Friday, March 29, 2024

Grandpa & Darla's Wedding (March 29)

Big day over here today—Alexander lost his second tooth!

Just kidding!

I mean, he did lose a second tooth this afternoon, but our Big Day News is that today was Grandpa and Darla's long-awaited (and also not-so-long-awaited) wedding day. They were only engaged for a couple of months, but I had a few little flower girls at my house who have been so excited for this wedding that even that felt like a long amount of time. 

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head about this wedding.

First of all, I'd like to apologize to my parents and to Andrew's parents for our own whirlwind engagement. Andrew got home from his mission on October 12 (2005). We got engaged on October 26 (also 2005) and were married on December 16 (also 2005). Somehow I thought that was plenty of time to put a wedding together. 

Turns out even the simplest of wedding plans still require...quite a lot of coordination and behind-the-scenes work. I'm sure our parents were losing their minds trying to pull everything together, while we blithely waltzed through the entire affair. That said, it's not like they were entirely surprised by our quick decision to get married and, in fact, were perhaps even less surprised than we were. 

To be fair, we had known each other—as friends—for several years. Continuing that friendship just made sense, even if our formal courtship was brief (and it was brief). 

There is something to be said about getting to know someone before you marry them, but I wonder truly how much time anyone needs to spend to get to know anyone else because...people are surprising. 

I mean, you can spend 18 years of your life thinking your spouse won't eat tomatoes and then one day they go to Montreal without you, are served a sandwich with tomatoes, throw caution to the wind, eat those tomatoes and find that tomatoes actually lend the sandwich a certain—as the French say—je ne sais quoi. And then next time you have sandwiches as a family you run out of tomatoes because that certain someone has taken the last slice that you had been assuming would be yours... 

See? Mind blowing stuff happens all the time!

When you get married you don't just marry a person. You marry the many potential renditions of an ever-evolving person. When you get married you simply...keep getting to know that person for the rest of your life. I think the key (or a key) is to agree that you're partners—a team—and although you'll each naturally grow and change, you strive to grow together in a way that supports one another, and in a way that avoids hurting each other. I don't think it's easy, but it's lovely when it happens. I appreciate the constancy I've found in Andrew—in spite of his flip-flopping views on tomatoes (because in the short time we dated, he muscled through tomatoes in a few meals, and then as soon as we got married I was shocked when he just started tossing tomatoes on my plate, telling me he detests them—and now he's, like, willingly putting them on his burgers and stuff—who is this guy!?)—and even as he's gone from a lanky, fresh-from-the-mission kid to a patient, father-of-six college professor.

My point is is cool, I guess. And obviously you should be looking for red flags. But I think it's okay to get to know each other while you're married, too (because you'll spend the rest of your life trying to figure each other (and yourself) out, anyway).

Or I could have it all wrong. Who knows?

All I know is that early this morning there was a loud and sudden crash.

Truthfully, I actually definitely do not know that. 

I didn't hear the crash. 

But apparently Andrew did—he was upstairs in the bedroom getting dressed, and our windows, which overlook the driveway, were open. I guess he hollered something about fetching a broom. I heard nothing. I don't know where I was or what I was doing.

But the kids started running around the house screaming and yelling about how Grandpa's here and how there's broken glass all over the driveway and...just...lots of screaming and yelling and excitement. 

Six kids, remember?

"There's no broken glass on the driveway!" I said. "Go find your shoes. We would have known about it. Try tying your tie again; that's way too long. The girls went to seminary just fine this morning. Yes, come here, I'll zip you up. They didn't say anything about broken glass. No, the cupcakes are for the wedding, not right now."

That's the way I talk now. 

Anyway, the kids explained to me that Grandpa had arrived and that Grandpa had dropped a water jug on the driveway and it had shattered into a billion pieces. 

"Oh!" I said. "One of our water jugs?"

"I think so!" the kids said. 

"Well, at least we have two," I said (I'm not deeply attached to our water jugs). "But why would Grandpa take them out of the box to carry them? They're so much easier to carry in the box."

Because I'm so smart and because I wasn't very worried about the water jug being broken because—joke's on the kids—they're not even glass! I picked up the second water jug—in its box—and carried it outside where Grandpa was sweeping up a mess on the driveway, and smirked, "Maybe if you had carried it in its box that wouldn't have happened!"

"This one didn't have a box!" Grandpa said. 

"What do you mean it didn't have a box?" I said, and then, noticing my other water jug in its box in the back of my van, said, "Oh."

"This isn't your water jug," Grandpa said. "It was Darla's!"

"Oh, and it was glass!"

