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The person who is right for you is better than all of your dreams.

Eighteen years ago today my husband picked me up from the Las Vegas airport. We hadn’t seen each other since he graduated from high school in Cairo fourteen years earlier. We didn’t like each other in high school. We belonged to different clicks, and he hadn’t wanted me to attend the event in Las Vegas, but I was invited by two of his best friends. Being a gentleman, he picked me up at the airport even though he resented me being there.

We fell in love at the airport over cigarettes (we both quit years ago), Heinekens, and jokes.

While in Vegas, we stayed up all night and watched the sun come up over the desert. We went skinny dipping in the pool at the Luxor and were busted by the security guards. I put on one of my wigs (when I was younger I wore them for fun) and played a joke on his lifelong friend. There are many other stories of that trip to Vegas, but in this case, what happened in Vegas should really stay a secret among the people that were there.  I am protecting the privacy of some of our closest friends.

After our swimming extravaganza, I borrowed a pair of black jeans from my new love interest. I carried those jeans with me back to Washington State. I wanted to have something of his at home with me, (I slept with those jeans until I saw him again) and I secretly hoped I would be able to give them back to him in person.

He returned to Los Angeles. We hadn’t exchanged phone numbers or addresses or anything. The only thing I knew was his screenname on AOL. Through some detective work on my part, I found him and sent him a message.

We called each other every night, and sent each other e-mails every day. We also chatted online but learned quickly that online communications can lead to misunderstandings.

He traveled to Seattle/Tacoma and I traveled to Hollywood. Then on one trip to Hollywood, I missed my plane twice and decided to stay. In a private ceremony above the city of Los Angeles, with just him, me and God, we exchanged our vows. We celebrated our wedding by eating In-N-Out burgers (later we would become vegetarians).

A few months later we went to Las Vegas and had a very sweet wedding in a little chapel in the Excalibur with our family and friends.

I married the best person I have ever met. I am cherished. I am adored. I am supported. I am comforted. I am encouraged. I am challenged. I am humored, and above all I am loved.

I may have paranoid schizophrenia, and some people may pity me, but don’t. I have something that the great poets write about, the great musicians sing about, and people from all walks of life desire. I have true love.

If it happened to me, it can happen to you. Don’t think it isn’t possible due to your mental illness, or because of your past, or because you are too thin or too fat.  There is someone out there who will see you for all that you are, and love every part of you.

If you haven’t found that someone, I know they are out there, waiting.

Happy anniversary, babe.