Friday, October 15, 2010


For the past week I've wanted to write about my wedding, but I've had such an assortment of intense emotions I haven't been able to figure out where to begin. So I'll start at the beginning and if my thoughts are scattered and incoherent, I apologize. It's just not fair to keep you waiting any longer.

When Ken and I decided to get married, we chose the date October 10th - 10/10/10 - for a number of reasons. We thought a fall wedding would be nice, we were able to find available venues for both our wedding and reception even though we planned everything very last-minute, and it's just a cool date - and certainly an easy one to remember. I have to tell you, it really was the perfect day!

The weather was incredible; sunny and warm with a light breeze. The park where we had our ceremony was full of beautiful flowers as well as brightly colored trees and all of our plans came together without a hitch.

We chose to have our ceremony in the Walled Garden in Mellon Park. The Garden has recently been restored as part of a memorial project. The family and friends of Annie Katharine Seamans, a young woman who died in a car accident in 1999, worked with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to complete this project. Annie used to love to spend time in Mellon park, especially to look at the stars at night.

In addition to restoring the Garden's natural charm, the project included an art installation which is indescribably beautiful. Lights have been embedded in the lawn of the garden in the exact pattern of the stars over Pittsburgh on the date Annie was born. You can click on this link to read more about the Garden's restoration. If you live in Pittsburgh I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Ken and I were lucky enough to attend the Walled Garden's reopening and dedication back in June. It was then that we decided we'd like to get married there.

We did a number of things to honor Kate and Peter throughout the day, some of them thanks to suggestions from all of you.

First we included a reading from a book I used to read with the two of them. My good friend, Cindy, who is also Kate's godmother, read "I Love You Because You're You" by Liza Baker. It's basically a cute picture book about the unconditional love between a parent and child, but I think it was quite appropriate for our wedding.

About two weeks before the wedding my friend Jen surprised me with some flowers she had made out of a shirt of Peter's. (Her son is a little bit younger than Peter so she had a few hand-me-downs.) She used the shirt that Peter is wearing in this picture:

I love those flowers (!!!) and our florist, who did an amazing job with only a week's notice, was able to beautifully work the flowers into my bouquet:

Jen was also going to make flowers out of something of Kate's, but instead I asked the florist to wrap the bouquet in some material from a dress Kate wore when she was a flower girl in a wedding 4 years ago. Here's a picture of Kate in that dress:

I loved being able to work something that belonged to each of my kids into my bouquet, which I literally carried around all day. I didn't want to put it down at all... seriously.

I wanted to use butterflies in the wedding somehow, but I wasn't sure about releasing live ones. Instead, my friend Chad, who made our wedding cake, created and placed two butterflies on the cake. He did an amazing job (and I have to add that not only was the cake beautiful, but it was seriously yummy!). It was red velvet with cream cheese frosting - Peter would have been all over that!!

At the last minute I decided I needed to have a picture of my kids somewhere at the wedding, but I wasn't exactly sure where. That morning as I was leaving my house I took one of their pictures off the wall and brought it with me. The catering staff placed it on the table next to the cake. Another friend of mine ran out to a store that morning and found two candles to put next to their picture:

So now that I've given you the overall run-down of the day and how we made my kids a part of it, how do I begin to describe how it felt? That's the hard part.

Honestly, I couldn't let myself feel everything that day. If I was gonna make it through the day with some semblance of composure, I had to disconnect a little. I did my best to be in the moment and take it all in - especially when it came to feeling the love between Ken and me and the love and support of our families and friends - but I couldn't think about how much I wished my kids were there or how sad I was that they weren't.

I wish I had some incredible story about how I felt them with me all day or that there had been a rainbow or something, but I don't. I did my best to be present and I'm sure they were with me in spirit, but unfortunately I didn't really "feel"them.

I did have one moment where I stepped into a room by myself and asked them to give me something - anything - some kind of sign or wisdom or assurance that they were there. At that point the words "this is a new beginning, Mama" popped into my head.

It's so hard to explain the feelings I had that day without writing an entire book (this is the longest blog post ever!). On the one hand I felt so incredibly happy and in love and excited to be marrying Ken, who I love with all my heart. For days afterward I walked around with my head in the clouds, feeling like I was on a honeymoon even though we didn't go anywhere.

On the other hand, however, I felt a sadness that I now realize will never lessen or go away. I have had nightmares about my kids almost every night since, including my wedding night. I dream they're missing or severely injured or that they don't know who I am. It's awful. It's almost like my happiness during the day has to be balanced out by sadness and horror at night. I guess that's just how it is and how it will be.

