Happy sixth anniversary

Our son and daughter-in-law were married in our garden six years ago today. That is significant not only as a celebration of their love for each other, but that they wanted to get married at the sight where my son’s brother, our son Paul, took is life in 1999. For a long time Ben didn’t want to be here, but that all changed on his wedding day. The wedding was beautiful and the event was not tarnished by unhappy memories.


My memoir Leaving the Hall Light On was published less than a year later. It is, as the subtitle says, A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide. Although the story is sad, the memoir is also about survival. That said, I decided to end the book with an Epilogue about the Wedding in the Garden, on a very upbeat note.

Here is the poem that ended the Epilogue. I hope you’ll read the memoir and entire epilogue as well. And if you have read Leaving the Hall Light On, please leave a review here. Five star reviews help those with similar situations benefit from my story. Thank so much.

Wedding in the Garden

I never would have suspected
that the gravel path
weaving its way through our narrow garden
would become the wedding aisle.
Nor did I think the palm trees that grew
from babies would serve
as the backdrop for the ceremony.

And when all was said and done
every inch of our home
inside and out
the place where our sons grew up
the place of good memories
and bad
served as the perfect wedding venue.

Food displayed in the dining room
eating in the family and living rooms
and out on the deck,
dancing on the patio.
I am so glad I didn’t listen
to the folks who said
you have to move after Paul died.

I knew our house had more
joy to give.
After all, it’s the welcoming family home
where we’ve all come to grieve,
to laugh, to cry,
and to wipe our tears of happiness
after Ben and Marissa’s beautiful wedding
in the garden.


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