I knew the first minute I saw Jennifer that she was the one. Jen was beautiful and the kind of person that everyone wants in their life. She listened, and when you talked with her you felt like you were the only person who mattered.
A few months later I finally told Jen, "I have a crush on you." At the time Jen was living in New York and I was in Cleveland. After 6 months of long distance dating, I moved to New York.
I remember getting to town with an engagement ring burning a hole in my pocket and the girl of my dreams waiting for me. That first evening, after dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, I got down on one knee and proposed to Jennifer. For the entire cab ride home we held each other close and stared at the ring on Jen's finger, totally in love.
In September of 2007 we were married in Central Park. When I first saw Jen walking down the path I couldn't hold back the tears, she looked so beautiful and full of life. I was just feeling more happiness than I ever imagined could exist in this world.
I still struggle to believe that 5 months after this perfect day, I picked up the phone to hear Jen tell me she had been diagnosed with cancer. I rushed home to be with her. Completely numb, I remember telling Jen, "We have each other, we'll get through this together."
Our promise of forever was now being challenged by something completely out of our control, but we made the most of life and embraced each moment, never letting cancer get in the way of our loving each other. With every challenge we grew closer. We were so attuned to each other, words became less important. I remember one moment, Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, in tremendous pain. I felt so helpless. Looking up at me from her hospital bed, Jen told me, "You have to look me in the eyes, it's the only way I can deal with this pain."
I miss her eyes with all of my heart.
Before going to sleep Jen and I used to ask each other what the best and worst part of the day was, choosing to tell the best part last so we could fall asleep happy. The night we came home from the hospital after being told that Jennifer’s liver was failing and she didn’t have long to live, I asked Jen to tell me what she loved most about the day, which we had spent with family and a few close friends. Jennifer thought for a moment then looked through my eyes and into my soul. She said, “I loved it all.”