This picture, taken by our photographer, sums it up - the bittersweetness of it all:

What I just realized is that even though the picture is both happy and sad, it's truly all about love. And as far as I'm concerned love is far stronger than death.


  1. Amy-
    I was so happy to be there with you and Ken and share in the wonderful day with you and really really felt honored to read the book thank you for that : ) Everything was beautiful (including you and Ken!) and peaceful and I know Kate and Peter were there in their own way. During the ceremony I noticed a butterfly flying around in the flowers/shrubs behind you (I tried to get it in the video I took, but haven't had a chance to check it out yet) and I could really feel the love around....their love, the love between you and Ken and all the love. And what you said last is I think the most important thing....that it is really all about the love. Love IS stronger than goes beyond it...and is eternal. And maybe the love, even though it brings all the sadness, is a way through the fear and the nightmares. Love is so powerful and it really can heal anything. So please know that I have a lot of love for you and for Kate and Peter and I know there is always soo much love coming your way from all your friends and family and people you've never met before.......and there is absolutely no doubt about the truly unconditional love that exists between you and Kate and Peter. And if you can let the love fill you up and form a bubble around you (kinda may sound weird, but it really can work) it can protect you from anything and the fear doesn't have a chance. I know I don't really have a grasp of the intensity of the pain you feel, and so I'm sorry if this comes across as simple, cuz I know it's not. But when I can feel the love (as I do right now as I cry while I type this) it really helps me through my fears and I just wanted to share it with you. You are such a wonderful person who has such compassion for everyone and everything (and I think every animal on the face of the earth) and you deserve all the love in the world : ) So, I hope you're having peaceful sleep tonight and every night. love you.

  2. Amy, you said it all! love IS stronger than death! Much love to you !
    Best wishes and congratulations!
    May the Blessings Be! xx

  3. First off, you look beautiful!! Congrats to you & Ken! While I was reading your post (awesome to have a nice long one), when I got to the part about not seeing a rainbow, I thought that maybe that was their way of saying it is a small step in moving forward. Then when I read about the words you heard in your head.... No one can say for sure, but we all know they were there with you both that day smiling and laughing and crying with you.

    And what an absolutely.beautiful.amazing picture your photographer captured - Kate & Peter watching over you & Ken.

    Always thinking of you in prayer & hope & joy-

  4. Congratulations, Amy. You are a beautiful bride and I wish you a lifetime of happiness and love.

  5. Wow. That's all I can say. Wishing you everything good.

  6. Reading your post made me cry...I don't know you, but am so happy for you and at the same time, so sad. That last picture is so beautiful and special. Love is everything...nothing can ever change it. Just take it a day at a time and enjoy this new chapter in your life. Congratulations and I wish you a lifetime of love and contentment and happiness.

  7. I have tears in my eyes, Amy. You are such a wonderful mother, person and now - wife. The last photograph simply took my breath away. I hope that you frame that and place it in a prominent spot in your home... your sweet angels will always be watching over you... Congratulations, God bless, and wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness with your handsome groom. You were the most splendid bride!

  8. Wow...I started crying as soon as I saw the first photo in this post. The beautiful photos took my breath away because you look so happy and peaceful. Thank you for sharing this special event with all of us.

    Warm wishes of love and happiness to you and Ken. Congratulations!

  9. :::sniffle::: beautiful! and congrats on your marriage!

  10. Beautiful photos - sounds like a fantastic day (it was just perfect autumn weather on that day, wasn't it?). Congratulations, again. So nice how you incorporated your lovelies into the wedding day. It is a transition time for you, so I'm sure the nightmares will subside. Love does transcend death, by the way - always remember that :-).

    You guys make a great looking couple, btw.

  11. Congrats, sounds as if it were a truely wonderful day.
    I wish you & Ken all the happiness in the world.
    I'm sure the cake was nice and yummy & all, but it should have had a Pittsburg Steeler Theme.
    Lol JK!
    What? Surely you didn't expect me to not have something funny to say did you?
    Remember Laughter IS the best medicine.
    Live Love Laugh

  12. I can't tell you how many times a day I think of you. Or how many times a day their faces pop into my head. The impact their lives had is unfathomable. You are an example to all of us of what it truly means to love unconditionally. I think that it was probably just as tough for them to not be there. Perhaps, you didn't feel or witness some huge sign from them because all of your grief was so thick that day that nothing could get through either way. They loved Ken, and you were their world.

