By Patrick Louis
Love is a funny thing. You tend to come upon it when you least expect it and often in the most surprising places. This holds true for my love story.
I first met Joanne in 1995. We worked together at Houlihan’s in Boston. We were strictly coworkers, however I couldn’t help noticing her beautiful eyes and smile. We started to spend time together outside of work, discussing our passions, families and dreams. Peeling back the layers of our stories revealed some uncanny experiences we had in common.
It was Mother’s Day when I noticed Joanne seemed sad, something was off. We came to discover that in 1994 we had both lost our moms to lung cancer, within only three months of each other!
Being the romantic that I am (kidding!) I gave Joanne a poem representing daughters that had lost their mothers. Losing my mom was one of the hardest things I had ever gone through and it helped to be with someone who could understand that.
We both left our jobs at Houlihan’s a year later and gradually lost touch with each other.
Two years down the road, I was working at a bar downtown, and as fate would have it, Joanne walked in the door. We began our relationship as friends, catching up on old times, sharing new stories. It blossomed over time, creating a powerful bond, leading to a relationship, marriage and the creation of our own family with our son, Jason.
Through stories and pictures, I feel like I know Joanne’s mom and she knows mine. We want Jason to grow up knowing the amazing people our moms were. Each November, for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we attend a Shine a Light event, light a candle and remember them.
Although incredibly difficult, I do believe it is possible to find growth and positivity in any situation. Both Joanne and I moved to Boston because of events having to do with our moms’ deaths. We would have never crossed paths otherwise!
My advice, keep an open heart because you just never know when love will greet you. And if you are really lucky, it will root deep and stay for a lifetime or longer.
Click here to honor someone you love today!