How many times have you said:
That will never happen
Only in the movies
In your dreams
Many of us go from believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and happily ever after, to the harsh reality of adulthood. It’s easy to become cynical when we are bombarded with stories of betrayal, estrangement, revenge and hopelessness. I have those days, too.
But not today!
I’m getting married Saturday! And you will never imagine how it happened…
It started forty years ago, at a party in New York. A handsome Venezuelan meets a “southern girl”(me!) new to the big city. We were both married to other people and so became good friends.
Eight years and two divorces later, we fell in love, got married and moved to Caracas. He had three children, I had one. In our apartment, with its lush view of the Avila Mountain, we created a family-centered world. I overcame culture shock, learned Spanish, gave birth to our daughter, started a new career and managed a household staff. We traveled extensively to the US, Europe and the Caribbean. Our life was good, some might even say glamorous.
But when economic problems hit Venezuela, we made our second home in Nashville home base. And though our good life continued for a while, 20 years into the marriage, it began to fall apart. Health problems, a child in trouble, money woes. Why wouldn’t he do thisandHow could she do that. Finally we settled on divorce. Our friends and family were shocked and saddened. How could this be? You were a perfect match!
Over the next 15 years, he stopped speaking to me. When I saw him at parties he would walk past me as if I were a potted palm. Nothing. I grieved the loss of my best friend and our shared history.
As my mother lay dying, she asked if I thought we would ever get back together. No chance, Momma, he won’t even speak to me.
And then a few years ago, our daughter announced plans to marry. “Act Nice,” she told her father. “You and mom are sitting at the same table.”
As we sat watching our beautiful daughter start her new life, we made small talk. It turned out he was planning a trip to Barcelona in six months and remembering what good travel companions we’d been, I found myself blurting out, “I’d go with you. “
He raised one eyebrow. But he didn’t reply.
Six weeks later I received an email. I think this is a good idea. What about these dates and these flights?
Thus began a conversation long suspended. We started out slowly, talking and listening. We didn’t go over the “sins” of omission and commission. We heard and were present with each other. Over the next eighteen months, we saw each other more. And more. Rather than fireworks, we experienced a slow crescendo of deep love and contentment in each other’s company. I never knew I could be so happy just being with someone.
We could have gone on that way for the rest of our lives, and we will, but we wanted to celebrate. We decided to get married. We were unprepared for the excitement from all the children, siblings and friends. Excitement about the unimaginable!
So this Saturday in the garden of dear friends, accompanied by our five children, their spouses, our ten grandchildren, plus siblings, cousins, and a few special friends, we will be reunited by the same minister who married us on a sunny day in April, thirty–eight years ago. It’s a celebration of love, hope and family – but it’s also a celebration of you, my dear Yippee followers. It’s a reminder to all of you that the most amazing, unimaginable things really can happen. Say YES to what could be.
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!
Elizabeth (the bride)