Twenty three years ago, I married Chuck Picciuti. In an outdoor ceremony. With no plan B. Good thing the weather held!
January 1. My favorite day of the year? Maybe. Maybe so. For me, this day simultaneously holds joy and hope beyond compare coupled with incomprehensible grief. January 1, 1994. Me and Chuck. It cracked him up to introduce me thus, “This is my first wife, Jan.” So it is with irony that each January 1st, I reflect on life with my first husband, Chuck.
I am forever grateful for my years with Chuck Picciuti…for each laugh…for each ridiculous fight…for each jaw-dropping moment (and trust me, there were many.) My soul is etched with his name. Not a day goes by that I do not lean on a Chuck-Picciuti-lesson. The man taught me:
- To see and embrace the funny…in even the darkest of moments.
- Sometimes the rules need to be broken.
- Just act like you know what you are doing and people won’t question you. (This move is useful for crashing everything from a Spurs luncheon to the box seats of…any event really.)
- The mind has an amazing capacity to override the body.
- To trust my instincts.
- To fly by the seat of my pants.
- To. Do. Nothing. To just sit and be.
- When nervous or scared to try something new, to imagine the very worst that could happen and reflect on whether or not I could live with the worst outcome. This little exercise gets me to “jump,” more than anything else.
And of course, he taught me to grieve. He taught me that great love is worth great pain. He taught me that life can be filled with joy and laughter and light even after unspeakable loss.
He was a keeper. And so he stays…etched.