It was twelve years ago on a somewhat cold and snowy Friday that we were married.
Nevermind that snowstorm the night before that sent your mom into a panic. She swore that all the family from Cleveland weren't going to come. They all made it and seemed to have a great time!
Nevermind that my grandpa was in the hospital, having had emergency eye surgery and he might not make it. He did make it though, with 45 minutes to get to the church on time. Just enough to get home, get in his suit and go! I was so surprised that he was there.
Nevermind that you burned the top of your foot earlier that week and thought that you wouldn't be able to wear shoes. I told you to go barefoot. I told you to wear rollerskates. I told you to do whatever you had to do to get to the end of that aisle. You were at the end of the aisle, smiling so wide that I think that for a brief time, you forgot about your excruciating pain.
Nevermind that my mom and dad were in a horrible accident about a week and a half before the wedding. Nevermind that the dumb guy at the hospital told me that my parents had been "Life Flighted" even though they were taken by "Life Line," the ambulance service that they have in Medina. Nevermind that though they were both feeling like they were smacked by a huge truck (because they were), mom still did the flowers and my dad still came to the university to try to fix my ailing windshield wipers that decided to quit working during a snowstorm that wedding week. Mom and Dad were both well enough to get themselves turned around and had a great time at the wedding. You would have never known by their joy that they were still a little stiff around the edges.
Nevermind that my sister's idiot husband who was separated from her decided to come to their home a week before our wedding, beat her senselessly which broke the blood vessels in her eyes, bruised her and made her look a wreck. She was more concerned about the wedding and the fact that she would not walk down the aisle with glasses on. She came out fine, pressed charges against him and was thinking about tick-tick-ticking down the aisle with a blind man cane to make her way. My sister looked beautiful. Her eyes cleared so that she could wear her contacts. She came to the house, did my hair and make-up, lied to the people on the phone that self-invited (of course we assumed that they got the invitation, never responded but knew they were coming so we put them on the list) and got that all handled. She took me to the car wash to get our car all sparkling. She threatened to hold me down and give me something to calm my nerves.
You see, I wasn't nervous about marrying you. Shoot, we knew that we were done with the dating bit after a week of having been together. We had talked about adoption then. Neither one of us found dating a pleasurable experience. We were happy to have found each other. What I had been nervous about was that the weeks before the wedding, I was still in school. I had gone through all the nerve-racking stuff on auto-pilot. It was my first moment to sit and fully take in the magnitude of all the crud.
I spent the morning of our wedding vomiting. My little brother held my hair back. I called you crying. You were worried. Again, it wasn't you. It was everything else. You were the one sure thing that I knew was good.
Our wedding was wonderful. It was everything that we wanted it to be. We were married in an historic old church in the middle of the traffic circle in the town where I grew up. The church was constructed such that the bride got dressed in the front room, exited and re-entered from the back. I still remember the girls carrying the train to my dress-- what ended up being an extended cathedral length train due to the fact that I'm so short that I had to have 11" cut off the length. The cars drove by and beeped. It was so much fun.
And yes, I wore tennis shoes. Mom and Dad know my gracefulness. They were concerned that I would fall in the snow and ice.
We had a candlelight service with my friend playing the pipe organ and my great aunt singing. My aunt had stepped forward only a week previous to the wedding to inform us that she would be singing. When Aunt Donna, a world trained opera singer, tells you that she will be singing at your wedding you tell her thank you and fit her in.
I still laugh thinking about how you nodded your head the entire time. So many people commented about how they were so touched that you were so much in agreement. Little do they know that you didn't pay attention to anything and that you nod your head when you are nervous.
You almost dropped the wedding band. Out of nervousness, you twirled it around on your shirt and I can only think what the look on my face was. I was chanting in my head, "DON'T DROP IT! DON'T DROP IT!" You didn't.
We didn't even light the place on fire when we did the unity candle. Oh the stories that would have come from that.
We had such a great time at the reception, but ended up a little late. Mom and Dad took my coat with my car keys. Pastor Henry went to the reception hall, got the keys and came back. Too bad they were the wrong set. The twins AKA the best men, decided to do a "Big Ben, Parliament Kids" around the circle and found us with NO way to the reception. They loaded you, me and my overly large dress into the Jeep Wrangler and got us off and on our way. You know what? I didn't even intend to get that big ole dress. I just loved it in the picture. It made me cry. The good tears, that is.
Did I say what a great time we had? My dad had the people at the reception leave the Star Wars cut-out's out. And yes, we still think that Eddie Michael got out with Yoda. (It's been the joke for years, Janeen. He probably didn't, but it's the joke that sticks, ya'know? It would be even funnier if he really did!) We had so much fun that we didn't even leave the reception until about 1 AM. I remember going back to our apartment with a cart load of wedding gifts and pushing them down the hall at nearly 2 AM, with a guy looking out of his door to see what was going on. Again, I was in my big ole gown and you were in your tux. I think that it didn't take long for the guy to figure it out.
Over the years, we've been through thick and thin. We've trudged through some things and happily skipped through fields of flowers on others. But as we had on our wedding invite:
If the sun refused to shine,
I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea,
There will still be you and me.
Still is darlin'. Forever.