• <p>Leonor and Ed Rivera dancing at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. (Picture courtesy of Emily and Stephen Nemeth)  </p>

    Leonor and Ed Rivera dancing at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. (Picture courtesy of Emily and Stephen Nemeth)

  • <p> Ed Rivera doing the knee dance at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. </p>

    Ed Rivera doing the knee dance at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. (Picture courtesy of Emily and Stephen Nemeth)

  • <p>Leonor and Ed Rivera dancing at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020.</p>

    Leonor and Ed Rivera dancing at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. (Picture courtesy of Emily and Stephen Nemeth)

  • Leonor and Ed Rivera, along with their son, Jordan, doing the Chicken Dance at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020.

    Leonor and Ed Rivera, along with their son, Jordan, doing the Chicken Dance at the wedding of Emily and Stephen Nemeth March 14, 2020. (Picture courtesy of Emily and Stephen Nemeth)

Keep dancing instead of sitting out

Leonor Rivera/Catholic Courier    |    10.22.2020


Ed and I had a dance-off in college in a disco that was once a barn. He brought a group of guys. I came with a group of girlfriends. At some point, someone said girls could last longer than boys dancing. We all started dancing around 9 p.m. The place closed at 1 a.m. Ed and I were the last two left while they played the closing song, “Last Dance” by Donna Summer.

When I listen to that song now, I remember how much Ed LOVED to dance.

We went out dancing a lot before our sons were born. After they were born, we danced a lot at weddings. We created a formal dance called the “Lovers’ Ball” and made sure it included dancing. We took lessons. Ed would surprise me and twirl me in the kitchen. He would say, “Let’s dance” and pull me close, and we would start dancing. During the pandemic, he did this often. We would hug and kiss after and laugh.

Ed was excited when our younger son, Sean, took dance lessons in college. He said dancing helped him be popular in high school and gave him confidence. He hoped it would do the same for Sean. Ed’s first girlfriend was a senior, who asked him, a junior, to the prom because he could dance.

I have a video on my phone of Sean’s dance final exam. We would watch it now and then, and Ed would proudly take credit for Sean’s “smooth moves” and confident “swagger.”

Ed liked the words to the song “I Hope You Dance.”

I think Ed wants me, our songs, our family and friends to keep dancing. I think he hopes we don’t sit it out. I think Ed wants us to dance.

—-

Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a heart attack on Aug 1, 2020. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter, visit www.wwme.org. The next in-person Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is Nov. 20-22 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua. Or try the new virtual multiweek experience. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.

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