I just wanted to repost this in honor of my 39th wedding anniversary tommorrow. My readers all know that one of the reasons that I love Outlander is because the story is about a love that lasts. Against all odds, we made it . Two children, six granddaughters and three degrees later, we are still in love. I thank God everyday he brought my Dan into my life. May you all find a love that lasts.
Young and naive, I stepped from the vestibule on my brother’s arm. Now, I know that same abundance of youth and naïveté had gifted me with a certain lack of fearfulness. Then, I trusted to God and to the universe that all things would turn out well. I’d learned long ago that I had no power to change anything, so why worry? This lack of fear seemed to baffle those around me. They kept trying to tell me what a big ugly world it was, but it never seemed to affect my choices. Like the one I was about to make in a few short steps down the aisle.
My mother had died a few months before and I was living with her parents. It wasn’t good. The tension was almost palpable. It wasn’t hard to understand their position or to forgive them for the tension. After all, we had ruined their plans. My grandparents were children of the depression and surviving those years had left an indelible mark on their personalities and beliefs. Saving for a rainy day was the thing. And save they did. Every little bit of raw material they came in contact with was bundled, piled or catalogued. The outbuildings were full of milk jugs, binder twine and margarine tubs. All grandpa talked about was retirement. They lived to be able to retire. And then… my mom went and died on them leaving five children homeless.
Imagine their reaction to my news that I was pregnant at 18 and planning to use my small inheritance for a wedding. It must have felt like a slap in the face after the sacrifice of their long awaited retirement. Oblivious, I actually had the nerve to feel insulted when my grandpa said he wouldn’t be coming to the wedding. He told me someday I would understand and I haughtily told him I hoped I never did! I never truly did.
My brother and I took another measured step in awkward unison. I could see the backs of a few of our guests just around the corner of the vestibule wall. So many of them were young men. My groom was in the middle of his second year of college and the church was full of football players, wrestlers and frat boys. All were here out of respect for my soon-to- be husband. This didn’t surprise me. Dan tended to gather a legion of followers wherever he went. He was a natural born leader. Men seem to recognize that this was a man among men.
Somewhere in the pews, mixed in with the men, sat two very worried women, his sisters. Not only had my presence disrupted my grandparents’ lives, but the sisters believed I had ruined their brother’s. Despite our repeated reassurances that Dan would indeed finish his last three years of college they remained doubtful. Looking back, I can see what I couldn’t see then. Our optimism was …well, ludicrous. On this cold winter’s night, I was five months pregnant and we had neither job, home nor plan. Nothing, but the belief that all would turn out well.
I heard the organ player change tempo and the old organ begin to wheeze out the wedding march. I heard the rustle of clothing as everyone stood in honor of the bride. One more step. Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard the shocked gasps as I came into view, but I was only truly conscious of the man waiting at the end of the aisle. There Dan stood looking at me with tears streaming down his face. I loved that he cried. Big, burly and bold, he cried. He was often moved to do so when he was feeling loved or grateful. I, however, beamed. I couldn’t stop smiling, even though I could hear the shocked whispers as I passed. I couldn’t look away from that handsome tear streaked face, as I floated down the aisle reaching for his hand in marriage. It was solid and warm and about to be mine.
I don’t remember much about the vows, but I do remember looking into his eyes and seeing the love reflected there and experiencing again the wonder that this man wanted me. Soon, I found myself in a receiving line thanking our guests for coming and trying to reassure their looks of concern with my never ending smile. There we stood, side by side, the crying groom and his bride dressed in blue.