Friday, July 13, 2012
Mr. Jean Jean and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday! We got married when we were pretty young - I was twenty-two and Soren was twenty-four. We married two months after I graduated from college, on our college campus by one of our professors.
We didn't have much money or much time to plan (we were engaged for only 6 months), so we accomplished most everything with the help of friends and family. We made our own boutonniers and bouquets at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market the day before the wedding. My mother-in-law tailored and modified my grandmother Velma's 1950s wedding dress for me to wear and also made the bridesmaids dresses. My friend Katrina did my hair and make-up. My Hebrew teacher, who also happens to be a professional violinist, played this waltz for us during the ceremony. We had a homemade, family dinner at the home of Soren's parents instead of a catered meal. Friends provided jazz music and singing at the reception. My sisters-in-laws did the artwork for the programs and made our favors, which were rocks collected on the North Shore of Lake Superior stamped with our names and the date of our wedding.
I loved our wedding. It was a perfect representation of our lives, and the people that we loved, at that time. The best part of the whole day was a part of our ceremony that we did Quaker Meeting style, inviting people to stand up and say something if they wanted to. We didn't know if anyone would speak or, if they did, what they would say. There were a few moments of silence at the beginning but then, one by one, people spoke. What followed was unforgettable. Both our fathers said something, as did Soren's sister. My great-aunt Princetta talked about my grandparents, both gone, and how much they would have enjoyed the wedding and how special it was to see my grandma's dress again. Soren's uncle, poet Roy McBride, recited a poem for us. And Soren's grandma, who is about 5' tall and the mother of ten children, simply asked, "Has anyone told you that this is going to be hard?" and then sat back down.
I was thinking what she said yesterday, during what felt like a really long, really hard day. Soren and I had a big fight in the morning and, stubbornly, stayed mad. Our plans for an anniversary dinner turned into cheese and crackers at 9 PM. I went for a walk by myself. We fell into bed, exhausted by the pace of life. You get the idea. But it is OK. Bad days come with the territory. Happily, they are far outnumbered by good days, especially now that Severen is with us! I am grateful to have such a loving family. I hope we get to spend many, many more years together.