We didn’t think we could make it. When we found out about the M&J wedding many months in advance, and before Papa’s arraignment, our immediate internal response was “No, we can’t go.” Ga’s obligations to gigs, the children’s obligations to school/playgroup, and my commitments at work prevented us from jumping at the chance. So we sent the couple our regrets and that was the end of that. Or so we thought.
Soon after, we attended a funeral. It was our second funeral in 3 months. At the end of the very touching service held in a large church that was filled to the brim with mourning family and friends, I felt a strong desire to celebrate the happy moments. It was like a voice inside telling me that we should go to the M&J wedding to do just that. As soon as I heard it and in between sobs, my lips began to utter it in Ga’s ear. He nodded immediately.
We had to look at our budget, of course, for some budge room. And then there was the business of applying for annual leave, shifting around gigs, and notifying schools. When we got the green light, my very generous parents-in-law offered to help with part of the airfares. Well, that just sealed the deal. And so it was set. We were going to the wedding.
What’s it all about?
In spite of all the attention showered upon newlyweds on their wedding day, weddings really are about family, aren’t they? Well, at least in my mind and most probably due to the beliefs of my culture. I never used to think this way. As a young and impetuous bride, I was of the idea that my wedding would be all about me and my groom. Our love for each other and the commitment we were making. People kept telling us it was our day. Boy was I naive! Whilst love and commitment does play a role, the fact is, it plays second fiddle to that fat lady singing soprano on center stage known as family.
And in truth, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Family is the bomb. They are microcosms of the real world where you need to sink or swim, choose to laugh at yourself or prepare to get teased and paid out to no end. Family enrich you, strip you bare, and up hold you all at once. And when they are as large and colourful as mine and Ga’s, a wedding is just an excuse to get drunk and rowdy, and a fine chance to get all chummy with the other family.
My wedding was like this, and so has every wedding in our family before that and since. The M&J wedding was no exception. It was a fine wedding and the bride and groom looked resplendent!
It’s pretty standard to talk about this when weddings are the topic. My experience of ‘new beginnings’ during our holiday came in a different form. It was in the form of reconnecting with old friends (May, Gerd, Top, Rom) and seeing them in a new light, and family members (my parents in law, cousins in law, step mum, uncles and aunts – specifically Jed and Lorna) whom I don’t usually get to speak much with, let alone share a heart-to-heart. Maybe we shared sincere words, had an honest conversation, revealed something new, or had a good old laugh. They gave me something I could take home with me from our trip – an honest piece of themselves. Enter the warm and fuzzies!
Oh yes, I am a sentimental old fool…
Up next, the final installment: Part 3 – A place in the sun