Tomorrow will mark two weeks since Rishi and I became an official married couple. Yay! We are still amazed and in awe of the beauty of our ceremonies and festivities. In light of this joy, I feel moved to share the speech I gave at our wedding reception.
May those who attended the gathering enjoy these words once again, perhaps this time with more clarity, as I was obviously emotional when delivering them, tears running down my cheeks! May those who were not present, enjoy them for the first time and feel the heart there within.
“I feel privileged to now call Rishi my husband. A tender and powerful soul, his deep heart, spiritual sensitivities, wisdom, creativity, business acumen, passion and fabulous sense of humour bring me so many riches that with him I do feel like the princess he habitually calls me. Maybe now that we are officially married, I will graduate to being called queen.
Our marriage is a double blessing. The family into which I am marrying is loving, supportive, broad-minded, open-hearted and generous. I knew when Rishi told me his Jewish family used to bring him to an Indian synagogue, loved Jesus, did yoga and went to see healers and psychics, I had found a very special lot!
I have always felt grateful for the way my parents who raised me and my two sisters Catherine and Chantal in an open-minded, Christian home. Mom and Dad encouraged us to be connected to otherness, in whatever way that would be. They even brought us to a synagogue as children. Little did I know that someday I would be married by a Jewish cantor, followed by a Hindu saint!
Now, lighting the shabat candles and learning to say the bracha in Hebrew on Friday night, celebrating Passover with the Seder meal, humbly asking for forgiveness during Yom Kippur, are beautiful Jewish traditions that enrich my life even more deeply.
I find the same light that I see in the shabat candles in Rishi’s eyes. Rishi has been a dedicated and loving best friend to me for the past ten years, through exhilarating explorations like our musical tours and our trip to the North Pole, to profound challenges like taking care of my every need when I was totally bedridden, paralyzed from the waist down for four months due to a devastating spinal injury. He is a precious gem of a being.
All of my life, for as long as I can remember, I have felt like there was a blip on my screen, a special someone who I was destined to meet. I had the privilege of spending time with some beautiful souls through my life, but all the while, that blip just kept blinking.
In the fall of 2004, I followed an acquaintance’s advice to call Rishi, who was a friend of his and owned at that time a CD manufacturing company, to quote a job. During that call, that blip on my screen, for the first time in my life, completely went away. We spoke for an hour about spirituality, ecology, music and life. It was like I was speaking to my long-lost, best friend.
Unlike me, I was forward and called back a couple days later and asked if I could see his “facilities” before I could press my CD with him. We spoke for three hours in his office. He said, rather than pressing my CD, he wanted to ask me out.
I was so nervous about meeting him for our date because I knew the immensity of our connection. I actually canceled, then rescheduled. When we finally did meet, we walked and talked along the Toronto beach for nine hours. By the end of that first date, we said we loved each other. With Rishi, it was an instant knowing that he was the one.
There have been many personal growth challenges for us. Through them, I have learned useful Yiddish words like meshugganah (I think, Uncle Roger, you would say that means scallywag). Perhaps when we get close to a force so luminous, all our gnarly bits get highlighted. We have had to learn to live with a kind of transparency, which has made us each more buoyant, kind, loving and happier people. It is a relationship that asks each of us to grow in humility and potency each day.
Rishi and I share our deepest core loves – for each other, for music and for spiritual growth. Our mutual passion for music means we can work together to fulfill our lifelong goals in that chosen profession, he like the radio station promoting music, me like the channel creating the creative content. We also are partners in the healing work I offer. Rishi means sage or seer in Sanskrit. His Rishi vision continues to be a blessing to me and to many. He meets and understands the gifts I have had as a child in the unseen.
At the deepest core of who we are, you will find our shared love for our spiritual teacher, Amma. The Sanskrit word guru means one who leads us from the darkness of ignorance to the light of pure consciousness. It is such grace that we experience the Amma wedding this morning that brings all of this to life for us, and grounds our love for each other through the commitment of a lifelong relationship and learning to love, open, serve, see the divine teaching us through each other. For us, marriage is a mirroring of the divine that exists within each one of us. We say to love is to witness an unfolding. Just as one would revel in the way a flower blooms in the garden, we learn to revel in the blossoming of each of our souls.
Thank you Jeff and Angie Gerald for bringing Rishi into this life. Thank, you mom and dad, Barbara and Dennis Rose, for bringing me into this life so I could find my Rishi again. And thank you mom for making this reception possible so that we could share the love we feel. Thank you to all our friends and family from far and wide, for being here with us to share this happy day. We are truly blessed. Thank you Rishi for your willingness to grow, learn, love and serve. To me, you are Maharishi, the greatest and only Rishi. I love you. Everyone, please let us toast, To Rishi!”
Rishi’s father (my now father-in-law) Jeff Gerald took these photos at the Granite Brewery. I fell in love with the venue’s back garden patio and wanted the reception there. They made a delicious buffet that I had planned with them based on my guests. They were always supportive, accommodating and easy to deal with.
These two girls (one is behind me) are the daughters of Rishi’s longtime friends Rob Bolton and Mona Kahn. Together with my niece, the daughter of my elder sister Catherine, these three little girls decided I was a living doll. One had a powder puff brush that she kept sweeping my skin with. The other two dove into my hair to braid it and make creative ‘dos. They were like little fairies that buzzed about me the entire evening, even during the speech.
This photo is of Jessica Anderson, who was kind enough to do my hair for me in the washroom at the Granite, and Hagop Ohannessian who was the fabulous DJ for the evening. Both loving souls I am blessed to call friends.
My now mother-in-law Angie’s dear friend Brenda Cohen is checking out my new ring, which I designed with the help of super talented jeweller Paul Hofland. Angie and another dear friend donated the stones and the gold from other rings. The Swarovski crystal jewelry was sponsored by my dear friend Pranada, and made by two other creative souls who were also at the gathering, having come all the way from Edmonton: Amie Pangracs and Shawna McLeod.
Finally, the cake cutting – yes, wheat-free and delicious – vanilla with raspberry icing from Bobbette and Belle. It was made with sugar and some dairy, things I always avoid, but on that day, I made an exception.
I hope you have enjoyed these glimpses from our joyful day.
In other news, the latest issue of Parvati Magazine is now live, on the themes of Freedom and Delight. Please read, enjoy and share these articles.
Wishing you joy today and all days,