Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fiftieth Anniversary

It was fifty years ago today. It was the happiest day of my life. It was my wedding. We were in love. We invented love.

Our wedding was at 4:00 p.m. at the Church of the Atonement in Fish Creek. It rained. Father Iwick was a recently ordained Episcopal priest, and just before the ceremony began, he said, “I’m a little bit nervous. It’s my first wedding.” The groom, Rick, responded, “It’s mine too.” My mother refused to have all the music that Fr. Iwick had provided, to be played on the ancient organ, and we were there with music she and I liked better.

And so it went. My father ushered me across the street from house to church under a big umbrella. My best friend, Sally Colburn, was maid of honor, and two UW friends were bridesmaids. Early in the service, Fr. Iwick said, as part of the liturgy, ”If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace,” whereupon a huge clap of thunder crashed above us. God had spoken.

The reception was an outdoor reception at the White Gull Inn. We had grilled lamb on a spit plus turkey for people who didn’t want lamb. The proprietor cooked the lamb outdoors with an umbrella over the cooker. As I recall, the rain stopped before the reception began. We had lots of people.

We drove in his sportscar to New Orleans for our honeymoon and started to learn how to live together. When Rick died five children and forty-six years later, we were still learning how to live together. It wasn’t easy.

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