Remembering What Love Is

I wrote this piece, “Remembering What Love Is”, May 7th of this year.  The one year anniversary of Tony’s death. I cannot tell you what it feels like to have lost the love of my life. I can tell you that I write about this experience because I want people who have endured this kind of pain, to know that they’re not alone. And I want those who don’t understand, to know what a beautiful man I was touched by. This man was my world. The only man in my life, thus far, to have touched me so deeply.

On August 4, 2010, Tony and I drove to Santa Barbara to see Stevie Nicks. It was his first Stevie show. I got him right to the stage when she encored with “Edge of Seventeen”, and I snapped a pic of Stevie, just as she was reaching down to grab Tony’s hand. I will never forget the childlike joy on his face when she grabbed him. Coincidentally, this was the first show that Stevie ever performed the piano ballad, “Love Is”. She closed the set with that song. Tony and I held hands, watching her sing this intimate ballad about Love found…and Love lost. So, to answer anyone’s question…My favorite song by Stevie will ALWAYS be “Love Is”. It reflects the love I feel for Tony. Our relationship. And the terrible sadness that I feel to this day, after losing him. This is, “Remembering What Love Is”

Remembering What Love Is

Four years ago, January 28th, 2010….

I went out on a date with a man named Tony Serafini. Soon after that first date, I fell in love.
Hopelessly, passionately, uncontrollably in love. Tony was the most significant, beautiful, kind, infuriating creature I have ever met in my life.
Suffice to say, over the course of 2 1/2 years, Tony became the Beauty to my Beast.
He was refined, poised, soft spoken, kind to everyone he met, and held himself with a level of dignity that I could only hope to one day achieve.
There were so many qualities about Tony that made me love him, and that made me want to grow to be a better man.
Today will always mark the anniversary of not only the day I met my greatest love, but a crucial turning point in my life.
Love is the first night we had dinner together and I had to excuse myself to use the bathroom. I literally went in the stall and prayed to God to calm my fears because you were so beautiful and intimidating to me. 
Our first Valentines Day together downtown. The polaroid we took together at dinner. You holding my hand in “straight” public for the first time. Line dancing together at Mo’s, and  the two of us tripping all over the dance floor because you told me to lead and then you insisted on leading. All those nights you would wait for me to get comfortable in bed with you and then tell me that you wanted dessert. How many times I walked from your apartment to City Deli to get your carrot cake and black and white cookies. I made that walk easily 100 times in 2 1/2 years and I bitched every time, but smiled to myself cuz I loved how happy and content you would look eating your desserts. Love is the big smile that would break out across your face when I called you, “Lil’ Babies”. And you would cry out to me, “Papa!!” All of our trips to Sunset Cliffs, where we sat at the cliff that we called the “Edge of the World”, and shared our Quiznos sandwiches with one another. The way you melted every time I called you my “Sweet Prince”. Love is the way you would sing to me and how much you shined when I praised your beautiful voice. The gut level laughter we shared when you mimicked Ms Shug from the Color Purple. Santa Barbara…The awe you had in your eyes as we drove up the freeway along the cliffs, with the mist coming in off of the ocean. You and me, Standing on the beach, holding hands…staring at the sea. The way you were reduced to childlike giggles when Stevie Nicks grabbed your hands at the Santa Barbara show. You shouted, “I’m never washing my hands again!” Love is, the way you grabbed my hand when Stevie closed the show with her piano ballad, “Love Is”. Our song,  Italian Summer, which we agreed would be our first dance at our wedding, while both our mom’s watched us. Snow ball fights at the top of the mountains, overlooking Palm Springs. You proudly strutting around in underwear that said, ‘Property of Mr Capra”. God, how you loved to be the center of my world! And babe…You always were. Taking you shopping for clothes and how happy you got when I pampered you. I never loved making another man smile, more than I did you. The way you came bounding to my door, unannounced, when I didn’t return your calls cuz I was sick and slept in. You had tears in your eyes, you were so worried. No man had ever been so chivalrous towards me. I cried when I saw how much you cared and loved me. ALL OF OUR DINNERS OUT! God, babe…You and I loved our food!! Laying in bed, holding hands, discussing life, and where we were headed. Mob Wives, Dancing With The Stars, True Blood, Real Housewives of Atlanta, New Jersey, and Beverly Hills, and of course..your favorite…The Vampire Diaries. Me begging you for one more kiss every night and you pushing me away…but always giving in. Lady Gaga twice. Watching you jump up and down with your hand up, fist  in a claw, with all the other “Little Monsters”. Reading, “Journey of Souls” together. Discussing each chapter intimately. We both truly believed in the accounts that were documented in that book, and we had so many amazing discussions about the souls journey after it departs the physical world. Beautiful hotels we stayed at. Laying at the resort pools and lounging together. The many beautiful emails and letters we wrote one another over the years. Watching you dance your ass off at all the pride parties, saturday nights out, and holding you in my arms on the dance floor. Our 2nd Valentines Day…You walked into my apartment and it was covered in rose petals, moon stones, rose quartz, tiger eye, and candles EVERYWHERE. I will never forget the expression of surprise and joy when you said, “You did all this for me???”  
For you…babe. It was easy. It was one of the greatest privileges I ever had, just to make you smile. The sound of your laughter. It echoes through my mind as I write this. Love is, your beautiful monotone voice. The sweet scent of your cologne on your soft skin. The night you told me you were falling in love with me. Sitting in my car. Peter Gabriel’s, “In Your Eyes”, playing on the radio. I melted. I loved you from the day we met. I just never had the courage to say it until that night.
Every man I have ever dated before and after you was living in Nick’s world. You were the first man to bring me out of my world. We shared a world together. Sometimes we clashed. But, you took me so far out of myself, babe. I woke up every morning thinking about what I was going to do to make you smile that day, and went to sleep peacefully when I knew I had succeeded. 
You were the love of my life.
Thank you, my sweet, precious prince. Thank you for blessing me with the most amazing adventure I have ever experienced with another human being.
And thank you, from the bottom of my heart , for teaching me what love truly is.
In loving memory of Anthony Charles Serafini
June 1, 1967 ~ May 7, 2013
Here is the link to the live version of “Love Is.”
Below…Pictures of Tony and I, Aug 4, 2010, at the Stevie show in Santa Barbara. And, the pic I got of Steve, right as she was reaching down to grab Tony’s hand,
Stevie Nicks 8-4-10 001 copy
Stevie Nicks 8-4-10 051