    Just keeping being you Amy. You make me a better person but just being in this world.

  13. *by* not just being in this world....

  14. Congratulations Amy and Ken! Amy, you are a beautiful bride, and I'm so happy to hear your wedding day was perfect. The flowers from Peter's shirt, as well as Kate's dress swatch on the flowers, are such wonderful ways to incorporate the children into your day. Kate and Peter were there with you, and I have to admit I teared up when I read about the words that popped into your head when you asked them for a sign. May God Bless both you and Ken with a lifetime of happiness together, and may your children continue to be your Angels watching safely over you. XOXO, Kym

  15. Amy, looks like your wedding was absolutely beautiful. I am so glad Kate and Peter could be a part of it in their own special ways. I love the little flowers - what a neat idea! Congratulations to you and your new husband - may your angels Kate and Peter continue to bless you with happiness!

  16. God bless you, Amy. I'm glad that Ken has been able to bring happiness to your life and that Kate and Peter were there in spirit. Never forget that they are looking down on you and using all the pull they have with the man upstairs to bring peace and love to your life. I wish you and Ken nothing but the best.

  17. Congratulations to you and Ken, Amy! I don't "know" you at all, but I've followed your blog and want to wish you every happiness. You deserve it, and you know your kids want you to be happy!

  18. Amy,
    Congrats on your wedding dear!! :)You deserve all the love and happiness that your new life has to offer you...and thank you for sharing in your special day!! :) The photographer couldn't have done a better job of capturing all the love that was there!! The way you incorporated Kate&Peter were wonderful..your bouquet was absolutely gorgeous!! I wouldn't have wanted to put it down either!!
    "Keep Swimming" and know that you have a TON of love and support behind you..
    Take care&God Bless, Gloria Malloy (

  19. Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us. I know you struggled with how to incorporate Katie & Peter. How you ended up doing so was beautiful and perfect. They were there - in those words you heard in your head, and in other ways you may not have noticed at the time. It's hard to feel happy when you're still in such pain, but knowing they met and loved Ken has to bring you some comfort. Katie knew you were going to marry him. You're not leaving them behind as you embark on this new journey; you're bringing them with you. They'll always be with you! Congratulations to you and Ken!

  20. Congratulations on your wedding (I was married on 10-10-98!) Anyhow, I saw pictures of you and you looked beautiful. But my eye kept going back to your bouquet and those blue flowers. They were stunning! What a lovely way to have your children with you on your special day. Thanks for sharing!
    Best wishes!

  21. That's a beautiful picture of you, Ken and Kate and Peter. The one thing that remains is love. You have it in spades.

    Wishing you and Ken so much happiness.

  22. Congratulations! The pictures are beautiful. You truly honored Kate and Peter at your special day and included them in every way possible. By reading your blog and looking at the photos you can feel the love. Best Wishes, Stacy

  23. What wonderful ways to pay tribute to your kids. I have enjoyed looking at all the photos. You both look so happy. And that last photo...

    As you say, love IS stronger than death.

  24. The love you have is beautiful... so happy for you.

  25. Dear Amy,
    So happy to see you smile again with Ken and your babies. Bittersweet..but beautiful!! I truly believe that Love never dies..And you honor them every day by finding the strength to go on, and sharing your journey with those of us who can't even imagine(except for nightmares} what you are going through. My wish for you , is no more nightmares,only Peaceful Dreams, and the strength to go on..until you see them again. And on that note, I want to thank-you for sharing Kate and Peter with me! And everyone in the nursery. We always said they were so smart and caring, and you guys were such good parents! To quote Kermit the Frog ( Why wonder Why ??) We may never know, but I know I was blessed by knowing Kate and Peter and you. Best Wishes to you and Ken. Take Care...

  26. "What I just realized is that even though the picture is both happy and sad, it's truly all about love. And as far as I'm concerned love is far stronger than death."

    -Very well said.

    Congrats. Your kids would be so proud.

  27. Amy - Don't ever forget that you will one day be reunited with your children. For now...hold them close to your heart, for one day, you'll be able to hold them in your arms. Best wishes to you and your husband and with much, much love. R

  28. Amy ... I love the blog post, and the photo you shared. It's amazing. I truly enjoy reading your posts, even though I don't know you or have ever met you. Thanks for sharing!