Danny Perasa (DP) and Annie Perasa (AP)
DP: She started to talk, and I said, ‘Listen, I’m gonna deliver a speech.’ I said, ‘At the end, you’re gonna want to go home.’ I said, ‘You represent a dirty four letter word,’ I said, ‘That word is love.’ I says, ‘If we’re going anywhere we’re going down the aisle because I’m too tired, too sick and too sore to do any other damn thing.’
And she turned around and she said, ‘Of course I’ll marry you.’ And the next morning I called her as early as I possibly could.
AP: And he always gets up early. [Laughs]
DP: To make sure she hadn’t changed her mind, and she hadn’t. And every year on April 22 around three o’clock, I call her and ask her if it was today would she do it again, and so far the answer’s been the same.
AP: Yeah, twenty five times yes. [Laughs]
DP: You see, the thing of it is, I always feel guilty when I say, ‘I love you’ to you, and I say it so often. I say it to remind you that as dumpy as I am, it’s coming from me. It’s like hearing a beautiful song from a busted old radio. And it’s nice of you to keep the radio around the house.
AP: If I don’t have a note on the kitchen table, I think there’s something wrong. You write a love letter to me every morning.
DP: Well, the only thing that could possibly be wrong is that I couldn’t find a silly pen.
AP: ‘To my princess, the weather out today is extremely rainy. I’ll call you at 11:20 in the morning.’
DP: It’s a romantic weather report.
AP: And, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’
DP: When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day, there’s a shelter when you get home. There’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’ Being married is like having a color television set, you never want to go back to black and white.
AP: The illness is not hard on me, it’s just, you know, the finality of it. And him, he goes along like a trooper.
DP: Listen, even downhill, a car doesn’t roll unless it’s pushed and you’re giving me a great push. The deal of it is, we try to give each other hope and not hope that I’ll live, hope that she’ll do well after I pass, hope that people will support her, hope that if she meets somebody and likes him, she marries him.
AP: Yeah, he has everything planned.
DP: I’m working on it. She said it was her call. She wants to walk out behind the casket alone. I guess that’s the way to do it because when we were married, you know how your brother takes you down, your father takes you down? She said, ‘Well, I don’t know which of my brothers to walk in with, I don’t want to offend anybody.’ I says, ‘I got a solution.’ I said, ‘You walk in with me, you walk out with me.’ And the other day I said, ‘Who’s gonna walk down the aisle with you behind the casket?’ You know, to support her. And she said, ‘Nobody; I walked in with you alone, I’m walking out with you alone.’
AP: Mm hmm.
DP: There’s a thing in life where you have to come to terms with dying. Well, I haven’t come to terms with dying yet. I want to come to terms with being sure that you understand that my love for you up to this point was as much as it could be and it’ll be as much as it could be for eternity. I always said, ‘The only thing I have to give you was a poor gift and it’s myself.’ And I always gave it. And if there’s a way to come back and give it, I’ll do that too. Do you have the Valentine’s Day letter there?
AP: Yeah. ‘My dearest wife, this is a very special day. It is a day on which we share our love, which still grows after all these years. Now, that love is being used by us to sustain us through these hard times. All my love, all my days and more. Happy Valentine’s Day.’
DP: I could write on and on about her. She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, ‘Wouldn’t you like a little ice cream?’ Or, ‘Would you please drink more water?’ I mean, those aren’t very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now and never will be another Annie.