Some people get married young and stay married forever. Others get married young and end up single again. My story is the latter. Every experience we have helps weave the fabric of our lives, so although our long term plan never came to fruition, I couldn’t leave Joe out of my 50/50. Without him, I wouldn’t be who I am now, and I wouldn’t have the amazing marriage I have with Ed today.
I first met Joe in drum corps when I was 18. As you know, two years later, we happened to run into each other at a restaurant. (See “9/50 Bennigans in Devon” posted July 15, 2015). We began dating in April of 1986 and eighteen months later we were married. I was 22. He was 26. We had the world ahead of us.
Our relationship lasted a total of five years and although I won’t share the details of our personal business, suffice it to say I was young and dumb with issues I didn’t even realize I had. As a result, our marriage came apart.
I don’t regret the marriage itself, but I do regret putting a very good man through a hard time. Not that I did it intentionally — if you know me, you know it’s never my intention to hurt anyone. It was a consequence of the situation and one he didn’t deserve.
As is most often the case in life, there is always plenty of good news to balance out the bad, and in this situation there’s a ton of good news.
1. Joe remarried in 1993, he has a lovely wife and two great sons.
2. I remarried in 2002 and I have been incredibly happy in my life with Ed.
3. Joe and I reconnected in 2004 when my mom was sick and passed away. He came to see her in the hospital and came to her memorial service after she passed.
4. When Joe and Ed finally met for the first time at my mother’s memorial service, they hit it off immediately. Anytime we’re all in the same geographic area (which isn’t too often, unfortunately), we all get together to catch up.
4. Joe and I are friends. As friends do, we’re each interested in what’s happening in the other’s life and we have a genuine affection for one another.
5. I feel confident in saying that we both appreciate our first marriage for what it was: an early learning experience that was a fundamental contributor to the success of our respective second forays into the marital arena.
There’s not a bad word I could ever say about Joe Ricci. He was my first love. He’s a smart, handsome, likable, funny, ambitious man of character and integrity and I’m blessed to have shared a small part of my life with him.