Solo festival outing brings back fond summertime memories - Catholic Courier
(Photo by Leonor and Ed Rivera)

(Photo by Leonor and Ed Rivera)

Solo festival outing brings back fond summertime memories

Ed and I were not only husband and wife, we were best friends. We did so many things together. We especially enjoyed going to summer festivals. Our favorite was Fairport Canal Days.

Ed, the boys and I have gone to this festival almost every year. There are many memories of running into friends, music (jazz bands), crafts (the boys loved making their own layered colored sand in a bottle), food (kettle corn and artichoke French), and drinks (freshly squeezed lemonade and smoothies).

I thought it might be emotionally difficult to go alone for the first time without my beloved Ed. Would the memories be too painful, or would they be comforting? The only way I would know is if I went, so I did.

As I walked alone, memories flooded me. One memory in particular made me smile. After the boys were both in college, Ed and I went to Canal Days on a very dark, cloudy Sunday. It was the last day of the festival. Mid-afternoon it poured buckets of rain, and we got soaked to the bone. Instead of being upset, we had fun jumping in puddles, splashing each other and running from place to place while holding hands. Somewhere, the song we called the “Pina Colada Song” (the actual name is “Escape” by Rupert Holmes) was playing. We listened, stopped, slow danced and kissed in the rain. I remembered how that kiss sent shivers through me. I was crazy in love with Ed then and still am now. Remembering was so beautiful and comforting. I felt Ed’s love.

Here is the link to the song:

When you listen, I hope you will get up and dance with someone or alone and make a memory that will make you smile.


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. In honor of what would have been their 35th wedding anniversary on June 21, Leo has decided to donate $100 application fees to the first 35 couples that sign up for the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend Nov. 12-14 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua. Couples can apply at and use the discount code ED&LEO35.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit

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