Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My “Secret Subject” is:
Tell us about your wedding . . . or the last wedding you attended.
It was submitted by: http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html
My first thought when I read my “Secret Subject” was which one? I’ve had 2 weddings. Awkward. I briefly entertained the idea of sharing the juicy details of my super secret wedding to Adam Levine, but the
restraining order prenup forbids it.
I’m just happy Adam is back to looking like his sexy self. Impending fatherhood does his body good.
Anyway, I digress. Weddings. I don’t remember the last one I attended, so I guess I’ll talk about mine, both of them. They couldn’t have been more different, just like the men I chose as grooms.
Tom AND Jerry.
Not made up names. My ex and current husband carry the same names as the cartoon I grew up watching. I snicker every time I inadvertently use both their names in the same sentence.
I was barely 21 when I married the first time, and we were engaged for a very long 18 months. I was obsessed with weddings in general. Even as a child, I was transfixed by the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. I loved books, movies and tv shows about weddings. I couldn’t get enough, my whole life I dreamed of what that day would be like. I watched Father of the Bride, the one with Steve Martin, probably a million and one times before my Christmas wedding in ’92. They used to have these wedding shows on the TLC network (I have no idea if they still do), and I watched them religiously. I loved hearing the engagement stories and watching as they planned their dream weddings. I could have stayed in the engagement period forever. I wanted a very traditional wedding. I wanted to feel like a princess on my very special day. My family didn’t belong to a particular church but my groom-to-be was Catholic. Ironically, I wanted to get married in the church I belong to now, but none of us were members at the time, so we couldn’t. The very same church where I would meet, hubby #2. We ended up getting married in the Catholic church that my groom grew up attending. Not my first, second or even third choice but I made the best of it. An omen?
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I knew I wanted to get married during the festive season. My bridesmaids dresses were dark green, poinsettia’s everywhere. Since I didn’t grow up Catholic, didn’t know anyone who was Catholic, I was unaware that purple was the liturgical color of Advent. Purple. Very Violet. Also means penance, humility and melancholy. I should have done my research…this was clearly an omen. Not a good one.
Most of the wedding was a complete blur. I don’t remember the food, the music or the people. I do have one distinct memory. I remember after we were pronounced man and wife, I heard catcalls and whistling coming from the back of the church. It made me smile. My new sister-in-law, my favorite of his 5 siblings, and probably one of the very few on his side of the family truly happy at our blessed union. She would go on to die tragically in a car accident less than a year later. I think of her often, and her memory always brings a smile to my face. She did more for me than she’ll ever know. I think she would have been sad that we didn’t make it for the long haul. She was definitely our biggest cheerleader, at least as far as I knew. She always made me feel like a part of the family anyway. She was a life-force, and I still miss her. I wish my girls could have known her.
The other thing I remember is the priest who married us. He shattered all my stereotypes of what a priest would be like, act like. I don’t know what I thought exactly, but the Father that greeted us for our pre-marriage counseling sessions, smoking a cigarette and telling inappropriate jokes and hilarious stories, was nothing I would ever have expected. I instantly fell in love with him. I heard from many people after the wedding, that he gave one of the best ceremony “sermons” they’d ever heard. He took the time to get to know us, and his message and words definitely reflected that knowledge and insight. I was very sad to learn that he passed away recently.
I remember my dress and permed hair. Mostly, I remember how skinny I was and I remember thinking I wasn’t skinny at the time. My future fat self should go back in time and slap that stupid skinny girl silly.
See all that Christmas greenery clashing with the purple/violet…sigh. Or are you distracted by that sexy perm and ginormous bow on my behind?
I don’t understand why my girls don’t want to wear this dress for their own weddings…it’s a mystery. That shiny satin. The puffy shoulders. All that beading and lace. Timeless is the word. Am I right or am I right? I know, right.
Anyway, things didn’t work out how I planned. My life took a million different turns, each more unexpected than the next. I wouldn’t change any of it, because it finally brought me my soulmate and partner for life (cause I’m not getting divorced again, so he’ll literally have to die to get out of it – a fact I remind him daily).
My second wedding was a much smaller affair, only family. My parents had a beautiful backyard, a place where I loved spending time, so I knew immediately I wanted to get married there. While it lacked the fanfare, pomp and circumstance of my first wedding, I remember almost every detail like it happened yesterday. I couldn’t wait to make this particular man my husband. There are certainly days when I need to call on the emotions of that day, remember all the reasons I fell in love with him and merged our two families. I knew that my life would never be the same.
Our wedding day was sweet, romantic and full of promise. We were surrounded by the people who loved us most, especially our three beautiful girls. It was a warm, sunny, fragrant and beautiful day in May. Even though I remember every detail and emotion I felt on that day, we frequently forget the actual day itself. One year, I had to pull out our marriage certificate to confirm our anniversary. We often go half the day thru before we realize, “oh hey, it’s our anniversary today!” We also struggle to remember how many years it’s been. I choose to see that as a good thing.
67 percent of 2nd marriages end in divorce. Those aren’t good odds. Blending two families is extremely hard work. There are certainly moments when I wanted to throw in the towel. No one dreams of their second wedding. I married the first time intending it to be forever. Forever didn’t work out so well, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been judged rather harshly by some for being divorced but no one was harder on me than I was on myself. I felt like a failure. I felt quite strongly that I had let my girls down, let my family down, let myself down. It’s not a subject I like to talk about or share. It’s something I’ve carried with a certain degree of shame and embarrassment.
But on that day in May, all I felt was hope. I felt loved, protected and cherished. I knew the road would be bumpy, challenging and would at times feel insurmountable, but with that man at my side, I felt like we could conquer the world, overcome every obstacle life would throw at us. I was excited. Invigorated with purpose and direction. He continues to challenge me, encourage me and inspire me. I love him more each day, even the bad days when he drives me crazy and I want to punch him in the throat. It would be a loving punch. So much LOVE packed into that punch. So. Much. Love.
I wanted to punch him this morning, but lower than the throat this time. Lucky for him, I was writing this blog and being forced to remember all the reasons I married him. It probably saved his life. Seriously.
My babies! Where has the time gone.
I love this family so much (including you man-child). In the time honored words of Tom Cruise…
They complete me.
This reminds me…we need an updated family photo.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: