Our Story

…our [the parents of the Mezzadri Twins] beginning…
written by Tony Mezzadri. February, 2007. For the  Leo Hamel catalog.

An Angel 

On the morning of July 26, 2003, we finally shared our first kiss.  This was no ordinary first kiss.  One obvious reason for the extraordinary nature of our kiss was the location; we were in the shower together, and it wasn't even our first shower together.  In fact, we had been in the shower together hundreds of times, and yet this was still just the first time our lips ever met.  Also unusual was the fact that we both knew ahead of time that this kiss, if we let it happen, would impact the rest of our lives.

So how did we meet?  How did we become so close prior to sharing our first kiss?  Certainly the words fate and miracle come to mind.

The spiritual explanation for how we met is quite simple: Stacie is an angel who flew down from the heavens, transformed from an angel into a beautiful female human being, and then set out to find me. 

The physical explanation is more complex and more of a miracle than the spiritual explanation.  More than 13 years ago I went surfing in Ocean Beach.  Unfortunately, (or as fate would have it) I severely injured my neck to the point of being completely paralyzed.  Thanks to an alert surfer nearby, I am alive today.  My physical condition has improved slightly over the last 13 years, but not much and I still require a lot of help from a lot of people. 

As a quadriplegic, I need help getting out of bed in the morning and getting into bed in the evening.  That probably doesn't sound too bad, but the reality is I need help with just about everything that happens in between getting in and out of bed as well.  By now, it's probably becoming clear how Stacie and I had the opportunity to share many showers together.

After growing up in the Bay Area, Stacie came to San Diego in 1999 to pursue a degree in Kinesiology at San Diego State University.  One day on her way to class she noticed a help wanted flyer.  The job description seemed interesting and the location was perfect, the only problem was the early start time.  Stacie loves to sleep in late, but something compelled her to go after this job even though she despises waking up early (more fate, miracle).  Needless to say she got the job for my morning care and by late in the year of 2001 she had moved into our family home so she could help with my nighttime care as well.  We became best friends.  We went through a lot together, and certainly not just in the cliché sense.  We knew each other’s hearts very well.  All along, however, I was very careful to never even let myself think about Stacie as anything but a friend.  I knew that one day she would come into my room and tell me about a guy she had just met.  The thought of that situation hurt because I would be losing a great friend, but I would have been genuinely happy for her.  After all, I felt a good thing could not last forever and I just wanted to appreciate the relationship we did have.

Something began to change early in the summer of 2003.  For some reason I allowed myself to think about Stacie as more than just a friend.  I slowly started becoming aware that she was looking at me a little differently -- or so I thought.  But could this be true?  Is it just because I'm looking at her differently?  And how in the world would I go about trying to figure this out without compromising our friendship? I could not do anything to ruin this relationship.  I've loved her and could have kept on loving her in this way forever.  The only way to go about it would be by taking very small steps -- I just had to be sure.  We spent the days of the summer of 2003 "flirting" ever so innocently and covertly, hiding behind the cloak of friendship until that fateful day in late July when our emotions spilled over.  We have not stopped kissing ever since and were married on July 29, 2006.  In my estimation, we are still on our honeymoon!

As it turns out, Stacie had been harboring feelings for me for a long time as well (many years actually).  One day we will share some of the details of our very long flirtation and even longer friendship, but for now they remain our secret.  What still amazes me every day is the question about choices and challenges we face.  There is no way a person would choose to take on the challenges associated with quadriplegia; it affects her life now as much as my own.  But here we are, and if I could go back to the day of my accident, I wouldn't change a thing -- I choose Stacie!

(of course our story does not end there... frankly it was just the begining, maybe Tony will put our rollor coaster journey to parenthood into words someday also)
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