August 16th, 2003 -First Kiss at one of our best friends birthdays. We were friends for about a year prior to this, and had recently gotten the chance to hang out a lot more together as just friends before this amazing night took place.
July 20th, 2013 -After 9 years together, we had 1 year of being engaged: He proposed to me on a cruise ship at the MAIN dinner with the help of the ships Maitre D. He had this plan set up with him, that we won a special prize by announcing our cabin number. So of course we had to be present in the middle of the grand ballroom. When we got to the grand steps I looked at the Maitre D, trying to decipher his accent so I was able to communicate in front of the hundreds of eyes that were watching us, little did I know my husband was behind me prepping for a moment that would change both of our lives. By the time my body turned to my then boyfriend, he was already on one knee, and our eyes met. Mine probably seemed as shocked as ever, because in that moment I realized that it was a moment I wanted so badly with this man that I had known and loved for so many years. He started telling the audience about our love story as he held the mic, and said that after 9 years it was time to marry me. At least I think thats around what he said, I was so caught in the moment, I wish I had it on video just to see my reactions, but imagining and reliving it is just as wonderful, anyways. In his dashing suit and tie, and on his knee, he opened that little black box. There was this magnificent, looked as if it was made for me diamond ring, now in my natural state I started to hyperventilate. Its what I do when I’m super anxious and cant control my emotions 🙂 He asked me the question, and it took me a few seconds, maybe 20 to say YES, and then I said it again… YES! The Maitre D made sure I had voiced my answer loud enough so all the floors inside the ballroom could hear. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I cried the rest of the vacation at stupid random times, just thinking how much thought my husband put into such a special moment for us. That’s what he does, he thinks of me in every light of a situation, and to say I’m blessed and honored to be his wife, is saying the least. It was the best vacation throughout the rest of the trip random strangers would give us their well wishes, and congratulations. I even got to party with a tribe of beautiful Hindi women that demanded I dance with them as their form of celebration.
July 20, 2013: We decided that a traditional church wasn’t our style, and a hotel just wasn’t going to cut it, we ventured to a place with history, and common ground, The Appleton Museum. We both were born and raised here in Ocala, and both had often visited the museum. At first the plan was to get married at the fountain in the garden, but nature had other plans, and we were completely okay with that, I always have a plan B.
We got married in front of our closest friends and family inside this beautiful room that has windows overlooking the beautiful garden scene behind us. It rained in the background, the violin played, and we got the honor of becoming each others better halves in the presence of those we loved and felt had some hand in our love for one another. The after party moved to a building that my aunt runs near the hospital, and it was the perfect fit for our guests. We had a dance floor, and a buffet style food area, we fish boned all our tables so it felt like guests were all sitting together. We danced all night, and even stuffed cake in each others faces when that time came. The day was a great reflection of who we are and the people that encompass that.
Fall 2014- we had photos taken by the same amazing photographer Laurie Wilson Photography, as an update for the house and family. We never really had professional photos taken in all of our years together so we decided going forward every few years we would attempt to make that happen.
Today is July 19, 2018
Tomorrow I will celebrate 5 years married to a man who has stolen a part of my soul. In a few weeks, we will celebrate 15 years of knowing someone that we have grown to never want to be without! I never ever take for granted what I have with Philip. I know that for some, finding that gut wrenching, butterfly empowering feeling never comes, or becomes too much to handle.
Our marriage isn’t something that I would say is easy or hard. Its a life that we both fight for, because we know how we feel in the end. Its the same feeling we have when we set our visions for our future. We can think of a day without one another, but we admit it makes us both sick, and lonely, and disoriented. We were made for one another, and I can attest that even if 40 years down the road we aren’t as strong as we are now, and this whole thing blows up in smoke, we will still both be able to say the same thing. We were made for one another.
One thing I want to point out is that, the Philip I met as a teen is not the same Philip I grew to know in our 20’s or even in our 30’s, and neither am I. Changes are a must, if your not changing you aren’t living. For us, change is key to becoming better versions of ourselves. It makes us better together and stronger when we are apart. Because at times we are apart, life is still meant to have those alone times and to take adventures that you can embrace with your friends and family. We cant always be together, we would never remain sane individuals, but that time we do spend together, its worth every minute.
In honor of all the time we have together I decided to write my husband a love letter, one that reflects my original vows that I finalized 5 years ago tomorrow, and to add a little to it, for him. Publishing it to the online world is a decision that I made because I want our future to know LOVE, I want myself in the future to remember these words, not because I skimmed through old cards where I wrote it, but because sometimes even we need our own reminders of our emotions.
Handsome Mr Bair,
Almost 15 years of my 32 years on this earth has been graced with your presence! We started in Love, head over heels and Handsome, all these years later its not the same. Don’t freak out by that comment, embrace what I’m going to say next. To be almost 15 years into a relationship and have the gut feelings and emotions that I have is that crazy, insane, unbelievable love that I truly have only seen a glimpse of in the movies, or a romance novel, like Nana loved to read. We feel the same feels and embrace our challenges with positivity and determination and we own who we are as a couple, and as individuals. Those qualities alone are a huge reason we are where we are in our lives. Our love runs so deep that the phrase “giving up” doesn’t exist in our world. I’m gullible for you, you know the whole “he jumps, you jump” analogy…well that would be my first bridge jump! I couldn’t imagine a day in this world without your safety, support, and love. You guide me when I’m so caught up in life or lost in a process. Your witty in all the right senses and it becomes comical when your not: because then I get to be the smarty pants. You allow me to think the world of you, and you make that so easy to do. We are as normal as it gets, so even our arguments become a part of what I love about us, not always at the time. We argue for a reason and always grow into better human beings because of them. We appreciate one another so much to a point that we have this idea of how to resolve our issues, and as partners we each take that responsibility when we know it arrives. We share in our dreams as much as we do our reality, and that’s what I think has always made us strong. I’m not speaking of the fantasy, go to sleep, dreams; I’m speaking of the world of reality and possibilities. We are realists with big hopes and dreams for ourselves and those we surround ourselves with. Every day you make me want to be a better person, and you don’t do it in any fancy fashion you do it by loving me the way you do and making me feel like I have a place with you, and a purpose in this world. Life comes at us in so many ways, and speeds that we feel like we are being tested more than we could ever imagine. Knowing I have that comfort and love with you makes going to sleep and waking up the simplest joys in life.
July 20th, 2013 MY VOWS: “I always knew this day would come for me, I didn’t know it would be 10 years later with someone as generously caring as you. I’m proud to become your wife, you let me be and always stand in support of whatever I decide to go after. To love and be loved is the biggest part of balance in my life. You complete me, as corny as that sounds. What we have some people go a lifetime without and I couldn’t be more deserving of you, well of us. When I loose my way I look at myself through your eyes and it motivates me. I’ve always held you in the highest regard. I vow to continue to inspire your dreams just as you’ve always done for me and to make sure you love life. I promise to always respect you with kindness, unselfishness, and trust. You are my best friend. I’m ready to give you my hand and heart and pledge my soul to love you unconditionally. I believe everyone has a perfect match and my perfect match is you.
Love forever and more,
Pamela Christine Poole Bair
Our most recent updated photos were taken in April by a family friend, who has just started in her art of photography, Kristin Ludington of Ludington Photography.