Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Ceremony

When we first began planning the ceremony, all we knew is we wanted something personal that would be meaningful to us, to our families, and to our friends.

This is the clearing where it took place, above Summer's Meadows, above Bridgeport.

These are some of the flowers that lined our aspen-aisle, beautifully arranged by a friend in Bridgeport, Malinda.
JW, our good friend and my former high school softball coach, softly played the guitar for the processional. He didn't need speakers or a microphone, and was simply accompanied by the sound of a very light breeze through the quaking aspen.

Parker, Bob's oldest nephew, helped our friend, Sara, marry us. Sara is a pastor in Ventura, and her dad, Willard, went on the CHP with my dad. Our families grew up together.

Bob's best men were his two younger brothers -- Dave and Johnny.
 There are few things in the world that Bob likes less than being the center of attention. 
He said when he saw me come into view at the end of the path, 
all of his being-in-front-of-everyone-jitters completely faded. 
He has said and done a lot of romantic things.
The word "romantic" doesn't begin to do justice to how that made --
and continues to make
 -- me feel.
My four nieces were junior bridesmaids, I guess. 
We didn't know what to call them when we asked them to stand up with me.
We just knew that doing so seemed fitting, and lovely. 
To me, they are a representation of my entire family.
There is a lot that I love about my family.
And they represent all of it, in a multitude of ways.
They walked down the path, youngest to oldest, each one gorgeous:

 ...then Emma..., Alyssa...

...and Abbey.
When Bob and I met, Michelle was 17,
and she wanted her dad to date me.
It took him almost three years to give her what she wanted.
Maid of honor?
"Bonus-daughter" of honor.
Family and friends casually and comfortably gathered among the trees.

Pete stood in for my dad, his best friend, and walked me down the path.

And then we were all there. 
 Right where we were supposed to be.

With all those who love us the most as our witnesses.

Abbey read "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn't interest me what planets are square in your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed down from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon in God's presence. It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done...It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in empty moments."
 And then Abbey read a final quote from Theodor Geisel -- Dr. Seuss:

"We are all a little weird. And life's a little weird.
And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness.
And call it love." 

Our vows were next. Simple. Personal.

Bob to me:
"I can't single any one thing out. I love everything about you.

I love the way you treat me...the way you treat my daughter. I love all of you. All of us. And the family we've become."
And my words to Bob:
"Both of us had a full life before finding each other.
I'm amazed every day at just how much fuller it's become. 
 I feel your love every moment, and feel so grateful for just how fiercely I love you back...every moment. You've not only given me you...
you've given me a daughter to love, too. 
We are a family.
And we always will be."
We closed the vows by taking turns saying some lines that apparently are from the movie, "The Vow," which neither of us have seen. I found them online when I was searching for inspiration for vows, and we really liked them:
"I vow to help you love life,
to always hold you with tenderness,
and to have the patience that love demands.
To speak when words are needed,
and to share the silence when they're not.
To live within the warmth of your heart,
and to always call it home."

JW then sang a song he wrote for us. 
 "You and I join together now
 in our place, in our time.
A love like ours takes a lifetime to find,
 but love won't be denied.

Love will find a way.
A perfect moment, a perfect day.
Our vows, two rings, and a kiss will say
Love has found its way.

We walked alone on life's journey,
Though our paths must have crossed many times.
Two hearts find each other when they're ready.
Here is where your heart found mine.
 Love will find a way.
A perfect moment, a perfect day.
Our vows, two rings, and a kiss will say
Love has found its way.

Our place is here together.
Our time has just begun...
Our vows, two rings and a kiss will say
Love has found today.
Love has found its way."

Then, the exchange of the rings.


 The kiss.
 The elation.

Bob and Kathie
October 11, 2014
Love has found its way.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Coming Soon, to a Blog Near You

There really was a ceremony....
I just don't have time currently, here in the 13th week of the semester, to post about it.

But I will.
I promise.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Big Brothers

I asked Pete, my dad's best friend, to walk me down the aisle at our wedding. 
This might have surprised some people.
After all, I could have asked Bill, my oldest brother, to do it.
 I could have even asked both of my big brothers to do it.
But they're my brothers. 
While it felt completely right to ask Pete, there came a point that I wondered if I'd possibly hurt my family by not asking my brothers.
I called Bill and Jim, one at a time, and told them that I'd asked Pete.
And they were both so supportive. And said they completely approved.
After all, they're my brothers, they said. Not our dad.
I don't know what I'd do without them.
They are really, really good men...sons...husbands...fathers...brothers.
 I'm quite certain my dad would approve.