Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Times - Wedding Anniversaries

It's time for a little trip in the Wayback Machine to almost a quarter of a century ago, when Professor X and I got married. We'd been engaged for a year (some day, I'll tell you the amazing tale of how it happened) and had chosen October 12th for our special day. I'd jokingly threatened to have a Columbus Day-themed event, with bridesmaids dressed as the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, sailing down the aisle, culminating with me garbed as a map of America.

Everyone was relieved when I settled on a more traditional bridal look. In fact, it was very traditional. My folks were in the wedding photography business, and I'd seen thousands of different dresses over the years. I chose a style that one of their brides had worn, which turned out to be her mother's gown from the 1940's, very simple with classic lines done in satin and a touch of lace. My Mom and I went downtown to the fabric stores in Chicago and a dressmaker copied the design for me. I wore little white gloves and carried my Mom's little white bible which she'd carried when she married my Dad. My Mom was a florist, and she designed a beautiful spray of Phalaenopsis orchids and stephanotis to rest atop the bible.

We had a very lovely wedding in the morning, followed by cake and punch in the church basement with lots of our friends and family. Then a smaller subset of those dear ones drove out to a little restaurant along a river. Too many of those folks are gone now. My own Dad is one of those who have passed away. I know I'm lucky that he was there. One of my college roommates' fathers died before she met her husband to be. Geez, this post is getting all melancholy. Sorry about that. It's just that my Dad is really special to me. He was always a larger than life person, a man with a quick wit and a wonderful hearty laugh. At our wedding luncheon, when it came time for the toasts, my usually funny Dad made everyone teary. This was back in the dark ages, before camcorders were common. I'd give anything to have a video of his toast. He was so loving, so sincere, and he capped it off by singing "You Are My Sunshine." He'd sung it before to me and my brother, but it had special meaning that day because I was moving a thousand miles away, to a small town in the Catskills where my new husband had begun work teaching.

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy,
When skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
How much I love you.
So please don't take my sunshine away.

I'm blessed with a good marriage to a man who cares for me. But you may rest assured that I didn't get married to escape an unhappy childhood. I was loved and I knew it. This wedding anniversary reminds me of that special time when someone sang a song just for me.

Professor X and I are going out for a marvelous evening, listening to the music at a Snow Patrol concert. I'm really excited about our date night. We've been through a lot, moving back and forth across the country in search of the perfect setting for our family. We've had our share of fights and rough road along the way. But it's been a fun journey for most of the time, and I suspect we're stronger as a couple because we've hit a few potholes and experienced some ups and downs. Flat, straight pavement might have been too deadly boring, right? Am I rationalizing? So what if I am?

I like the Snow Patrol song Shut Your Eyes because it reflects a more mature love, one that recognizes more than just sunshine. It's about exchanging comfort, especially when things appear dark:

Shut your eyes and think of somewhere
Somewhere cold and caked in snow
By the fire we break the quiet
Learn to wear each other well
And when the worrying starts to hurt
and the world feels like graves of dirt
Just close your eyes until
you can imagine this place,
yeah, our secret space at will

Happy Anniversary, Professor X. You are my sunshine, but you are also my warm fire.


Simple Mama said...

Happy Anniversary to both of you. May you have many more blessed years together full of small pot holes, smooth pavement, and some twists and turns.

Shana said...

What a couple of hotties! Happy Anniversary.

Jonesbones5 said...

What a beautiful post! Congrats to you and your husband. My mom and my husbands aunt sang "You are my Sunshine" at my was not planned. I believe it was after they had enjoyed some champagne. It still was sweet.

Bee said...

These pictures and reminiscences are just so sweet. Oh my goodness,there is nothing like a loving father. (I've always sung "You are my sunshine" to my daughters; I will confess that that bit had me in tears.)

It cracks me up that your family was in the wedding business. I never knew! Never would have guessed, either.

Best wishes and happiest of days to you and the Professor. (I was trying to guess what word you were saying in that first picture. It doesn't look like "cheese.")

phd in yogurtry said...

I find myself wondering whether I will handle, with the same grace as your dad, the day when I realize one of my babies is going off to another part of the country. Puts a tear in my eye just thinking about it.

Happy Anniversary, love birds! Love seeing the wedding pictures. Both so young and fresh faced : )

Kathy Amen said...

What a beautiful story, and I love the photos! You were very lucky to have your father at your wedding--mine died when I was a kid, so my brother walked me down the aisle. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house while he was singing...sounds like something my dad might have done, too.

Happy Anniversary!

CashmereLibrarian said...

Congratulations. You both are so happy in the first photo; good to know you've carried your sense of humor with you through the years!

Becky said...

Happy Anniversary! And congratulations on your long and happy road.

I love all of this about your dad. "I was loved and I knew it." I feel the same, and I hope we are giving that to our daughter. Enjoy your date!

Miss Healthypants said...

This was such a lovely post!--Happy Anniversary to you both! :)

Also, your comment about having a Columbus wedding, "with bridesmaids dressed as the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, sailing down the aisle, culminating with me garbed as a map of America" made me CRACK UP!! :)

Casey said...

Aww, look at you two crazy kids! And still happy in love, that says even more about the relationship.

Happy Anniversary, I hope it was a great one!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Happy Anniversary! This post made me teary.

kyooty said...

Happy Anniversary, what a lovely post.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Quick wit and hearty laugh? Sounds familiar, my dear.

Happy anniversary to you both. I love the pictures.

Michele Renee said...

What a wonderful post. Happy anniversary on the 12th. Mine is on the 12th too, but 6 months later. or earlier.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Beauteous story, and that picture of you & your dad - I caught my breath.

The first pic of you & your man makes me think you guys were performing a little jazzy musical during your wedding ceremony; love it.

Happy [belated, because I'm lame] anniversary! <3