I know it's just a superstition, but I love the old folk belief that rain on your wedding day (in spite of what Alanis says) means good luck. I have been thinking about our wedding a lot lately as we have been getting ready to go see our friends get married, and celebrate with them.
In a way, it was not long ago, and in a way I was the same person then that I am now. But a lot about me has changed -- I have grown up -- a LOT -- by becoming a mom. I am so much more confident, so much better of an advocate for myself and for others, because I was forced into it during C's hospital stay. I used to be so timid, and I am not anymore. That is a really nice change.
My memories of the ceremony and wedding day are crystal clear, like a hi-def movie. I had a feeling on my wedding day that was almost like my experiences with birth -- I felt like I had lived all of the moments before, or like it had all been written down already, somewhere else, thousands of years before. I can't really explain that part of it, just to say that I felt the presence of God there, and the feeling of embarrassing riches being poured out on our heads.
I think a lot about those moments -- exchanging vows, rings, kneeling down alongside my husband for the first time, just seconds after we became husband and wife, the high-five at the back of the church when the whole ceremony was finally over and done with -- and I remember how fresh and naive I was, not in a negative way, but just in an untested way. My love was a grand and glorious thing, something brand new and shiny. It's easy to look back on our clear skin and ruddy cheeks and think, "how silly we were then, how young!"
But when I think back on it, I am glad that we got married then, in our youthful abandon and our blushing glee. On that day, I cried a tear or two and got a little choked up during our vows, but nothing out of hand. Looking at his hands in mine, the shiny new rings, our best clothes, the smiling faces of our loved ones all around us -- it was easy to put aside the tears. But if it were now -- holding those same hands that I held in the NICU by C's bedside, on the news of lost family members and friends, deciding to purchase our house, telling him that C was on the way, and then that N was too -- trying to speak those vows knowing the real-life way that they would play out in our lives -- I would have started blubbering like a little girl. I understand more now about old couples who sit together quietly and happily without saying much. I believe it is not because they have run out of things to say, but because words are not adequate for expressing what marriage really is, or what it means. I would just walk around like a broken record saying, "Thank God I found you" every second of the day.
On our wedding day, it rained all day long -- from the moment I woke up, throughout the wedding and reception, and all the way up to Atlanta where we started our honeymoon journey. Even though I know it's just superstition, I sometimes think that the rain was God's way of saying that our life together would be challenging, but He would always be there, too, messing up our hair but also pouring out blessing. Catching a glimpse of myself with my messy mom-ponytail, I can see that He has. :)