Thursday, May 31, 2012
Magic and Surprises
People always say how their wedding day is a blur and when it’s over just how exhausted they are. I gotta tell you that last Saturday did not feel like this for me. If anything, I was terrified that I was going to wake up and this whole relationship with Kim would be like a Dallas cliffhanger. Everything just flowed like a river as the wedding fell into place. It was a perfect day.
Mary and I got there right around 8am to set up the tables and chairs. My friend Shawn from school also showed up and saved the day with the use of his mini-van. Dave Westbrook was there to play his guitar and recorder with Kim’s brothers. As Mary and I hastily sat out chairs in a chair straight line, I began to notice the sunlight weaving through the branches of the live oaks. It was at that moment when I realized, we have ourselves a perfect Savannah wedding.
Guests arrived, cigars were smoked, and mimosas were passed out. Between the many circles of friends who showed up, I am wondering if any of the passing tourists thought us to be respectable Savannah society.
Jude arrived with Kim’s brothers and he was my best man. We had a quiet moment where I gave him my groom’s gift. I gave Jude my pocket watch. He was impressed and spent the rest of the morning giving out announcements on the time. I promised that if he took care of this one, he’d get Pop’s IBEW retirement watch.
I wish you had met Jude and his sister, Roni; you would be as wrapped around their fingers as I am. They are amazing kids with so much love to share. I am just as blessed to have them as Kim.
I got some pictures of Mom, Mary, and Christine with the kids. They turned out well. I was glad that I got a second chance to share something like this with Mom especially with her getting edged out the last time. I still have a lot of guilt over that and felt like Saturday gave me a chance to make up for it.
Mom was so beautiful. She would have taken your breath away. Mom was dressed in a light summer suit of navy. Her toenails had been painted to match with a metallic blue sheen. It was adorable and added to Mom’s matronly look. She flitted around meeting and greeting everyone in that way has people loving her the moment Mom leaves them.
Man, I wish you could have seen Mary. She really has come into her own over the past few years. She and Christine make a wonderful pair and you’d be so happy to watch the two interact. They complement each other so well and Mary is so happy. She defiantly is your daughter and I know you’d swell with pride if you could see her now. Mary wasn’t my Best Man this time but she was in charge of wrangling Jude. She had her work cut out for her and did great.
The wedding started and I felt like a roll bar had come down on some roller coaster ride. I was at the back next to Christine when I saw her for the first time in her wedding dress. Up till now, my world had been spinning in several directions. The moment Kim entered the park in her wedding dress, it all slowed down and synched up with her.
Dad, you told me a few times about your wedding day to Mom and how you thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world at that moment. It was a concept I always gave you the benefit of the doubt but it didn’t make sense. I get it now. I’ve never been speechless until the moment I saw Kim and realized that smile was meant for me. Wow.
Kim walked up in this short-but-not-too-short-white dress. It was simple yet Kim made it seem elegant. In her hair, she wore a white flower that made her brown and green eyes sparkle. Kim’s smile made everyone take notice. She was stunning.
I know how you always hated it when I made my constant pop culture references but I have to get here for a moment to explain how the rest of the wedding felt to me.
In 1991, Steve Martin wrote and starred in a movie called LA Story. It was about the life and observations as a wacky weatherman lives in the early 90s scene in LA and then he falls in love. He falls for Victoria Tennant (who was his wife at the time) and there is this astonishing scene between the two.
In the scene, the two are walking through a flower garden at night. As they explore, Martin and Tennant are transformed into children. They begin to run and play as they come across flowers, birds, and various garden statues. It is all set to the tune of Enya. It was the 90’s after all.
In that moment, Martin somehow captures that feeling of the magic of falling in love. It is filled with a grasp of the beauty around you as well as the magic of a simple kiss. I have never seen a better cinematic explanation of what love feels like.
My world stopped the moment Kim entered Forsyth Park that Saturday morning. We were lost in a bubble. It’s funny because no matter what I am doing, my mind is always racing. Yet at that moment, my mind was calm. I felt like the afternoon tide before it switches when the creek is calm, like glass. All that existed was Kim, I, and Sharla who was marrying us. I not only heard Sharla’s words but felt them too. It was the single most powerful and also the most perfect moment in my life.
Kim and I wrote our own vows. In my vows, I talked about all the “firsts” I had with her and how they added up to a second chance to the life I always wanted. Surprise. Surprise when Kim’s vows mirrored my own. She also talked about second chances. Kim also had a series of promises about items in our lives that we both value. Kim promised to always support my “brilliant ideas” (Her words, not mine) She talked about birthdays, holidays, books and songs yet to come. She promised to always be my partner in crime. Kim wrapped up her vows with a phrase that would sum up all of this to me. Kim promised me a life full of “magic and surprises.”
I already knew this many times over yet somehow I just can’t get tired of being in love with someone who gets “it” about me. You’d love her. It’s a few days later and I am still amazed at how those three little words can sum it all up with my life with Kim and the kids. Magic and surprises.
Sharla pronounced us husband and wife so the kiss was one. The world disappeared again as our lips touched. All I wanted to do was to feel Kim’s lips on my own. Somewhere in the distance, I could hear Peter Falk talking those other five perfect kisses.
Dad, I know I would have never met Kim if I wasn’t ready to love and forgive myself. Around the time Kim, Roni, and the Judester came into my life, I had gotten my shit together and was living it like I should have been all along. I was finally at peace enough with myself to allow someone inside the fortress around my heart. (Sorry, Sting but it’s an apt description) I ended up letting three people in and though I am not very religious, I can recognize when a guardian angel has been at work in my life.
My life with Roni, Jude and Kim has changed me. For the first time in my life, my brain doesn’t whirl or spin like it used to I am at peace and content in the life worth living. For the first time in my life I feel like I have the chance to become the man you raised to be.
As I write this letter which you never get to physically read, I realize I do for two reasons: I wanted to share my story about the dream wedding I had here in Savannah, GA to the girl who makes my toes curl. And I wanted to share it with you because I miss you so damn much and wish I could share all of this magic and surprises with you.
That is it, you know. Since you’ve been gone most of the magic and surprises in my world has been gone. You always did all that for Mom, Mary, and me just Pop did the same for you and Grandma. Pop had Grandma while Mom had you as the love of y’all’s life. Now I have Kim. And the kids. Magic and surprises.
I keep hitting the same notes about how I wish you had been there. But as I proof and retype sections, it hit me. The breeze, the rays of sunlight through the trees, the rerouting of the impending hurricane on the way. You really were there. Everyone always says things like, “Oh he is with you in spirit” and crap like that but you really were there, weren’t you, Old Man?Thanks. Thank you for giving me the perfect day to make Kim my wife along with Roni and Jude as my children. You sly dog