So, I helped Grandpa clean up the mess and tried to make him feel better about his little accident (he'd backed down our driveway and then had opened his trunk...but everything inside his trunk had shifted (because our driveway is a devil of a hill) and...out crashed Darla's water jug). 

"You know, in some cultures, breaking glass on your wedding day is good luck! Just pretend you're Jewish...or Greek...or something."

"Good luck, sure," he said, showing me a cut on his thumb, and clearly feeling his strict itinerary falling to pieces alongside the water jug.

"Well, I think you have to say 'Opa!' for it to count."

"Opa," he said.

"No, no, no. More like: Oooopa!"


Soon after we'd finished cleaning up the glass he headed off to the chapel with Rachel, Miriam, and Benjamin in tow (to help set up tables and chairs and carry trays of food and so forth). Andrew and I finished getting the younger three ready to go, grabbed the last tray of cupcakes, and headed off soon after they left. 

Andrew was the Zoom MC (master of ceremonies). 

Rachel baked cupcakes and led the hymn. 

Miriam was the organist (naturally).

Rachel, Zoë, and Phoebe were flower girls, along with Darla's two littlest granddaughters (Miriam would have been, too, except that she was the one playing the wedding march). 

Benjamin was a ring bearer (along with Brooks) and Alexander was an honorary ring bearer (meaning that he got to sit with the ring bearers). 

I was assistant to the honorary ring bearer (meaning that I also got to sit with the ring bearers (and flower girls) and hold onto the rings until the appropriate time in the ceremony). 

I also gave the opening prayer (Dan—Darla's son-in-law—gave the closing prayer). 

We had a lot of balls to juggle, but everyone played their part well! I honestly wasn't sure we'd get family pictures taken in the time allotted, but somehow everything managed to keep to the schedule (as if we had a good an excellent (descriptors are important!) project manager in our midst or something). 

Here's a quick picture of Grandpa and Darla with our six kids (while we were waiting for Andrew to join us (he was still busy setting up microphones and things). Don't mind the mask we forgot to have Zoë take off her arm. Perhaps I'll...edit that day...if not...we caught it for other pictures.

I tried to be a good wedding guest and didn't take many pictures (instead I let the photographer do that), but I did take a few...just because that's how I am.

The ceremony was lovely. They worked with the bishop to have him make some remarks about how they both been through so much grief (having both been prematurely widowed) and that they were surprised by how quickly their friendship bloomed into love, and that they find happiness and hope in each other, excitement for life, joy and companionship they didn't ever think they'd find again.

Darla cried.

But I think she was probably just upset about her water jug.

(I'm kidding, I'm kidding!)

They were lovely vows. And we're so happy to have Darla in the family. It was wonderful to get to meet her brothers and their wives—all just wonderful, kind people—and Darla's daughters and grandchildren, and GG (Darla's mother-in-law, Marion, who goes by GG for "Great-Grandma"). The little kids are all thrilled to have more cousins around (though poor Rachel and Miriam remain in their little "cousin hole" since Darla's oldest grandchild is Benjamin's age).

Oh, the hymn we sang was I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I sat right behind Reid and Darla (because I had the rings and the ring bearers and flower girls) and when we sang "He lives to calm my troubled heart," I caught Darla giving Grandpa a little nudge. It's true that the song is about the Saviour, chosen because it's Easter weekend. It's not about Grandpa and Darla, but I think it's wonderful the way our troubled hearts are calmed sometimes—that the Saviour can, and frequently does, work through other people to impart blessings, to help in time of need, to lend sweet comfort. 

We need people in our lives, and I'm glad our circle has been expanded to include Darla (and everybody she loves). 

Side note: I've been reading Harry Potter aloud to the kids at night while Phoebe is falling asleep (she listens from her bed, Alexander and Zoë sit beside me in the hallway). We're on the third book on the chapter "The Boggart in the Closet." And I was just thinking about that as I was writing about needing other people. Professor Lupin explains, "It's always best to have company when you're dealing with a Boggart. He becomes confused...[trying] to frighten two people at once..."

I don't know. There's just something to be said about having another person in your court day after day, having made the decision to be on your side through thick and thin. Teamwork...can make the dream work...and all that. 

Anyway, it was a good day. 

The reception afterwards was a lot of fun! They had a piñata for the kids:

And there was also dancing! Grandpa and Darla took the first dance and then the dance floor was opened up and...we danced, too. We've been working with the kids on waltz and cha-cha. It was fun to dance with each other, even if hardly anyone else was joining in (Andrew was a little embarrassed about being the only ones dancing, but I pointed out that Brooks was dancing as well! And Dan did some dancing with Millie (Yes, another Millie!)).

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun wedding! Congrats to Darla and Reid! I'm glad they found each other. <3