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Love Bytes * Renaissance Bride * Summer Dates and Fun Romance Ideas
July 02, 2012

Love Bytes, Issue #049-- The Renaissance Bride * Fun Summer Dates * Romance Ideas

July, 2012
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"Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other".

~Jubal Harshaw; Robert Heinlein in Stranger In A Strange Land

The Renaissance Bride


They met online, then disaster struck...

They were married in March, under towering live oaks in beautiful Audubon Park. The bride wore a copper-colored gown and carried orange and yellow tulips; the bridegroom wore a dark-blue tuxedo and a black silk bow tie.

They decided to marry in New Orleans because they felt an affinity for the town, and it's recent destruction and climb back to life. The future looks bright for this loving couple, but it wasn't always that way...

Bernadette Murray and Randy Fertel met at an online dating site in 2004. She was an urbane, sophisticated advertising executive in Manhattan, he an instructor at the New School in New York, as well as head of the educational Fertel Foundation in New Orleans.

Bernadette was attracted to Randy's online portrait, with his tousled hair, goatee, and "earnest face". She answered his ad, and they soon had a date at a Greenwich Village restaurant. “It was not a great first date,” she said. “All his answers were monosyllabic.”

The evening was salvaged, however, during the long walk they took afterwards, and a good night kiss earned Randy a second date with her. Subsequent dates went more smoothly, but it was on a visit to New Orleans that Bernadette truly fell for Randy. She met his longtime circle of friends. “Creeps don’t have good friends,” she said.

Randy was enamored, too. “Here was this incredible, successful executive who was at the top of her game, but wasn’t cutthroat,” he said of his new love.

Bernadette is the energetic go-getter, the one who keeps guests’ wineglasses filled, asks about co-workers’ children and takes home-cooked meals to sick relatives. At least she was until disaster struck. She started having chest pains, which led to tests and eventually a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. They had only been dating for a few months when their relationship was put to the ultimate test.

She tried to let him off the hook, telling him that she didn’t expect him to endure what appeared to be a long illness. He responded by showing up at the hospital with a diamond ring. “I felt like she needed to know I wasn’t going anywhere,” said Randy.

Bernadette received a bone-marrow transplant in September 2005, and she became bald, wilted to 88 pounds and couldn’t go out in public for nearly a year, while her immune system was weak.

She was embarrassed to be so needy and fragile in front of someone she had only dated for a short time, she recalled. “I weighed nothing, my head was swollen, and my hair was coming out in clumps, so we had a barber come shave my head,” she said. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t lift my head.”

She recalled one day when Randy showed up with tubes of fancy skin lotions: “I looked down and thought,"There is this man at the end of the bed that I hardly know who is rubbing my feet so that I’ll feel better”. Bernadette slowly recovered from the leukemia, but a second deadly blow struck in January of 2006... breast cancer!

“I thought this was just about too much,” Randy said. “But I couldn’t bring myself to desert her. She needed me.” Because she was too fragile for chemotherapy, she had a mastectomy followed by breast-reconstruction surgery. Six months later, by July 2006, her blood work showed no sign of cancer. The couple now splits their time between New York and New Orleans.

At their wedding ceremony on March 10, the jazz musician Kermit Ruffins played “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” a traditional New Orleans funeral dirge, for their processional. Ben Fong-Torres, a Universal Life minister, led a service in which he talked about Bernadette's illness and how at one point in their courtship she had swooned when Randy played for her an Olu Dara tune that went: “Your lips, your lips, your lips are juice-saaayyyy like a Louisiana plum".

After the ceremony Mr. Ruffins and his band struck up an upbeat and joyous tune, and led the guests to a reception at Randy's home, which borders Audubon Park. Guests then gathered in the dining tent for a tasty New Orleans feast. And Randy sat beside his rosy-cheeked bride in her Renaissance.

--- Condensed from a lovely story
By Katy Reckdahl

*** Read more great true tales of true love in our section Love Stories


Fun in the Sun: Fun Summer Date Ideas
by Jeremy Reis

It’s sum-sum-summertime; the imagination conjures up beach music, pool parties, barbecues and tall, cold drinks. Summer is a time for enjoying the outdoors, getting hot and sweaty, indulging by the poolside and eating ice cream on a cone. Summer is about lazy, hot days and torrid, fun-filled nights. It’s about the laughter we enjoyed as children and the sheer number of opportunities for dates and fun that summer offers us.

Summer has baseball and even non-sports fans find attending a game for the first time is its own kind of magic. Sharing a hot dog and listening to the roar of a crowd as you cheer on your home team reminds you why this is America’s pastime.

If sports don’t appeal, try a water park. You may be stressed about your first date in a bikini, but honestly – all that matters is how much fun you can have riding down rapids, shooting down slides or just floating over the lazy river. Water parks are a unique source of fun in the summer, amusement parks are usually crowded with long lines, but even in a crowded water park – there’s something to do that doesn’t require a line.

Water parks and baseball not really sounding that appealing? Many cities host a “Taste of” night where restaurants and other local businesses host a fair of sorts. Food of all varieties filling the air with mouth-watering scents. For a relatively inexpensive cost, you can wander through and sample the different delicacies available. There might be music, dancing, fireworks and street artists as well. This is a date as opposite the ballpark or water park as you can find!

There’s so many opportunities in the summer that are worth exploring from night time concerts to Shakespeare in the Park to renaissance festivals to ice cream cones and day trips to the beach. There are so many possible fun experiences in the summer time, that if you don’t see one here that you would like to try – invent one of your own. In the summer – anything is possible.

*Romance Tip:
Why, we have an entire section devoted to
fun and unusual romantic ideas to steer you in the right direction with your sweetie!


We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Love Bytes Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, quote or poem, plus fresh new articles on love, intimacy, dating and relationships.


Cause if you don't have love, nothing else matters...


~Stella and the girls from

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