Monday, July 11, 2011

I Did and I Do All Over Again for the 2nd Time

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creations
The familiar angry fella had disappeared completely.  Son #1 and I were beginning to trust in our new reality.  Son #2 was getting the father my husband had always wished to be. We began to accept that we could walk on the ground beneath us vs hovering over eggshells too easily broken.

The 2nd November of our new life found us gathered with 80 of our closest friends, and a few family members, doing the unthinkable. We were renewing the vows we had said so many lifetimes ago and yet only 17 years earlier.  As improbable as it seems, I was more nervous that day than I had been the first time even tho' I was marrying the same man I had married before.  The best pictures of the day vaporized with a dying hard drive.  Sometimes I have to wonder if that event was symbolic in some way.

The day was warm, sunny, and cloudless. There is no blue sky in the world like a Carolina blue sky in November. That isn't a sports fan's opinion that I'm trying to sneak over on you. It's just the plain and simple truth. What a great omen if you were looking for one.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creations
My original flower girl, all grown up now, was there along with 3 of my attendants from the original wedding.  The lovely lady who had hosted my 1st bridesmaids brunch was there to stand in as my husband's mom.  Over the years that I had known her, I had always felt I wanted to be her when I grew up.  Lately, I've begun to wonder if she was my hero because she had endured deep and troubled waters.  Maybe I had been too quick to want to be her mini-me?  Surviving is hard work when you are the one who's doing it.

Most of the guests were the ones we had made during the years spent in limbo.  No one was really left from the years the locust ate. Those greedy pests had cleared everything in their path including all the people who had endured with us almost to the end of the blight on our lives. I wonder: if they could see us now, would they care? Would they rejoice that we are still standing, no matter how wobbly, from one day to the next? Would there be a derisive snort of sanctimony still sure that we should have done things the right way -- their way? I wonder.

In times of life changing trauma, you find out who your friends are.  I knew we had at least 80 surrounding us who had come to know us when we were invisible nobodies with nothing to offer.  Somehow, looking around at them all, the angst I had felt over the loss I had endured during those mean years from '99-'03 eased a bit.  I'm not sure I'll ever really trust anyone to go the distance again, but all those folks certainly gave me hope.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creations
I remember having 2 unique feelings amid the dewy expectations of that balmy November day.  One was a sense of transcendent relief that the past was behind us. All the puzzle pieces were out on the table. Life finally made sense.  If anything ever happened to either of us, nothing was left unsaid.  So much relief drizzled over the wounds of so much hurt and loss like a healing oil poured out on a biker's road rash. It had all been worth it. Every miserable day it took to get to this one had been worth it

The other feeling was a disquieting sense of dis-ease.  Something I could not qualify was nibbling at the edges of my awareness.  I told myself it was the old reality knocking at the door telling me the past was not really the past. Those sandy little fear critters were hoping I'd open the door just a crack and let them come pouring in.  

I refused to play their game and floated thru the day in a frothy cloud of hope and anticipation.  I took a deep breath and thanked my good God that my kids were going to see what I had promised all those sad, invisible days. All along, his plan had been a good one. Now that he was ready, he would restore all he had let slip away. The rebuilding of our lives had begun in earnest. The ceremony said it all. We collapsed in the quiet of our new home by late afternoon. We were finally safe in the haven we had made our own.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creations
I reflected on the day as Jeff and the boys all slept. I was singularly relieved with the sense that nothing was left unspoken between us after all the years of mystery. How many couples could rest on that sense so completely as I was resting in that those days. And, yet, as the shadows of the evening begin to seep in thru the windows and blot out the last rays of Indian summer, a cold, slow shudder worked its way down my spine.

I could not ignore that momentary flicker I had seen come and go in the eyes of the man I had promised to love, honor, and cherish all over again for the 2nd time. I told myself , again, that  it was just the old fears trying to rob my joy. I told myself again that all newlyweds have to get to know each other, understand each other, read each other. Our learning curve had been delayed by 17 years, but surely we'd catch up soon and stamp that flicker of indecision or doubt or insecurity or whatever it was completely out. Isn't this learning curve what all married couples go thru? I wondered. I hoped. I wasn't sure. Time would tell. But, could I handle what it told?

You've come again to spend a bit of your day with me as I write my way back to God? Gracious! I'm so humbled. The world wide web is a huge place. So big that I'm not even a speck on the air traffic control map watched over by Google and Facebook and Blogger and all the other cyber-pathways you might have used to get here. I hope you'll prove the issue of my old age, my 2nd born, wrong. I hope you came by on purpose vs by mistake. I hope you'll come again and stay awhile. If you know someone else who's hurting, tell them all fraidy cats are welcome here. I'm so scared...but every time you come to see me, I realize I'm not alone. See you tomorrow?And maybe again the day after that? I'll come back if you will. I promise.

Ezekiel 36:26 (Bible in Basic English)
And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you: I will take away the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh.


  1. AND you looked GORGEOUS on that day!!!! Love, Denise

  2. For an old fat girl w/ cellulite from her neck to her knees...I cleaned up pretty good! ;-)

  3. Beautiful. No pictures? I bet you were gorgeous that day. Love you.