The day after The Wedding That Wasn’t, we got together again and talked some more. He had gone home and thought about everything that happened and he realized that I was right. Nothing had gone the way it was supposed to, or the way WE wanted it to, and then with me sick, it was just all wrong. That evening, he took me down to a beautiful spot in the hills above Cincinnati where we could see the city lights and re-proposed to me. Properly this time. No over excitement about a new ring, no rushing. It was waaaay better than the first time. That afternoon, he had called the reverend and made arrangements for us to go to the church the NEXT day and get married by ourselves. The day after THAT, he had to leave to go back to New Mexico and the USAF. The funny thing about all of it, was that the day we finally ended up getting married is my mother’s birthday. L-O-EFFING-L!!
While I cannot remember many details of the Wedding That Wasn’t, I CAN remember the Wedding That Was. I wore a cream-colored skirt and a pink sweater with a lace collar. I wore the lace tights I was going to wear with my dress, my fancy blue feathery garter and a pair of cream-colored flats. I wore my great-grandmother’s cameo pinned on the middle of the collar and my hair was down with the sides pulled up the way I always wore it and still wear it frequently today. Instead of the big, beautiful, fairy light accented bouquet I had made for myself, I carried the small one that I had planned to throw at the reception. Mark wore dark dress pants and a white shirt, red tie and tweed jacket. My brother-in-law came along and took pictures. The rev married us in the little chapel instead of the big sanctuary. It was quiet and kind of dark. We spoke quietly. It was just us and it turns out that was the way it was supposed to be. Everything we’ve done since has been best when it was just us. It was warm for January and we left the church with our coats over our arms. There is an old wives’ tale that says “Happy is the Bride the sun shines on.” When we walked out the door, the sun was shining brightly.
We drove over to his mom and dad’s house. His mom was laying in bed throwing up. His grandmother had also been sick. I’d had a virus. It wasn’t nerves, or cold feet, or lack of love. I wasn’t being selfish or immature. I hadn’t broken down from the stress I’d been under. Although I don’t like anyone to be sick, knowing that I wasn’t the only one, was one of the great reliefs of my life.
We left his house and drove over to mine. I got my little overnight bag and hugged my mother. We got in my little car and drove to the Hilton for our wedding night. We finally relaxed and had room service for dinner. The next morning, I took him to the airport for the flight back to New Mexico.
I didn’t move right away because the moving arrangements with the Air Force had to be re-worked. I missed him more than ever, but at the same time felt better because I knew that nothing and no one could step between us ever again.
Next time, the epilogue.