This morning I went to church with my friend (and business partner) Liz. I was surprised and delighted to run into friends of mine I never get to see, but just adore. I was in their wedding almost 10 years ago now (10? really?? or 11? I need to figure that out. It's all foggy, those early 2000's...) I had never been to the church before, but I sort of knew what to expect because Liz had talked to me about it on numerous occasions. The most important, number 1 reason I wanted to go there on this particular Sunday was because I knew they had a great childcare room for little ones under 3, and I really wanted to be with God this morning without distraction. I am Catholic, and this church isn't, but it didn't matter to me today.
Anyway, I ran into this couple, which made me feel immediately at home (I was already pretty comfy since I was with Liz and as we women know, if we are armed with a good friend who already knows the ropes, any new place becomes ten times less intimidating) and their little boy was in the nursery already. They were ushers today, so we didn't sit with them, but close to the end of the service the pastor (leader? reverend?) asked all the partners in the room who wished to renew their vows to stand up. The couples in the room were each handed a red rose and repeated the vows after the leader (reverend? pastor? I need to find out, its bugging me). I felt so privileged to look back and see them exchange their vows to each other again.
The whole experience brought me right back to my tiny Catholic chapel wedding with Husband. Greg and I got married twice. The first time we married in a beautiful, small wedding in my good friend's beautiful, large living room. I was nervous as hell, Greg's family was confused and mad at us for marrying too quickly and without a huge wedding everyone could come to, and my family was a little less mad but no less confused. You'd have to ask Greg how he felt about it at the time. He went through with it, but I judged by the slightly green around the gills look he had during the ceremony, he had some doubts! It felt a lot like we were jumping off a cliff together, and not only did we not know if a safe landing waited below, almost everyone in the room was convinced there was NOT. The entire event, while lovely and certainly happy for Greg and I, was rife with tension and some regret on my part because one of my beloved lobsters, my sister Kelly, was unable to be there. So, while I adore the beautiful pictures, and I have memories of the day that are delightful, the wedding I thought of this morning was the wedding Greg and I had in the Catholic Church. I was six months pregnant with Benjamin. I borrowed a blue dress from Kelly, our sibs read scripture passages, and a couple of immediate family couldn't make it because they were sick. But it was a perfect little ceremony. I recall vividly the love, certainty, and joy in Greg's face while we exchanged our vows. I recall vividly feeling the same love, certainty, and joy. We'd been married exactly a year, and we knew without a doubt we'd done the right thing. I wish Greg had been with me at church this morning. (he's on shift with the fire department) I would marry him anytime, anyplace, again and again.
The rest of the service was wonderful. I am still processing it. I definitely will be back. The giant bonus of an hour and a half of free childcare is only a small fraction of the myriad reasons that is so.