At my age 'Life goes on,' is not merely a statement but a desire or hope.
A young woman who should know better wrote an article for a magazine – about me. I got as far as to write a story about the event we both participated in and to do one thing proper I showed a photo of her which made the effort so much more attractive because she is attractive.
My wife and I attended the wedding of one of our grandsons, of whom we are extremely proud, ten years or more ago, my wife in a wheelchair as she had to struggle still seven more months to live, stricken as she was with ALS, and I as the one who married him, in the Church. Most everybody asks a question at this time – 'do you have a license to do that?' No, I don't. But let me start at the beginning.
All of my six grandsons are original thinkers, to give you an example, one of them had his birthday today and his original approach to this joyful news on face-book was – 'yesterday was the end of my 36 times traveling around the sun, plans are to double that and then some.'
He like his five brothers/cousins partly inherited the originality from my wife, I think, and another part from their paternal grandfather. I asked him once (actually more than once) how he was progressing with his search for a suitable girlfriend, and because these young bucks usually are not vastly forthcoming with information about that to a grandfather, was pleasantly surprised to hear that he had found a pair of likely candidates at a ski resort, but had not come to a decision about which one yet.
It reminded me that we find our beloveds sometimes at the strangest places, one of my brothers found his in a church in Winnipeg. He pointed at a girl a few benches ahead of us and said “That girl is going to be my wife.”
“Does she know about it?” I asked, while inspecting the young woman with beautiful dark, wavy, hair. “Not yet,” he said, but a year later they were married.Fearfully beautiful young maidens show up like pearls of great value at the oddest locations, flooring even king Solomon, who reportedly had a thousand wives.
Some time later my grandson said that his decision was made and sure enough one night, when the Canucks had an important game, the happy pair came over visiting us, and when they left and the Canucks had lost, my wife asked me with a concerned face if I knew what I had promised them. Undoubtedly they must've asked whatever they asked during a score either fore or against my favorite team because I had not heard anyone beside the screams of fans.
“All you did was promise to marry them,” Anne sighed, “in church, and a promise is a promise.”
When I was young I wanted to become a man of the cloth, and the desire never really left me, even after I grew up. Anne saw her chance to rub it in, 'this is your chance to show if you're capable.'
I set myself behind the computer to type up a sermon, which was harder than I thought, but worse was to come. When I read the finished product before Anne – she laughed.
“You sound like a dutch dominee,” she said, “the bride will fall asleep and keel over.”
Back to the the drawing-board, but now I was not so sure of myself anymore, the feeling of failure took hold of me and would not loosen its grip.
The reason the young couple asked me to officiate was that their pastor and her husband had planned a holiday, and no other pastor was available to replace her, however she was able to marry them for the law at her office, she told the unhappy couple, and after that the legality was out of the way, she went on to say, the bride and groom in waiting could get married when they wanted and by whoever they wanted, and that was how I got the nod, but plans have a way of making their own story.
The holiday of the pastor and her husband for one reason or another did not go through, so she was able to perform the wedding after all, which made me happy, because my sermon was not a winner.
I had totally forgotten about the rehearsal, which made my self-esteem shrink even further, and during the rehearsal my grandson and his choice for wife got legally married by their pastor, but she refused to do it twice, and therefore I was still on the hook. I asked her after the rehearsal what this meant for the couple and she understood the question which she answered no with a no nonsense sweep of her hand - “No sex. Yet.”
As far as the groom's boasting of him choosing the bride, and only her, she had something to say about that at the real church ceremony the following day, when she said as part of her vow to him - 'Do not forget ever that I chose you out of all the others,' or words to that effect, perhaps even more explicit. Hers was a wise choice though and proved to be satisfactory for both.
The following day day when the big day, for me as well, arrived and I by myself walked around the church building to find a rear entrance to the consistory room, I met a young man I thought was the church custodian and asked him where the consistory-room was, which he showed me and there I found a few young man who obviously had something to do with the official event. The grooms-party including the brothers of the groom were dressed like gangsters, looking two feet taller than me, especially as they were wearing Al Capone gangster hats on, but I almost died when they formed a line, pushed me in the lead to the church, onto the church stage, with their gangster hats still on.
Still shaking about the disrespectful attitude of the groomsmen I placed myself behind the speakers rostrum which luckily featured a shelf under its desk on which I carefully put a bag with Anne's gift for the bride. I looked for Anne who sat visibly relaxed in a bench halfway down the isle with her wheelchair parked next to her, a composed smile on her face. I sank into a daze and only slightly was aware of the bridesmaids promenading down the main isle and taken place on my left on the stairs of the podium.
The piano shocked me back out of the fog with a different piece of music, and with a now or never last bit of courage put the sermon on the desk. And there they came, a pleasing slim figure in a white clinging dress at the arm of a young man - the man I had just met and held for the custodian. They kept on coming, and coming, solemnly and resolved, while the guest stood. Except Anne.
I looked at the beginning notes, typed in bold letters and said “Who gives this woman to this man,” and the young man on the bride's arm said “I do.”
My grandson with only eyes for his beloved choice met the father and daughter part ways, the father kissed his daughter - 'fare well my dear child', and returned to his seat. I motioned the congregation to sit down, and winked at Anne, and from then was (somewhat) in control.
Next time more – what was Anne's present, how are they doing as parents, did they get children, are they still together, is there a picture of the family, what did her dress look like. I could not nearly fit that all in one story, besides, I lost the sermon and have no picture of the very unusual and beautiful dress. The bride at one point carried a gun, but not during the service, luckily. Lex.