Thirteen years ago today I married my best friend. Lucky me!
Other than marrying Paul, the thing that stands out the most as I think back on our wedding is the group of people who celebrated the day with us. It’s the last time that we had our family and closest friends together in one place. It was a small wedding; just 60 or so people, but very special people. Some of those people are no longer with us. Uncle Jerry. Captain Ed. Bill.
We were married at the First Lutheran Church in West Barnstable, Massachusetts with the reception in the exquisite glass conservatory at the Daniel Webster Inn in Sandwich. It was a picture perfect Cape Cod day.
Dad’s birthday preceded the wedding by a week. I took advantage of his being up at our house to send him on a sightseeing glider plane ride of Cape Cod. Dad studied aviation in college and is a retired U.S. Army colonel, so I thought he might enjoy a little extra fun on the flight and paid extra for a few air acrobatics. The flight was three days before the wedding and he had an absolute ball. For a while. At seven o’clock that evening we called 911 because he was having chest pains and we suspected he was having a heart attack. He spent the night in the hospital being evaluated. I spent the night worrying that Dad would not be able to walk me down the aisle. Turns out that he was okay, but got a serious lecture from the doctor who said 61 year-old men should NOT be pulling 4 ½ Gs in aerial acrobatics. At least he ended up with another story to entertain the troops with! No more acrobatics, Dad.
The rehearsal dinner was at a fun little restaurant on the water. It was too bad we couldn’t enjoy the view. A hurricane turned tropical storm had arrived and was drenching the Cape. At ten o’clock that night, I found myself in the bathroom heaving. I threw up throughout the night and got almost no sleep. The next morning I recall sitting in the beauty parlor getting my “up do” sipping Pepsi and willing myself to hold down a few saltines. At the church, Kate (my maid of honor) pulled out a bottle of champagne. I know my face turned green. All throughout the ceremony I kept chanting internally, “You’re going to be okay, you’re not going to be sick. You’re going to be okay, you’re not going to be sick.” I couldn’t eat one morsel of the incredible buffet I had so carefully planned. During picture taking Dad could tell that I was overcome by the heat and was not well and turned to Paul and said, “She’s all yours now.” The best picture that wasn’t taken was of me in a side room at the reception sitting in my beautiful wedding gown with a metal trash bin between my knees willing myself not to be sick. Food poisoning? Nerves? Who knows? I survived.
Then there was our honeymoon. We loaded up our back packs and our bikes and took the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard for a few days. We stayed in a quaint little bed and breakfast. Beware of the word “quaint” as an adjective. Our room had one miniscule shoe box sized window and no air-conditioning. And an itty-bitty bed to boot. As long as we were not at the B&B, life was good. We cycled all over the island. We browsed quaint little shops. We kayaked in the bay. We dreamed about the future. We ate at fun restaurants. We took a tiny sunfish sailboat out for my first sailing experience. We capsized said sail boat in the middle of the bay. I freaked because we were SURROUNDED by jelly fish. She who has always been a little suspicious about things swimming with you in the water that you can’t see screamed, “Get me up, get me up!” as I tried to scramble up on top of the boat. Paul thought I was yelling about my MAKEUP. He yelled back, “Screw your makeup!” We finally made it back to shore a lot wet and all but destitute. Paul’s wallet that held all of our money and our return ferry tickets was now sitting in the bottom of the bay. Can you guess who carries the money these days?
The good thing is that we can still laugh about these events and many more. After thirteen years there have been a lot more laughs and a lot of tears. I can count the fights on one hand. My hands are not big enough to hold all of the blessings; blessings that I would not have if Paul were not part of my life.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!