This is going to be an easy and fun blog to write. Moreover, I am dedicating it to any ladies (or gents, for that matter) out there who despair of ever finding love again. If you get nothing else out of this story, take away the message that it is never too late to find happiness. You should never settle for less than you deserve. But remember, to blossom in a relationship, you have to be willing to go deep and give it all you’ve got!
About a year ago, I wrote about our virtual wedding, which was actually I Do Take Two. Our first time to take vows, and the day we actually consider our anniversary, was January 27, 2019, on the beach in Aruba. For personal reasons, we opted not to register that momentous event in the United States. But to us, we were married before God, and that is all that mattered.
Our Covid-impacted virtual wedding in May of 2020 was not exactly every bride’s dream. However, it legally bound us together, allowing us to move forward with trusts, home purchases, and a long-awaited name change for me!
This last time taking vows was really our friends and family party. We had already made deposits for catering and other wedding arrangements, so why not move forward with the celebration? Besides, how many ladies get to wear their wedding dress three times?
Our pastor, Adam Hamilton, is an internationally known writer and speaker. He was actually the pastor in attendance at Barrack Obama’s inauguration! More importantly, he was my neighbor and is my friend. He has seen the highs and lows of my life this past decade. He has been my pastor since the mid-’90s.
This short video clip captures the essence of Alan’s and my relationship. It starts with my dearest and most amazing friend, Susan, singing the song “Used” by Ashley Monroe. I only included the last verse, but go check out the song… it’s awesome! Next, Pastor Adam reflects on how God makes beautiful things out of painful and challenging situations.
Did you notice that nice black band on my right wrist? Arrrggghhh! It was a hair tie! Like every good horsewoman (and dog wrangler) I am never without a hair tie on my wrist. NO ONE noticed it, including me, until right after I exited the church after the ceremony! Let me clarify… no one noticed it except most of our guests who stared at my arm behind Alan during the ceremony… However, I guess a hair tie on my wrist during my 3rd vow renewal is really a first-world problem.
Our initial plan was to have our reception at our beloved barndominium. Sadly, that was not an option since we moved and sold it. We rented a local community center and it was perfect for our needs. One of my past neighbors (from my past life) brought his band to play at our reception. Actually, that neighbor still lives next door to Pastor Adam. One of the advantages to getting married when you are a Grandma is that you get to dance with your grandkids!
Again, let me reiterate that even after life throws you some serious curve balls, happiness can still be found. Admittedly, Alan and I feel a bit wistful when we encounter couples who have been happily married for 30, 40, or 50 years. We thought that was going to be our story. However, we quickly remind ourselves that the experiences we had the first 60 years of our lives are what prepared us to fully embrace and appreciate what we have with each other right now. We are extremely fortunate to have found each other (we know we had divine help with that.)
My grandkids really enjoyed the plastic horses scattered around the room and the spray-painted horseshoes. I barely remember tasting our “main” cake and I never even saw the sheet cake before it was cut. We sure had a wonderful time. Now we are living the dream, riding the mountains as often as possible, and just loving life and each other. Next week I will tell you about our first mountain ride, and the fire devastation that is so evident in our area.