28 January 2011
Well, we've done it:)
The wedding went off well, we had beautiful weather, beautiful ceremony, beautiful reception. Everything was perfect, it was incredible how well everything went!
Our witnesses arrived on time to the house, we had a lovely visit with them and then went out the door at the appointed time, walked down to the Registrar Office, had a lovely ceremony-the Registrar was fantastic! She'd worked very hard for us before the wedding helping us plan a personal ceremony, and it all went off wonderfully! We said vows we'd been able to write ourselves (with the addition of the required Scottish vows), and a dear friend of Paul's read The Apache Wedding Blessing at the end:
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and
your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and
remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness,
gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship,
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,
remember to focus on what is right between you,
not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when
clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that
even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your
life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
It meant a lot to me to have those words said at my wedding! I also liked our ring vows:
With this ring I promise that from this
day forward you shall not walk alone
It's been a good ten days of married life:) We stayed home during our honeymoon, although we did ride the bus down to Dundee one afternoon. We took walks, read, watched old movies, planned the rest of the kitchen and bathroom renovations. We stayed off of the computers, and just talked to each other. Perfect!
And then we found out that I will have to return to the US to request my spousal residency. We aren't happy about that, but have decided to take it gracefully-I anticipate staying with my son, seeing my grandson a lot, taking lots of pictures, and getting things like my passport and driving license changed into my new married name.
I HATE FLYING, and am not at all looking forward to two more 24 hour trips across the water, though, and frankly am trying not to think about it all while making sure I have all of the documents I need to speed the residency approval once I get back to the States.
I'm also trying not to think about the state of the house when I get home-I'll have to reclaim the kitchen, lol!
Has it really been 25 years?
I clearly recall where I was, and what I was doing the morning the Challenger blew up. I don't even have to close my eyes to see the little TV in the kitchen...
Crusty and I had been up for a couple of hours-fighting, as usual. He'd just gone into the living room and I'd gone into the kitchen to make his coffee, turning on the TV to drown out his voice. I saw the families in the grandstand looking at the launch, watched their faces as they smiled into the frosty Central Florida morning. I was thinking how great it was that someone was happy when the camera switched to a view of the rising Challenger.
I stood there listening to the voice overs "Go for throttle up" or something, and then the Challenger exploded, and the camera switched to a shot of the families, their faces frozen forever in shock and dawning horror. I've never forgiven the cameraman for doing that. I've never forgot the looks on those peoples faces, especially Christa McAauliffe's family.
I ran into the living room and snapped on the TV saying to Crusty, "Oh my God, the Challenger just blew up!"
We sat in front of the TV for two days, united in grief for the lost astronauts and their loved ones. Argument over.
Years later when we were posted by his company to Melbourne Florida, we frequently went out to Kennedy Space Center to visit. The space program was one of the few things we had in common, and we always stopped at the beautiful Challenger memorial at the Space Center to pay our respects to the lost astronauts.
Although it is called the Space Mirror Memorial, for us it was always the Challenger Memorial. Now, sadly, it includes the names of the men and women lost in the Columbia break-up as well.
While we lived in Florida, a friend gave us his pass to view the maiden voyage of the Endeavour. Fox was nine or ten, and I remember praying for the safety of the new shuttle as it lifted off, and that my son would not be an eyewitness to a Challenger like moment in history.
How very strange life is. How every moment is fraught with fragility-this blog post goes from the total joy of our beautiful wedding to the grief of that day 25 years ago when the lives of the astronauts families changed forever in the worst possible way.