Monday, September 10, 2012


Recently, my partner Peter and I found an old copy of my sister-in-law Gigi’s wedding to her first husband Ruben Villar.

We found it one night while cleaning out an old tub in the garage that we had long ago forgotten even existed. We put the unmarked tape in our VHS machine (yes, we still have one) just to see what was on it. To our surprise, we realized immediately after the hearing the first few bars of the musical soundtrack that accompanied the images (“Through The Eyes Of Love” the theme from ICE CASTLES by Melissa Manchester...and yes, we are that old) that it was a copy of their nuptials. We watched it that evening in utter shock over the fact that we had a copy of this long lost treasure from their family's archive. I’m not embarrassed to share that we cried like we were two teenage girls through the whole thing.

Now, although many people are known to cry at weddings, our tears  were a combination of both happy and sad feelings. We knew we were blessed to revisit this very special and beautiful time in their lives, but also knew the bittersweet end of this story. Unfortunately, although this particular fairy tale wedding had all the makings of what the phrase “Happily Ever After” is written for, it ended abruptly and solemnly just 3 years after this blissful occasion was captured forever on celluloid. Ruben, Gigi’s first-love and the father to her two little girls (one still in the womb), passed away of Cancer after being diagnosed 3 months prior. It was blow that their family almost didn’t recover from.

Luckily, a couple of days after finding the VHS tape, we were able to get it into the hands of the one person who really needed to own it most – their youngest daughter Christina (the aforementioned in-utero baby). We watched it with her and laughed at all the horrible 80s hair and clothing, marveled at her beautiful mother and father and cried over the unimaginable loss. In the end, she was overjoyed at receiving this gift from above and couldn't wait to share it with her older sister. Now, they could both just pop in a VHS tape and see their father on one of the best days of his short life.

That weekend, I was inspired to redress my FR2 Blond Veronique in my Reem-Acra Barbie Bridal gown. The whole time I was stitching the beautiful dress on to the amazing doll (which bears a striking resemblance to Gigi), scenes from the wedding video flickered in my brain. I was thinking how glad I was that my partner is a pack-rat and can never seem to get rid of anything - even outdated media. For even though the VHS tape is not even worth a dollar today, the memories it holds for the girls are priceless and will be forever cherished by them and their future children.

Now, that moment is also forever immortalized in my collection of miniature memories. I like looking at her and the people that she symbolizes in my life.
To Happy Memories....CHEERS!



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