A Beautiful Couple And Their Story. The Last 2 Photos Destroyed Me.
Angelo Merendino wrote “The first time I saw Jennifer I knew. I knew she was the one. I knew, just like my dad when he sang to his sisters in the winter of 1951 after meeting my mom for the first time, “I found her.” A month later Jen got a job in Manhattan and left Cleveland. I would go to the city – to see my brother, but really wanting to see Jen. At every visit my heart would scream at my brain, “tell her!!” but I couldn’t work up the courage to tell Jen that I couldn’t live without her. My heart finally prevailed and, like a schoolboy, I told Jen “I have a crush on you.” To the relief of my pounding heart, Jen’s beautiful eyes lit up and she said “Me too!”
Six months later I packed up my belongings and flew to New York with an engagement ring burning a hole in my pocket. That night, at our favorite Italian restaurant, I got down on my knee and asked Jen to marry me. Less than a year later we were married in Central Park, surrounded by our family and friends. Later that night, we danced our first dance as husband and wife, serenaded by my dad and his accordion – ♫ I’m in the mood for love… ♫”
5 months after their nuptials, Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer. With this challenge, they grew even closer. The pain she endured from treatments was excruciating and she told him, “You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.”
After nearly 4 years of treatment, at the age of 39, Jen had to use a walker. Angelo’s photographs show the daily life of someone battling cancer; the fear, the loneliness, sadness and difficulty they endure every day, but it also shows the love they shared.
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