There was still a lot of love between Valerie Bertinelli and her ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen.
The One Day at a Time alum, 60, shared a beautiful tribute to her spouse of 20 years, the Van Halen guitarist who died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 65. The couple, who married in 1981 and separated in 2001 before divorcing in 2007, share a son, musician Wolfgang. They were there — along with Van Halen’s second wife, Janie Liszewski, when he died.
Along with a black-and-white photo of the trio together when Wolfie, now 29, was a baby, Bertinelli wrote, “40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments.”
She ended her post with, “I will see you in our next life, my love.”
Bertinelli and Van Halen, with their matching haircuts and parallel stardom, were one of the most popular celebrity couples in the ‘80s. She was the “good girl” — TV’s sweetheart as Barbara Cooper on One Day at a Time with a reputation as a wholesome girl next door in real life — when she fell for the “bad boy” rock star.
Bertinelli said she had a crush on the guitar player before they met backstage at a Van Halen concert. He, of course, had seen her on One Day at a Time, which was a mega-hit. While they seemed different on paper, she said they bonded over their strict upbringings — and she was charmed that he still lived with his parents. (“I mean, does Mick Jagger live with his mother?” she told People.)
She was just 20 when they were married in 1981, with Van Halen calling it, “Best thing I’ve ever done,” despite it going against his group’s rock star vibe. However, their differing career paths and lifestyles put strain on their relationship — and his alcoholism worsened as he toured and dealt with band drama.
They also wanted kids right away, but it didn’t happen with Bertinelli losing a pregnancy in 1986. In wasn’t until 1991 that they welcomed Wolfie, who was always their focus despite their issues.
Van Halen’s struggles with alcohol and drug abuse worsened with him to go to rehab several times, and he battled tongue cancer, leading him to have one-third of his tongue removed. The couple separated in 2001 — as he announced that he was cancer-free. They didn’t rule out a reunion, but she ended up filing for divorce in 2005 and it was finalized in 2007.
Van Halen was later diagnosed with throat cancer, with it becoming public after he was hospitalized in last fall after a reaction to his cancer drugs. TMZ reported at the time he had been getting radiation treatment for five years prior. He succumbed to his cancer on Tuesday, Wolfie — who went on to play with his dad in Van Halen — announced.
And both Van Halen and Bertinelli found love again after their split. After several years of dating, Bertinelli married Tom Vitale in 2011. And in 2008, he became engaged to his publicist, Liszewski — also an actress, stuntwoman and dancer. They were married in 2009 and she was, of course, also by Van Halen’s side — with their blended, modern family — when he died.
Liszewski broke her silence on Wednesday sharing a photo of her and Van Halen sitting on the beach together.
“My husband, my love, my Peep, she wrote. “My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces. I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness. Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I have ever had to do so instead I say so long, I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow. Please watch over Kody and I. We love you and miss you so very much.”
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: