If I strapped myself into a time travel machine today and traveled 33 years back to the past, I’d repeat this day all over again.
The year is 1977. It is morning. I just spent a restless night, not getting much sleep because my stomach is in an uproar. Nerves, no doubt.
It is pouring down rain on this first day of October, buckets and buckets of rain. I sit at my parents’ kitchen table sipping a hot cup of tea and trying to force myself to eat something, but I’m too keyed up to think much about food. As I gaze out the kitchen door, I watch rain water rush down the driveway like a gushing mountain stream.
“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” The childhood rhyme flashes through my mind and I do wish for the downpour to stop because today is my wedding day. Rain on your wedding day is supposedly an omen of things to come.
One old wives’ tale says that for every drop of rain that falls, you’ll cry the same amount of tears. In other words, be prepared for bad luck. On the other hand, some cultures believe rain smiles on you on your special day and you will be blessed with fertility and good fortune.
Since I’m not a superstitious person, I view the rain from a practical standpoint – my beautiful white gown, long flowing veil, and the bridesmaids’ dresses are going to get soaked, this will totally mess up everyone’s hairdo (although I am wearing a wash and wear hairstyle as are my bridesmaids), and the wedding photos we planned to have taken in my hometown’s riverfront park will be nixed.
But miraculously, a couple of hours before the ceremony, the rain ceases and the sun emerges from behind the clouds and dries up all the mud puddles. No sopping wet gowns, hair styles intact, sun beaming but still enough cloud coverage for lovely pictures. Nothing calms my nerves however; I still have massive butterflies making my stomach whirl and flurry as my father walks me down the aisle.
My groom experiences his own case of jittery nerves. During the ceremony, despite the coolness of the day, he sweats bullets. Realizing the seriousness of our vows, I am full of emotion and near tears. I can hear one of my sisters snuffling behind me. I imagine (and later I learn I am correct) that my parents are holding their emotions at bay also.
I gaze up at my handsome groom (he’s a good bit taller than me) and watch a drop of sweat roll down his forehead onto his nose and drop off the end of it. And then it happens, I want to laugh hysterically – out loud, a real belly laugh!
Now I must subdue giggles instead of tears. I realize that our minister is looking meaningfully at us and waiting for us to do…something. I search my groom’s face and he too looks expectantly at me. My mind is totally blank. Even though we wrote our own vows and planned this ceremony, I have no clue what we are supposed to do now!
Finally, my groom leans towards me and the light bulb flashes on! He’s going to kiss me but I still have my veil covering my face! I whisper “Wait!” and whip around to my best friend, my maid of honor, practically throw my bouquet of gorgeous fall flowers at her as she helps lift my veil. I hear a few chuckles from my family as my groom and I share our first kiss as man and wife.
The rest of the wedding celebration passes by in a whirlwind of fun, laughter, delicious food, and blessings with family and friends at the reception. Our wedding day is over, but our life together is just beginning. Now the rest of the story commences – the real journey.
The joys will come along with sorrow, excitement along with disappointments. Highs and lows of forging a life together with communication and cooperation despite disagreements, just like any other married couple experiences.
It is now 2010. The first day of October. It rained this morning and then miraculously, the sun emerged from behind the clouds.
I gaze up at my husband (he’s still a good bit taller than me), who has loved me, supported me, cared for me through thick and thin, for better and worse (and sometimes I’ve been at my worst!), in sickness and in health – the one who promised and vowed before God to continue doing so until death do us part. Thirty-three years later, I want him to know, “I’d do it all over again.”
“Love makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can reach out and become involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone.”
Happy Anniversary to my beloved husband!