I came up with this idea a few months ago and talked it over with Hubster. I wanted each of us to write an anniversary post. It was to mainly be what we remembered most about our wedding day. I knew that he story would be slightly different then mine, and honestly I was curious to see what he had to say. In keeping true to the feelings and honesty of the blog I am posting it without reading it first. So I give you hubster’s post.
8 years ago today, my life started. Well… really it just went to phase 2. I went from just a guy, to a husband… from a boy going through life to a person with a purpose. Someone would rely on me from that day forward. Of course they wouldn’t rely on me totally, but the very weight of that decision was never something I took lightly. Rather than just recount that day, I figured it best to recount those experiences leading up to and following that day, as well as the day itself.
First, I have to say this wedding was a participation only event. I was asked for my input once. When I gave it, it was ignored, and we went on. To be completely honest, I could have never asked for better than that. The “details” were not important to me in any fashion. I was sweating the whole time worried about what decisions I would have to make, and how they would impact my future wife’s experience…. And with much relief she never had any doubts about how it would go.
As for the day itself… that can’t be properly explained without talking about the day before. That day was focused on getting everything ready, both in terms of the rehearsal and in terms of the decorating. There were the emergency trips to Wal-Mart to buy this-or-that, and all the other things in-between. There were also the mental preparations the night before. Typically this involves the groom getting sloshed and going out on a wild adventure. Those of you that know me, have no doubts what my night was like. I sat in my hotel room with my groomsmen and we played Mario Party 5 until our fingers bled. There was some alcohol, but only one person ended up drunk, and it certainly wasn’t me ☺
Now for the actual wedding day… December 28th, 2002. I had heard all the details of how things would proceed raddled off to me 100,000 times. I could repeat them back flawlessly and effortlessly on command. That was of course nothing like the way the day actually went, and it was fantastic. First there was the impromptu visitor at 8am in the morning. It was my Uncle Gregg. He pulled me outside and said “ Now Rex, every time someone gets married, there has to be at least one crazy ass that offers the groom a way out. So here I am with my keys, a full tank of gas, and the Mexico border only a few hours away. If you want out of this, now is the time.” I will never forget that moment. I wasn’t tempted in the least to take the offer, but it was a cementing moment for me. It was what told me “hey, you… yeah you in the tux, you are getting married today!” After all the boys got dressed, we went to the church to take pictures. We showed up with hours to spare, and we got to have a lot of fun walking around the church, taking pictures, and just all around goofing off. Once people started to arrive, I went and stood at the front of the alter. There was a lot of greeting people, and waving, and all the pleasant stuff. Right before my wife-to-be was set to come out, I asked the priest to ring the bells in celebration of the event. Being one of the most awesome priests ever, he of course complied. Just as my soon-to-be wife came through the doors at the back of the church, my Uncle Gregg stood on top of the pew against the back wall, and held his keys up as high as he could. Of course, I could do nothing but grin and laugh. This of course caused my wife to pause slightly… she expected this softie to cry. Had it not been for my Uncle Gregg, I would have. My wife was of course in the most beautiful and classical dress. Her Grandmothers jewelry and the ancient church we were getting married in made her and her dress shine in the most amazing fashion. I will never forget me stroking her hand with my thumb, and her capturing it under hers… thus sparking a thumb war. Our hands were between the two of us and I am quite confident no one saw it. We spent a good 15 minutes thumb wrestling, at the alter of a little catholic church, waiting to swear our lives to each other. It was the perfect representation of the change in both of us. It was also the perfect start of our lives together. It is my firm belief that God saw that act, and has decided to put his hand in our lives with an equal fervor and sense of humor. Since that day our life has never been exactly what we envisioned, but it has always been what we needed.
After our little bout of thumb wrestling, we stood to give our vows. I will never forget the smile on Sarah’s face. I of course thought to myself “wow, I really am making this woman this happy”…. Later I found out that she says I only shaved half my face that morning, and she was smiling about that. Considering my visitor that morning, I believe it possible… but I also like to think she was happy too. Once we said our vows we started down the center of the church and toward the back door. I took a thousand pictures of that moment in my mind. There are faces I specifically remember looking in to. There was a bird that flew at the door and then strait up when we were half way down the isle. I believe it was a blue jay, but I’m not exactly an expert in birds. I remember standing at the front of the church talking to people as they went to their vehicles to go to the reception. Then, I’m sure there were a million pictures, but I only remember a very specific one. It was Sarah and I standing in front of the church. The person taking the picture was back out of the parking lot. In fact he was under a shade tree.
Up to this point, not a lot was different than I anticipated. I had been to enough wedding to anticipate most of what I had seen and been through. Growing up in East Texas, there was no way to prepare for the reception. It was huge in every way. It was decorated with Christmas trees all along the walls. There were also centerpieces on the tables that were as old-fashioned looking as the church we had just been in. Everything was beyond what I could have possibly envisioned. It made me even happier that no one had asked me what I wanted… and even better that they wouldn’t have listened to me. No man marrying a woman could have ever envisioned anything like that.
For those of you who have never been to a Czech/German Catholic wedding reception… well… there really isn’t any point in trying to describe it. It is something you have to experience. The closest thing I can think of (and I WILL get slapped for this) is the scene in Fiddler on the Roof where he is in the bar. Music, dancing, and drinking were everywhere. No, it wasn’t a drunkard’s fantasy, nor was it a musical. It was just an amazing experience that this east Texan can’t even begin to explain. I almost felt like an intruder in a party I couldn’t possibly understand. There was so much tradition, from the Grand March to start it off, to salting/Saw dusting the dance floor, to the singing my wife’s Sorority sisters did outside. There was truly a magic to that event that will never leave me. The closest to duplicating that I have ever seen was the Civil War Ball I attended with my sister…. Only this was better.
After all the dancing, singing, eating, and talking I could stand (ok… after about 1000 times what I could stand… I’m not exactly a huge fan of crowds) we finally got to leave. Sarah’s family, not ones to do anything small, pelted us with buckets of birdseed (no, not an exaggeration). Once we felt we were safely in the car, I started it up, and turned on the windshield wipers to clear my view a bit. Someone screamed…. I’m really not sure who it was (maybe both of us?). There was a dead squirrel tied to our windshield wiper. We found out later there were more “friends” tied outside the car… Thanks Uncle Joe…
From that moment forward, we learned a lot about life that we didn’t’ expect. We have both learned that what we expected from marriage wasn’t feasible, and we have learned a lot about ourselves in the process. Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect. We have had our problems. We haven’t had any problems that we ever allowed to get bigger than our love for each other. I wish everyone in this world could find someone with as big of a heart as my lovely wife… and I wish men (myself included) weren’t so clueless when it comes to what they think. For me, that’s part of the adventure, and it sure keeps things interesting.
I hope in reading this, perhaps you have all learned a bit about my lovely wife, whom you read about here, and maybe even a little about me. I hope you also understand that this account is being posted without my wife’s review, and without consideration for how she felt about what I said. I said what was on my heart, and I hope that shows.
I hope you are lucky enough to have memories like these. I hope you are lucky enough to have had God put someone in your life… someone to shake up your skittles and keep things interesting. It has been 8 wonderful years of adventure for me, and I would never trade a single moment or memory for anything.