Sharing Memories (Week 29): Wedding Bells
Welcome to Week 29 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012. We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.
Well, I face this writing challenge with a bit of trepidation, because it means having to share not only the joys of marriage, but the failure of marriage as well.
I married my first husband when I was only sixteen years old.
I say it was probably the kindest thing he could have done for either of us!
About 6 months after our divorce, I met an older man, and we went to a little chapel in Virginia and married.
And a few months later...
...I married a man a few years my junior. Nope...again, a major mistake! The marriage lasted 2 years.
I was determined by now that I would never look for another man as long as my children were at home. I couldn't put them through another mistake. I put my faith in God, and drew closer to my religious training and beliefs. I testified that if God wanted a person to have a mate, He would send them to you. You simply didn't have to go looking for one.
It was a statement I stood firm by. For seven years!
And then, when my oldest son was a senior in high school, I got sick. Very sick.
I had never smoked in my life. But I have always been around someone who did. My whole life I had been exposed to second hand smoke. And suddenly... I had lung cancer. Oat cell carcinoma. My prognosis was six-months.
I was introduced to a pen-pal who was a melanoma survivor. Someone I could talk to and share how I was feeling. He had been cancer free for about 10-years. Our letters were ten and twenty pages in length. And most days we wrote two or more letters to one another. [This was before we knew what Internet was! And our letters were hand written!]
I poured out my heart. I told him all about myself. I say we shared the "Good, the Bad & the Ugly" right from the start with one another.
It didn't take long before we decided to meet one another face to face. I was undergoing chemo and about to restart a second go around with radiation when we met face to face.
From the very first moment we met face to face, I stepped into his arms, and I was HOME. I mean truly home!
Shortly thereafter we moved in together.
For Christmas he asked me to marry him. I turned him down. How could I say yes when I knew my time was to be so short? I simply could not.
Christmas Day he asked again.
No. I simply couldn't do it.
New Year's Day he fixed a winter picnic for the two of us. A lovely wicker basket, wine, fresh fruit and roasted chicken, and warm rolls. We closed the door of the bedroom and we spread a blanket on the floor and ate our "picnic".
This time, he didn't ask, so much as told me, "I want to spend every moment with you as my wife. I don't care if it's a lifetime, or five minutes. I would rather have a few precious moments, than none at all. Marry me."
A month later.... I was in remission. [14 years with no sign of a relapse!!! Woo-hoo!]
We married on February 27, 1998.
The entire day was to be a simple affair, that originally was to be just the two of us. Two of the children were away at school. So, we decided to have the other three with us. Next thing I knew, there was my parents, my sister and her husband, my neice and her husband, and a close friend of mine!
When we arrived at the church to get married, the doors were locked. No one was there!!!
I had arranged for the ceremony with the minister, having met him only by phone. The reason he was not there at the appointed time? He thought it was all a prank!
You see.... my name was Cynthia Beane. And my groom's name? John Henry. The minister had laughed when I told him our names, and even asked me if this was a prank. I assured him it was not! And that we'd be there. I even followed up with a second call a week before the ceremony. He promptly laughed again.
We called him from the church and told him we were all waiting for his arrival in the parking lot! Ten minutes later, he was there!
Left to right is Michael, Chris, the minister Jackie Hollowell, John Henry, Cynthia Beane, and Crystal
During the ceremony
Saying the vows
My beautiful daughter, Crystal, was my maide of honor.
The beautiful bouquet my sister hand made for the ceremony [she also made my veil!], and showing off the rings!
So happy we laughed ourselves silly!!!
My good friend, Leslie, also attended the wedding.
Standing with my Mom and Dad after the ceremony.
Mom and Dad have now been married 53 years, almost 54! [Aren't they the sweetest looking couple in the world?]
Following the wedding, we left for a week long honeymoon. Of all places? Natural Bridge, Virginia. Why? Because the other two children were in school just 20 minutes from there, and we spent two days being with them! [Shopping, eating, sight-seeing.]
And I guess we did something right. We will celebrate our 15th anniversary in February.
And it simply gets sweeter and sweeter!
Ya know... there's a lesson in there if you look close.
Wait upon the Lord....for He knows what is best for you. We don't need to figure it out.
He already has.