How We Met: We first met when we were twelve at a soccer festival. My cousin Cristine played on a team with Michael’s sister, Marianne. Unbeknowst to them at the time, our parents lived on the same street. They took us to the same park, to the same stores, to the same pediatrician. Being that Mike and I are only 22 days apart, I’m strongly convinced we played together in Dr. Gradinger’s waiting room while our moms discussed impending vaccinations.
On the first day of grade seven, Michael and I were paired together for an assignment in which we had to interview one another in attempt to get acquainted with our classmates. We quickly became friends upon discovering our deep-seated love for the show Friends. When we were in grade 10, a mutual friend of ours told me Mike had feelings for me and I didn’t know how to feel. He was one of my closest friends. We hung out all the time; at school, after school, weekends. If it didn’t work out, I’d have lost my best pal. To Mike’s point, I could also be gaining so much more. He was right! We started dating when we were 15 years old and have been together ever since. Our love endured the test of time (and distance). In 2007, Mike moved to New York City to study acting while I remained in Montreal. When 2010 rolled around, Mike took a leap of faith and landed in Toronto. With one year left of university, I was set on moving west to finally be reunited upon graduation.
how they asked: This tale is tinged with sorrow, and as singer Nana Mouskouri aptly put it “If you haven’t learnt about sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness.”
Friday, October 19, 2012 began with an early morning visit to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Quebec where Mike’s mom, Didi, was receiving chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. I had taken the overnight bus from Toronto to be home for my brother’s birthday that evening. Mike had other plans.
After Didi’s treatment, Mike and I had an appointment of our own at the eye doctor. A regular routine visit. Next, we had to make a quick stop at our old stomping grounds, Laval Catholic High School to pick up Mike’s cousin. It was orchestrated beautifully–Mike put his aunt Adelina on speaker phone whilst driving in the car as she asked us if we could possibly go and get Emmanuel after hockey practice. It was pouring rain when we pulled up to the building that housed the beginning of the Mike and Kim story. Mike said “Alright, let’s go in,” as Mano was to wait for us inside. I replied rather indignantly, “Why are we both going to get wet? You go or I’ll run in.” He cited he didn’t feel like potentially seeing any former teachers and insisted I join him. I’m glad I did.
We strolled through the familiar and deserted halls to get to the gymnasiums. I shouted for Mano. No dice! I swung open a door and only a few basketball players were left hanging around. I began to get worried. Mike motioned over to a small hallway that leads to the outside saying he might be through there. I shook my head and reminded him that passageway led back to the outdoors. Mano would not be out in the rain. Mike hastily reached for my hand and pulled me through the door before I was to turn in the other direction shouting “Mano” once more.
The second he and I were in that tiny enclosure and the door swung shut behind me I blurted out: “Oh my god! Are you going to propose?” It was instinctual as that is the exact location Mike asked me to be his girlfriend in 2004, except now he was asking if I would be his wife. He ignored my outburst (rightly so), and began to say some really nice things that I can barely remember because I was so taken off guard. I screamed, I laughed, I cried (I said yes), I called my best friend, Tiffany and shrieked for a solid minute. (Mike has that footage somewhere; it’s almost incomprehensible).
The number 19 has played a significant role in our relationship. July 19, 2014 was a Saturday I plucked out of obscurity when I was 15 and bored while working the coat check at Moe’s Deli & Bar in Laval, QC. I had to keep myself occupied after I finished my homework and working late Tuesday nights with my eldest brother Shawn. I figured I’d be 26, done school, settled with Mike and ready to get married. I always had a plan. What I had not planned on was losing Mike’s mom, Didi in the spring of 2013. She had become a second mother to me. Mike knew his mom would have wanted a Big, Fat, Greek Wedding. Since July 19, 2014 was no secret throughout our many years together, he wanted to tie the knot on a day his mom knew full well would come to fruition. Today, I am married to the man I am meant to spend the rest of my life with while an angel watches from above.