The Wedding

When it comes to our children, grown and all, I’m slow at revealing much of their lives. Even joyous ones like a wedding. However, I have no issues with showing pictures of the grand-daughter any time! 😀

I share so much of my heartaches and fears with you how can I not share the joys?

First, a humble thank you to those who prayed for our travels and prayed for my strength and my heart as we saw a son married and a mother with no recognition of her children or grandchildren. You are awesome!

The venue for the wedding was the Venetian Resort and it was absolutely beautiful. From the door man and accordion player at the entrance to the grand halls with murals on the ceilings and marble under foot. It was near sensory overload to take it in.

The wedding itself was small. The bridal party consisted of the bride, groom and minister (aka groom’s father). A gathering of 30 to 40 family and friends (mostly friends) were there to share in the joy and the joy was so evident on the faces of the sweet couple.

My two best men

brother and sister

with my boy

The backdrop was an interior courtyard and was just perfect.

The perfect music accompaniment

My pictures aren’t the best as it’s not easy being mom-of-the-groom trying to be stealth about taking pictures. The professional has some fantastic shots and even asked the bride and groom if he could use them on his website for advertising purposes.

Photo apps on iPhones are great for some fun edits.

A dress change at the reception and the bride was radiant, her smile glowing as always.

May God’s love bind them, His spirit live in them and His Son be reflected in them.

His young wife (part 1)

Somewhere over these past 35 years, Henry started referring to me as his “young wife”. It’s never gotten an argument from me.

Thirty-give is a big one. It’s the kind of number that has me wondering where the time has gone and how can I possibly be old enough to be married for 35 years?

Our celebrations are simple and quiet and I wonder if that’s been a good thing to model for our children. Marriage should be celebrated more than so many other things. And celebrated with gusto. We have made exceptions. For our 25th we went to England. That was big.

Big weddings weren’t in vogue in the late 70’s or maybe they were but we weren’t part of that group. I seriously considered an outdoor wedding but I was to afraid to chance the weather. We married at the church where we’d officially met when he was dating someone else. I wanted him in white and everything else simple. My bouquet was three roses. One I gave to my mom on the up the aisle, the second given to my new mother-in-law on our way down the aisle and the third remained amid the greenery.

my new mother-in-law

Even our rehearsal dinner was simple with Henry choosing to have a steak cookout. He did the cooking. Mama couldn’t believe it. I think that’s the moment she decided she had a great son-in-law. We set up card tables in the church parking lot and gathered outside in some unseasonably cool South Florida weather. He sat at a table with his friends and I saw with my family and friends. So funny when I look back.

rehearsal dinner

That’s my head peeking out 

There isn’t the need to do big things for either of us. And that is one of the pleasures of a long marriage. To be comfortable with each other in quiet times. Still, I was thinking of a weekend trip. The thought of New England fluttered through my mind as the scenery this time of year would be beautiful. Then our son announced he’d be getting married in November and our plans changed. He’s giving us the opportunity to visit an area we’ve not spent much time in together: Nevada. Yes, his fiancé chose Las Vegas as their destination wedding and we’ve chosen to spend a few more days in that area celebrating our union in the southwest. Red Rock Canyon, Zion National Park, the pawn shop featured on Pawn Stars 🙂 We’ll even take a short trip up to see my mom.

irresistible

Two life long friendships

As I look back, the time seems short and yet it’s as  though we’ve always been part of each other. When I go through the pictures from that weekend I see faces of enduring friendships. A group of people who are now scattered around the country and some gone to heaven but that core group was a foundation built on a faith shared. It binds us still.

Thirty-four Years Ago Today

We were married. We were young. It was fast. I was scared. He was the one. Still the one. We’re not young. Life moves faster. He calms my fears. He’s the one.

I could leave it at that. Leave you wondering. Filling in the blanks with your imagination of all sorts of things. Really, it’s not that exciting. Except, every love story has its sparks.

Our first date was December 30, 1976. Henry’s 24th birthday. I was 19.(I’m not a first date remembering kind of person but being it was his birthday it’s easy and he can kid himself that I remember the date of our first date.) We had known each other from church for a few years but the timing wasn’t right.

One of my favorite pics of us.

Six weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, he proposed. I was struck with fright. Not surprised but scared. And not knowing that everyone has some fear. This is big. If we do this right we’ll do it better than my parents and 50+ % of Americans. But…..how do you know? How do I know?

I convince him we can’t tell anyone yet. My parents, neither of which lived in Florida, would freak. Everyone would, wouldn’t they? Why so fast? Really, I was giving myself time. I knew how I felt and I felt scared because….how do you know?

I wanted a spring wedding but not this spring. That would be in two months. He doesn’t want to wait until the next spring. So we compromise. The beginning of lasting relationships – compromise.

By my birthday in May, three months after he asked, we tell our parents and friends. Mama, the one hurt so badly from daddy’s rejection questions my age, my youth. She had been 16 when she married daddy and was 18 when I was born. She knew young.

Weddings were a lot more simple in the 70’s. No fancy sit-down dinners, at least not among our friends. We had a bar-b-que in the church parking lot for the rehearsal dinner. Ahhh youth.

How will I know he’s the one for more than now? The forever one?

I confess. It was his looks that first attracted me!

Here’s what I know. He’s smarter than me. He has always cared for me in a way that has my best interest at heart. He did and does put me first. He is a better person than me. He is the most giving man I know, this introvert that has no energy to talk to me at least two nights of the week. This man who prefers to sit in his “man cave” and watch golf to recharge for another day. He is the one.

He took this scared, insecure, orphaned girl who had no home and became my strength, my home.

It seems my opinionated strong will can intimidate some men. Not this man. Even my tears have never driven him away. Maybe starting out a little scared is a good thing. Maybe that prayer when I asked God to show me and he did? Yes, God answered. He gave me Henry.