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We were married Dec. 9, 2000, and my editor swore I wouldn’t go through with it.

Blame George W. Bush and Al Gore.

I was covering the delayed election results (remember hanging chads?) in Florida.  It stretched from one week to more than a month.  Hadi was in Washington, D.C., and the wedding was to be at Whistler, B.C.

My editor in Toronto told everyone I was such a stalwart, I would postpone the wedding until the election was decided (this was before the U.S. Supreme Court was involved).

We’re proof that love trumps politics.

We had guests traveling from Mexico, Britain, and across Canada, and would not have dreamed of interrupting their plans — especially for politics.

Besides, it was to be Hadi’s first visit to Canada.  (This still makes our families laugh.)

We chose the date because it would have been impossible to get married during that long election campaign.  (As it was, everything from finding a minister to booking the reception was done long-distance, while Hadi was working in Virginia, and I was criss-crossing the U.S., covering the Gore-Bush campaigns.)

Every anniversary is an opportunity for us to recall how far friends and family traveled to celebrate our marriage, and express our gratitude, once more.

It’s an opportunity to remember the small group at Our Lady of the Mountains Church, and to take time to review all the life changes of the past decade:  the birth of two godchildren (their Mom discovered her morning sickness at our wedding); several graduations on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border; the wedding of our eldest niece; the tragic and sudden loss of two young adults, in both countries.

We remember too, the elders unable to join us.  Hadi’s Mom was ill and couldn’t travel, so we lit a candle for her, in remembrance and celebration.  I am always grateful that she welcomed me so quickly into the family, and with such love and warmth.  We miss her every day.

We lit another candle for Hadi’s dad, who died when his youngest son was only eight.  His absence is always felt, even by me. We never met, but I’m deeply grateful to his family, for taking me in.

Lighting candles at our wedding, Our Lady of the Mountains Church, B.C.

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