Words by Brandie
Although there are many, one of my favorite memories is our first trip out of town together. We visited Denver, Colorado, for an Andra Day concert, who Lisette is friends with, and so I got to meet her (That was cool, and Andra has always remained humble and sweet to us). I remember watching Lisette during the concert, she didn’t know I was looking- more like starring, but I remember watching the different lights from the stage illuminating her face. I remember thinking, ‘this is how I always want to see her, smiling, happy, and singing her heart out.’ The next couple of days in Colorado were magic, we’re Florida girls, and we are NOT used to the cold, anything below 70 degrees calls for snow boots, turtle necks, and heavy fuzzy coats.
Lisette took me ice skating for the first time, and I can count on all ten of my fingers and toes and then all ten of her fingers and toes just how much I fell that night- the laughs were endless! Holding onto her while she skated alongside my wobbly baby chicken legs, gave me a comfort that may seem insignificant to others, but to me signified that she would always be the one by my side when I fall, and when I get back up. The encourager to try, try again.
I will remember the nights spent by the fire, talking about nothing and everything. I’ll remember being so cold, but there’s something so satisfying about how cold air fills your lungs, and it’s almost like taking your first breath after holding it for a while.
I will remember the smell of winter, and how it really does smell like Christmas!
I will remember the clear skies, and my wish I made on a star before we left on our last day. “I hope I marry this girl one day.’
Words by Lisette
My favorite memory of my wife is when we went on vacation to Maui. We planned our trip to be a cleansing and healing experience, as we had just opened a business and felt overworked. Hawaii was everything you’d expect it to be, mountains, waterfalls, locals, hula dancers, and defiantly felt like something out of a scene from Moana!
One day we went to the beach just a few skips from our hotel room; naturally, I jump right in, being a 4th generation Conch (that’s what locals are called in Key West), I was made for the ocean. The water is not like anything you’ve ever experienced. The waves take you in and hold you for a moment before letting you go. I like to think of them as hugs, some a little rougher than others. The water is so clear you notice your toes buried in the sand and the tiny shells that coat the ocean floor like tiles. I loved it.
Brandie, opposite of me, was watching from the shoreline, she was always afraid of the water, a fear imbedded in her as a child when her older brother told her that sharks lived in the pools, she never really let that one go! I called her over because she had to experience what I was experiencing. I knew that deep down, she wanted to know what it felt like to surrender to beautiful mother nature. About five declines later, and one small step after another, inch by inch, she was in!
For the first time in her life, she was neck-deep in the ocean waters. “Close your eyes, and let me hold you.” For a moment, I knew she thought I was crazy, but she trusted me. It’s like the Titanic moment when Jack is holding Rose at the top of the ship; only she wasn’t flying this time…but she sure was floating. The waves were gentle, almost like they knew her. With her eyes closed and me still holding her, she let herself go. The sweetest smile carved her face; I had never seen her look so peaceful.
“Are you ready to go under?” I asked, and surprisingly she said yes. On the count of three. One…two…THREE! One of my favorite memories will always be that moment when she came up for air. Her inner child was shining, pure happiness, a look, and feeling I will never forget.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
B: We had to learn to slow down. Right after we got married, we wanted babies! I know lesbians are moved in, married, and parents all within three-to-five business days! We started the IVF journey almost two months after marriage. Knowing nothing about the process and its toll on us mentally and physically, we learned the hardest and most painful way possible: miscarriage.
Science and medicine have come so far, and we were so excited to learn that I could carry Lisette’s eggs, as “natural” to the real thing as possible, having the love of my life’s baby. We saved up what we could, downgraded our car for the rest of the money, and began the process that would forever change our lives as individuals and as a couple.
Everyone talks about the happy parts; the baby, the support of family and friends and the preparation. Until you do some digging, only then do you find out about the struggles of infertility. The stress your body goes through mentally and physically, depression, seeing two positives on an at-home test, and then slowly watching those lines disappear as you miscarry a life you never will know but love so much.
It’s so much easier to talk about the happy things, but without rain, there would never be flowers, and without rain, no rainbows, and every gay loves their rainbows, and we live for the day we hold our rainbow baby! We learned to stop rushing, start believing in OUR time, be there for each other through the tricky stuff, and let the small things go. We learned that depression and anxiety are real, it exists, and there are so many people out there like us. There is help, there is support, and we always have everything as long as we have each other.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another
L: I love that she has always been able to make me laugh, it’s important to have a partner, but it’s essential to have a friend in a partner, and Brandie is that for me. She makes me laugh like a friend, and I’m convinced she’s giving me a workout the way my stomach hurts from belly laughter.
I love when she sings, she’ll say she’s not the greatest, and shy away from karaoke night, but she has a voice of an angel, and no one loves her shower concerts more than me! I’m front row every time!
Her heart is gold, she’s inspiring and creative, and she motivates me to be the best I can be every day.
B: Lisette is the most thoughtful and loving person I know. She told me a story once about a woman telling her that she had “never met a stranger,” meaning, she treats everyone like she knows them and respects everyone. She’s the girl holding the ‘free hugs sign,” the one giving her last if it meant putting a smile on someone’s face. I love that about her!
I love that she appreciates the little things, like lazy Sundays, and small Mom and Pop restaurants, and I love the way she watches the trees dance on a breezy day. She’s simple, she’s beautiful, and her soul is beyond this world.
What’s in the future for you both?
More loving, more laughter, more date nights, more snuggly Sunday mornings, more learning, compassion, empathy, and understanding of one another. More communication, more therapy (never a bad thing), Christmas mornings with our kiddos, and back to school pictures with tear-filled eyes, more grey hairs, and wrinkles that we both look forward to. We will always look to the future with nothing but a positive bright light.
Photographer Iris Moore Photography