On Saturday July 3rd I married my best friend.
The journey that brought Mary I to this day has been a marvelous one filled with love , laughter, joy and much discovery for both of us.
When I met Mary for the first time in late spring last year, I saw in her a beautiful warm sole filled with warmth and compassion. I saw this beautiful girl that was smart, pretty, full of grace and attentive to all around her.
Mary on the other hand found me “Interesting”.
We saw and enjoyed each other daily without fail during our first few months together, never missing an evening or a weekend together. We shared much in common and explored our differences with open minds and hearts.
I was curious in what she saw in me. Here was me; this deaf grumpy old guy, with no balance, no hair, and had a magnet stuck to his melon.
I walked funny and said pardon a lot.
It was only late last year when she told me that she has eyesight issues and is actually legally blind. Perfect I thought; David profoundly deaf and Mary legally blind. I proposed immediately!
This would be the marriage made in heaven.
I suggested a simple solution to a wedding for the two of us: We both love travel, and in our time together we have vacationed in the Caribbean twice. So I offered the idea of our wedding in a similar locale. Mary thought about it and we decided that since our friends and family mean the world to us, having a wedding local would mean they could all share our day with us.
I agreed of course, but my thrifty conditions were laid out: A simple ceremony at home. A casual affair where a small group of family friends would join in our celebration. A casual BBQ with cold beer and grilled meat on a stick, or bucket of chicken would be offered up.
Enter Gail. Our wonderful friend who took on this project as “The Wedding Planner”!
Most of what was seen in our backyard on Saturday was a result of her planning and efforts.Beautiful table cloths were all sewn by Gail. Napkins, place settings, center pieces, floral arrangements all Gail’s work.
So my thrifty idea of box of beer and bucket of chicken was, I was told, briefly considered, and then tossed.
“Relax and enjoy” I told myself, and so I sat in awe as Mary, Gail and many other friends worked away searching for material, sewing curtains for the barn, booking a chef to cook and grill for us, choosing music hanging plants and lights and decorating Shamus.
My job now was to go out and search for a bigger box of beer as the guest list grew and grew. The wedding planners took over, and I moved aside.
Things sailed along through the spring and I worked on staying out of the way, keeping the backyard in relatively good form, and praying for sun balls in the July forecast.
I found myself with a bit of time on my hands since my task of clipping KFC coupons for this day, was long tossed. The odd suggestion I had for today’s celebration was brought before the committee, laughed at, and dually tossed with the KFC coupons.
Every wedding day has their share of speed bumps and ours was to be no different. We just seemed to hit them as often as rain was falling.
Guests had all firmed up, wedding planners were sewing, and hitting the stores, the rains of April continued into May and then into June with little signs of a break. I prayed to the Gods of sun balls with more passion, and started my “It will not rain” mantra whenever anyone said “what will you do with 50 people if it rains”?
Late this spring my sister Michelle phoned with not great news. My fit, athletic and active mother had suffered a heart attack and was in hospital. Suddenly, weddings and celebrations became unimportant, and our concerns were of course with Mom and her recovery.
And recover she did. Not wanting to miss too much of her golf season, she was up and at them as fast as the rain fell in our yard.
Assuming that Moms issue was our one speed bump, we got back on track and I continued my mantra of “It will not rain” as we primped and worked on the grounds out back.
The pond in our yard involved a lot of work, a lot of deep digging, and lot of planning, a lot of rocks, and again, a lot of work. Thankfully, Jason, Mary’s son dug the requisite six feet last summer so the fish could survive the winter, then we all worked hard the rest of the summer and fall, and much of this spring, making the pond look like it was always here. We finally got comfortable with the look, and were adjusting to the huge surge in the fish population (fish multiply. Who knew), and the neighborhood raccoons were delighted with the 24 hour all you can eat sushi that we provide, when the endless rains of May turned to days of torrential downpours in June. I stuck to my mantra “NO RAIN”.
The wedding committee had now ruled me insane and ignored my mantra. They were now making preparations for a couple of huge canopies from scouts Canada. I silently prayed to the Gods of sun balls, bloody sun balls please!!
15 days ago it rained as hard as I pleaded with the sun ball folks. The next day Mary arrived home from work and went out to feed the ever growing fish population to keep the sushi bar going, and do her 10 day before the wedding check of the grounds.
Well the rains had taken their toll and collapsed the sides of the pond! Speed bump number two had arrived with 10 days to go!
Rocks hung over the edge balancing precariously above the water.
My original Caribbean wedding idea hovered in my head as I now envisioned the labour required to restore, rebuild and repair the pond. Jason came to the rescue and I quickly stopped my internet searches for last minute deals for a wedding in Aruba.
The Aruba of no rain!
Back on track with a week to go we were, doing last minute errands when we return late last Saturday to a phone message. It was the Baker of the cake.
Yes THE cake.
The same baker we had chosen, discussed at lengths our needs and wants, even emailed suggested photographs showing placement of whipped cream, which fruits we wanted etc. The message was short and to the point: “Just wanted to let you know that we will not be doing your cake for next Saturday. Realized that we are closing for a vacation day due to the placement of Canada day this year”
Speed bump number three arrived as quick as the rain down poured yet again!
Mary of course was distraught. I smelled a savings opportunity, but could not convince Mary to go to “Almost Perfect” and grab one of those leftover cakes that no one picks up for their date. “So what if it says “Happy Bar Mitzvah Billy” I pleaded. There cheap and almost perfect.
Like most of my wedding ideas, that one ended up in the recycling bin with all my coupons for two for one chicken meals.
Mary quickly went to work with ideas to save the day, and despite my attempts to convince “Buck or two” to make a cake for us, we managed a lovely save.
The speed bumps were talking their tool on Mary it seemed. By Monday of this week her back now had gone out, and the pain was so bad she struggled to do minor things. I suggested some rather unorthodox stretching techniques that like my many other ideas just got me slapped.
I then suggested that if her back did not get better, I would happily provide one of many my many medical tools that I kept around from my old days. I searched in the attic for my old walker or a cane or two that I still keep. This did not win any points, so my focus went back to sun balls!
Everything in life changes constantly. My life/our life is no different. Babies are born, love ones pass away, grand children bless our lives, wealth and health rise and fall as the sun rises and sets.
Everything in life constantly changes.
All we know for sure is that the sun will rise. Either behind a mask of clouds or in its splendid glory, but it will rise.
Having a partner, a soul mate, to life and love together as life changes is important to both of us. Facing life and its challenges together as it constantly changes seems like the right path.
Sharing the joys and laughter with your friend, your life mate just multiplies the smiles.
Sharing the sorrows, the down times seem like the right path as well. If you don’t share them, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.
We all have 83 problems in life, and Mary and I are no different. There will always be speed bumps but when you hit them together, oh how much fun we can make them!
And yes, we had sun balls on our wedding day!
Glorious sun balls!