S: Jo Anne and Michael
BC: For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
FC: Our Wedding Day 11.11.11
1: The wedding of Jo Anne Bird & Michael Shepherdson 11.11.11
9: Mimi and her boys
16: "Who presents Mimi for marriage to this man, Michael?" "We do."
17: “Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the declaration of eternal passion. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being “in love” has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two." Louis de Bernieres
18: Meditation on marriage... "Love has brought us here today. When they first met, I remember Jo Anne was bubbling over with the news of her new boyfriend. I don’t know whether you were “bubbling over” or not, Michael, since you didn’t get invited to Girls’ Night Out, but we girls heard a lot about Jo Anne’s new boyfriend. That was the breathless time that Bernieres refers to. But that time passed, and what remained for the two of you was a love for each other that deepened as the years went by. As Bernieres says, the “pretty blossoms” fell off and you found out that your roots were being bound together as one tree, not two. Michael, you got entwined in the family activities, picking up the boys after school, doing the Sam’s run for the girls, tutoring the boys’ with schoolwork, and caring for Donna during her last months And for you, Jo Anne, it was the chance to meet Michael’s family and develop a relationship with them. It was sharing your home, your friends, and your resources with Michael. It was so much more than that early stage of being “in love.” Those entwined roots are what made you decide to formalize your commitment to each other. It’s no longer enough to just be together. Now you are willing to risk that your love is permanent and to commit yourselves permanently to each other. You two like the occasional casino visit, so you know about risk and reward. Marriage is indeed a big gamble. It is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. You are here today because you are willing to take that risk. Marriage is an act of faith, but its reward is the best and most important relationship that two people can share. So you stand here today to tell all who listen that this is for keeps and for all time because with that risk comes the great reward of a true partnership."
20: “Sunday, March 25, 2001, 11:43 p.m; our first contact, a simple email that changed our lives. The next day we meet, we kiss, we touch, we fall in love! Things happen for a reason. I know my dreams have all come true. You are my dream. Those were the words you wrote to me in a card that you sent soon after, and they reflect my feelings for you today and always. Wherever we go, whatever we do, life’s so much better because I’m with you. Because of you, I laugh, I smile, I dare to dream again. I will care for you, encourage you, and be there for you in all life has for us, and I vow to be true and faithful. I will listen to you; I will be open and honest with you, and I promise to allow you to continue to do all the cooking, too! I will be your trusted partner and stand by you in good times and bad. I promise this now and for all the days of my life."
21: "Today I choose you, Jo Anne, to be my life partner, my wife, my love. I offer you not the summer of my life, but the autumn, brisk and vibrant. I promise to be a companion worthy of your love. I pledge you compassion in good times and bad; encouragement in sickness and health. I promise to sleep by your side, to be the joy of your heart, the food of your soul, and the best person I can be for you. I promise to laugh with you when times are good, and to suffer with you when they are bad. Our new life together will include our large circle of friends and loving families. We’ll cherish the memories of our individual pasts and create our new life as we go now together. I promise to wash away your tears with my kisses and to hold you sweetly and gladly until our days on earth are over."
22: "With this ring, I thee wed. I offer you my hand and my heart, as I know they will be safe with you. All that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you."
23: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Shepherdson
33: Girls' Night Out
39: Images by Strinni Photography excerpt from "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres Edited by Karen Keuss 2011