The skies are blue.
The storms have passed.
Now, we get on with the process of cleaning up.
In some cases starting over.
In some cases mourning our losses.
I know one young couple getting married this weekend.
Life goes on.
May we all celebrate our gifts and continue to make the best of what we have.
And if you can, help those less fortunate.
Remember: You Matter. Your Stories Matter. Tell Them Well!
The Storytellers Channel
Oh Happy Day
I never noticed the little, short-haired girl. I’m told she and her brother were volunteers. They painted the set and she sat beside the accompanist turning pages. It’s no real surprise. I was more interested in dating that pianist, than the child sitting on the bench next to her.
Ten years later, her father and another brother were working for the theatre company where I was the Artistic Director. I remember her then. Our paths crossed every now and then. She still had short hair. She was a fashion model, bright and sassy. She had an infectious smile and a wicked tongue. I later learned her last name was Irish for sharp tongue. She wasn’t a child anymore, but she was still a kid and anyway, I was happily married.
I moved from the world of theatre to the world of business. I lost track of many of my theatre friends. Twelve years ago, after twenty-five years, I ran into her at an association event. I was a new member and as I circumnavigated the room, I kept running into her. She and her companion, the wife of an actor friend, were the only two people I knew at the event. I’m not shy, but it can be daunting being the new guy in a tight-knit community. So, every time our paths crossed it was refreshing.
I saw her at the monthly association meetings. She was a sales rep for a business magazine, and we’d sit at the same table for lunch. I was at the end of my second marriage and living in my office while I was waiting for my wife to answer two questions: Did she want to be married? And if so, to me? Eventually, her decision was, “No.”
I waited awhile and asked her out.
Ten days after our first date, I was diagnosed with cancer. She said, “Come home with me. You cannot have cancer and live in your office.”
I moved in and she, along with my estranged wife and mother nursed me through my treatment. That’s a story for another time, but a testament of love in its own right.
I’m going to cut to the chase. Today is our eighth anniversary. We were married on 9.10.11 (September 10, 2011). Her father, my friend, Tom, who was himself battling cancer at the time, gave her away. Although he did offer to cover for her if she wanted to turn and run at the last minute. This was a common theme that day, one of the officiants, my dearest friend, Bob, kept asking her if she knew what she was getting into. She assured them all this was what she wanted. And I am deeply thankful.
It was a Happy Day, well almost.
Shortly after the Priest, another buddy, Bruce, announced we were husband and wife, my 81-year-old mother passed out. There are numerous doctors, nurses and even a vet among our friends and family. So, she was well taken care of as we waited for the ambulance. Marie stayed at the wedding with our guests, while Bob and I went to the hospital with Momma. Now, Bob is the funniest human being I know and so he kept Momma, me and the ER staff amused for the next several hours. I don’t think any of them believed our story until Marie showed up in the ER in her gown carrying a tray of beignets. There were numerous exclamations of, “You were serious!”
Momma recovered. She’d just gotten dehydrated. Let’s be serious it would have been a bummer if our wedding had coincided with my Mom shuffling off her mortal coil. (You Shakespeare buffs will recognize the allusion.)
As weddings go, it wasn’t that bad. At my first wedding after refereeing my bride-to-be and her mother as they struggled to decide what food would be served I never got to eat any of it. And my second wedding where from Day 1, my bride proclaimed I didn’t let her have the wedding she wanted; although I responded to every question with, “Whatever you want is fine with me.”. This one was pretty low key on the drama front.
I’ve a buddy, Charles, whose daughter is getting married this weekend.
Remembering my service in the trenches of the Wedding Wars as he shared their struggle to plan the perfect wedding I wished him well. I wished the bride and groom a long and happy marriage.
And I reminded him of the words inside King Solomon’s ring:
This, too, shall pass.
Folks put so much pressure on Wedding Days.
I hope their day is a happy day!
I’m enjoying this anniversary.
I love you, Marie McGranahan-Turner.
Every day with you is a Happy Day!
Oh Happy Day!
The picture above was taken at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond a month ago when I started growing my beard back. It’s the newest pic I have of her.
I Want to Hear from You
Want to share your wedding or anniversary stories?
I’d love to hear them.
Til next time,