Viv and Grant’s bitter-sweet vows

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

610 Hits

LOVE TILL DEATH DO US PART:  Viv and Grant Meikel in Apia yesterday.

LOVE TILL DEATH DO US PART: Viv and Grant Meikel in Apia yesterday.

The Edge – Marina View restaurant had something special planned for couple Viv and Grant Meikle of Greenwald Point, Australia.

The staff had taken extra care to arrange a lovely table for their lunch under some beautiful drapery to make it even more special and private. 

The word had spread around the hospo industry in Upolu that Viv and Grant were here in Samoa on a very bitter sweet mission to fulfill both their wishes. 

Life had dealt these two soul mates a devastating blow in that their union in this lifetime was ending.

Viv tells The Weekend Observer that she had terminal brain cancer and the doctor’s prognosis gave her just a few months of life to live. 

Viv opened up to us that one of her final wishes was to renew her wedding vows.

Her husband’s wish was to visit Samoa, so the couple decided to weave both their hearts desires into one trip.  

“I have a brain tumor and this was one of my wishes to renew my wedding vows and my husband had always wanted to come here to Samoa so we thought while we’re here we might as well renew our vows and it’s just so pretty here,” said Viv, her voice breaking with emotion.

“I got the diagnosis on the 22nd of June 2015, I went for an MRI ….I’m going to get emotional now …  and they told me to go to the hospital and I went up there and they told me I have a brain tumor and I was told it wasn’t good. 

“I was transferred to another hospital where I stayed for three weeks and they were unable to go any further with the treatments. They told me that the cancer was terminal.  

“The doctor at the time said I have 3 years and 3 months to live and if that’s the case than I’ve got less than a year to live. But I’m just going to travel and do what I can – just keep going.”

Viv looked over at Grant with admiration and tells the Weekend Observer that her husband was her Champion.  

She recounts that through everything, he had been a pillar of strength for her and a partner to her in every sense of the word. 

She points to a tattoo of her image on Grant’s left arm and without any words conveys her absolute pride in him.

“We are partners. We travel well, we eat well and we drink well,” pointing to her husband’s arm.

 “That was me twenty two years ago. I had beautiful burgundy hair.”

“All you can do is take it day by day really, it’s always like a cloud hanging over you,” said Grant. 

“It never goes away unfortunately. You just got to try and make the most with the time you’ve got. Try not to look too much in to the future.”

Indeed the couple not only endured their fate, but pursued life with even more gusto when they booked their tickets to Samoa not wanting to waste single moment thinking about it.

 “We’ve been to Bali and Thailand and all those places, we’ve been everywhere but we’ve never been to Samoa and we wanted to do something different because everyone from Australia goes to Bali,” said Grant

Viv added: “.. and I said to him that I have a few things I need to do and I’ve done a couple already and this is a beautiful island, I said to him let’s get remarried. 

“As soon as we got to the hotel they organized Ruby to come do the ceremony. We’re staying at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s, I love to go out the mornings and sit by the pool in the afternoon, and it’s lovely and cool.”

The couple have been here almost a week and have tried to do as much as possible even though sometimes Viv’s condition makes it difficult for her to manage a full day without pain and the heat and long bouts in the car weakened her and made her pull back a bit. 

At one point, earlier in the week the couple thought they needed to return to Australia quickly as Viv’s health was looking dire but she persevered with determination to explore Samoa with her man.

“We’ve got a really good tour guide and taxi driver,” said Viv. 

“He’s so good and really reliable. Good price too, his name is Jimmy from Magic Taxis and he’s terrific. The people are really nice and polite. It’s just a paradise here, I don’t care what it costs – I really don’t. Price doesn’t mean anything.”

While the lovely couple was enjoying their meal, they were treated to yet another special gesture by the Owner who had organized for two dancers to perform in their honour. 

The girls gracefully danced the Siva Samoa to the delight of Viv and Grant and by the end of the item, the couple as well as the dancers were in tears, realizing a universal truth in a beautiful poignant moment  that nothing gold can stay.

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia