I’m not the marrying kind. Even though I’ve done it two times. That’s the enigma. It’s a mystery even to me. My personal paradox. The thing is, it’s not even that I don’t believe in marriage per se. I think it’s a fine enough thing to do, and anyone who chooses, should have that right. No matter what. I’m just not sure it’s something that really matters to me. Despite having done it twice. I’m ambivalent at best. It’s a Sunday morning quandary. I for one am positively stumped.
To say the two wedding ceremonies were as different as night and day, the East and the West, Chopin and The Clash, would be a monumental understatement.
The first time, I stood next to my betrothed in the muggy cramped claustrophobic office of a Justice of the Peace in the far reaches of northern BC. There were warning signs right from the get-go that I chose not to heed. Like my absurd fear of small spaces, yet there I was getting married in one. Then there was the JP, who was missing one of his thumbs. And the piece de resistance, he was wearing a burgundy leisure suit. His name may have been Ron. I don’t remember, which is probably a good thing. Best that I don’t remember all the intimate details of that day. Some situations and events are better left in a foggy haze.
By contrast, the second time with E was on top of large rocky hill with sweeping 360 degree views of the city and the ocean below. The clouds, the sun and the large expansive sky, a natural backdrop. Sheltered by ancient Garry Oaks, we were married by our beloved minister, surrounded by our beautiful family and friends. There was much music and laughter in the summer air. It was lovely and romantic. Well worth the twenty year wait.
But as wonderful as that was, it was nothing compared to T and D’s wedding last weekend.
Perhaps I was seeing through the eyes of a mother, who loves her son dearly. Or maybe it had something to do with how much I adore his beautiful sweet “Lady”. But the sight of these two dear ones exchanging vows stopped my heart. Took my breath away. Brought tears of joy.
All this vow taking over the past two years got me thinking about Ma and The Old Man. They were together for over fifty years yet they never married. They had their reasons. We didn’t talk about it much. For a long while, Ma carried a truckload of shame. Then there came a time where the legalities didn’t matter much anymore. When she was finally free to marry The Old Man, she chose not to. Perhaps the truth is, she wasn’t the marrying kind either.
No, they never said I do, in any formal way. Never took it to the alter. Not before God. Nor anyone else. But they did take it to heart, made promises and vowed, in all the ways that count.
I do love you. I do cherish you. I do respect you. I do honor you. I do want to be with you above all others. I do want to spend all the days of my life with you. I do want to be there by your side through sickness, health, good times and bad. I do want to hold you close to my heart and keep you forever in my soul.
They may not have been bound legally. But they were willingly united for life by the things that matter most. Commitment. Loyalty. Honesty. Faithfulness. Dependability. Steadfastness. Devotion. Trustworthiness. Kindness. Gentleness. Compassion. Generosity. Tolerance. Acceptance. Forgiveness.
And above all else. Love.