friday nights. Although I had never met him, I was kind of excited to meet this person that was so regularly spoken about. I did want to impress ever so slightly so I made pavlova – my first attempt failed miserably and I couldn’t have Serge thinking that I was a bit shit at cooking, so I whipped up another. He tells me often that the pavlova was a large part of the reason why he continued contact.
When he and Shane arrived home from work it was just a normal meeting, nothing special, no love at first sight nonsense. What I remember from that night and what made me interested in Serge was the way in which he interacted with Ivy and Max. My nieces and nephew mean the world to me, and I would always prioritise in a relationship how a partner interacts with not only them but my entire family. Even more, over dinner he showed a genuine interest in my life in Timor Leste – something that people often avoid because of how far away it is from most people’s lives.
We saw each other again before I went back to Timor. Nothing more happened, but I definitely looked forward to when I would return from Timor and the possibility of meeting again.
Serge obviously felt the same because a week after I returned I had an email waiting for me simply asking how I was. It was from that point that we started our little online romance – lots of emails and texts were exchanged and then we started talking on skype most nights.
I ended up coming home early because of my health. The week before leaving Timor was bittersweet – I was leaving a place that had been my home for a year, as well as being scared of what has become the biggest battle of my life, but on the other hand, I felt really positive about Serge and I was excited to meet with him knowing that we both shared feelings for each other.
I saw him the day after I got home. Our first date was pretty hilarious when I look back at it. I arrived at his house extremely nervous, and this giant hairy man (Serge) was, as I tell him now, right up in my grill. He was definitely trying for that first kiss, he was a little too eager… but I managed for a while to avoid it. We had a disgusting dinner, but I guess that is not the important part. Things were natural with us.
The rest was history!
When was the moment or, realisation that you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together?
I don’t think there is a precise moment, but I think it came down to the fact that we have been through what most couples don’t even experience in a lifetime.
Within 2 weeks of being home, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma and was in hospital for a week recovering from surgery, where Serge visited me every night. I had given him the opportunity to do a runner after explaining the reality of melanoma and the fact that a future with me is unlikely – he laughed in my face.
He was given the same opportunity less then a month later when the disease had progressed even further. Instead of laughing at me, we decided that we would get married.
Serge and I fell in love and experienced a deep love for each other very fast. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do believe that when you know, you know.
I am so very lucky that I have experienced a love like this. I don’t believe in a specific religion or a God, but I would like to think that Serge came into my life for a reason and that is to experience great love. We may not be together in our physical bodies for long, but love never fades and our love for each other will live on not only in Serge and my memory, but also in our family and friends.
Any funny moments, traits, hobbies, similarities
We both have a love for 90s music. Shortly after finding out about the initial cancer we had a little dance party in my room to cheer me up. I couldn’t believe Serge knew the words to so many songs!
Mum had been on the phone to my Grandma at the time and Nanny asked what all the laughing was considering things were so tough at the time. Serge always has the ability to snap me out of a sad moment.
When I cry a little at night, all of a sudden Serge will start singing the lyrics to ‘When you are in love with a beautiful woman’. We continue to have a good shimmy to our favourite songs, as well as sing a long to our favourite songs, especially the great female power ballads of the 90s.
What are you looking forward to in your marriage?
This is a really tough question. Unlike many couples, I can’t answer this by saying that we are looking forward to having children, growing older together etc. These are all things that I can imagine Serge and I doing together, but unfortunately it is not the reality.
On our recent trip to Bali, we went to a temple for dinner and wrote down a wish that we sent into the sky attached to a lantern. We both wished for a ‘happy ‘however’ long’. We don’t know how long we have, but I am looking forward to cherishing every moment we have together. I look forward to the simple things – spending time with our families and friends and also the most treasured times spent as just the two of us. We can only look forward to the memories that we can create together. I guess we are lucky in that because of the cancer, we are able to not take each other or life for granted.
Tomorrow, I will post Serge's version. Enjoy!