12 thoughts on “Remembering What Love Is”

  1. Oh my Sweet Nick! This is what true love feels, touch, smell like! You certainly poured your sweet heart out, and I love you for it! My dearest Nick, true love never dies! Your Tony will be here now and forever! Love you my friend always! Your heartfelt Friend Anthony!

  2. OMG! Beautiful is the only word I have for this! Thank for writing this and allowing us to know what your relationship with Tony meant to you. To know that kind of love for another human (outside of our family) is amazing. Whilst Tony may not be here physically, he is definitely here spiritually. Always watching over you. He will continue to smile when you smile, laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. And I’m sure whispers in your ear when need encouragement. The love you had and experienced with Tony will never go away. You just store it in a sacred place where you can draw on it when you need to. Again thank you for sharing.
    Love you xo

  3. The talent of a good writer is the ability they possess to touch the lives of another. You, Nick, have expressed such talent tenfold through the brave, raw honesty of your piece ‘Remembering What Love Is.’

    Age might not have necessarily given me wisdom but all I can say to you is this: love is universal, it is a journey that you cradle safely in your arms and allow to run wild with equal measure. That you have been willing to surrender yourself to the vulnerability of a relationship, to the pleasure and the pain, is a joy to be celebrated.

    Own the love you shared with Tony, embrace and cherish the memories you created as the treasure that they are and allow that enduring love to shape your future by respecting your past.

    Great love can last a lifetime. Great love can be found in a lost weekend with little chance of existing beyond the here and not. Great love can be felt in one glance. It is not the duration, rather the intensity of passion that you share.

    So caught up in the expectations of perfection we sometimes forget that love doesn’t always come with the ending we desire. Everything is a roll of the dice. It is a thing of beauty that you share with your readers – the journey of your love, the participation, the heartfelt joy of being together.

    Anyone who has a heart will offer your their compassion, their support. As the song lyrics say in a roundabout way: I’m glad I didn’t know which way our love would go, the way it all would end. Life is better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance.

    Your dance with Tony is inspirational.


      1. An unexpected kind and thoughtful word is like sunshine on a rainy day. Thank you Nick and Anthony for such an unexpected and appreciated courtesy.

  4. Wow.

    This post is beautiful. You’ve written and expressed your love so eloquently.

    My heart aches when I read this, (and this isn’t the first time I’ve read it)…my heart hurts for you. I’m so sorry to know the loss you’ve suffered. And I admire your ability and strength to remember the good times and not feel bitter…I don’t think I’d be so good at it.

    I hope you find another love, that you’ll know that sort of happiness with someone again…I’m sure Tony would want that for you, because he loved you the way you loved him.

    All the best,

  5. I’ve known you on twitter for a few months. Of course I’ve flirted with you, you’re beautiful. This isn’t meant as a diss but I had NO IDEA whom you were until I read this. I’m in tears. I love that you opened up about something so personal. I think I am crushing on you a bit more now. One day you will find love again…he’s gonna be a lucky guy.

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