Monday, May 30, 2005

"have you seen my beloved?"

Friday - May 27

5:00 a.m. and awake with the birds! (Why can’t I sleep in, like normal people do?!)
The day starts with reading from the place I’m at in the Psalms. Today’s chapter: 133

"How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil
that was poured over Aaron’s head
and ran down onto his beard
and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew on Mount Hermon..."

Yes! Harmony would be a very good thing today!

Around 8:00 the lump on the hide-a-bed (son Ben) stirs. He’s hungry but isn’t interested in the cold cereal we have in the room. Wants to go out for breakfast.

I go to Mom’s room to see what everyone else is doing. It turns out they’re going for breakfast with Lorne, Julene, Bonnie, and Adele who arrived last night from Fort St. John and who are in 307! So it’s up the stairs, welcome hugs all around, and a plan for them to drive to the ABC Restaurant, a few blocks away.

Ernie and I stay back. We fill the time with TV. Finally it’s time to dress and primp. We do (dress) and I primp, with plenty of time to spare to pick up the bride at the Hampton (one block from the church where Sonia and her maids spent the night and this morning getting ready) at the agreed-on time of 10:45. But I can’t bear to not know what’s going on, so we drive over at 10:30.

I rap on 415, half expecting everyone to be pretty much ready to go. NOT! What a clutter and excited confusion. Sonia, veil in place but not in her dress, is getting her makeup done while everyone else is buzzing around, doing makeup and hair, packing stuff into bags, which are everywhere, along with leftover glasses of juice, half-eaten muffins, cooling coffees and warming yogurts...

She still looks stressed. I realize it’s no wonder when I find out what had happened – she had lost her shoes! Couldn’t find them anywhere. Finally Ida went downtown to the store to buy another pair. (I’m sure I saw them in the kitchen Thursday night – but had no idea whose they were, and never thought to mention it...). Fortunately the store had another pair in the same style and size!

Now the time goes by too quickly and I realize any hope of being at the church on time is just that. While preparations continue, someone brings up a trolley for luggage and I help load cases. Finally at 10:55 Sonia’s face is done, everyone else is dressed and it’s time to carefully maneuver her into her dress. With four of us handling different parts of her gown and veil, we manage to do it without dislodging the headpiece. Then it’s downstairs and into the car and off to the church!

Once we're in the church foyer, the flower lady sweeps upon us, pinning on corsages and handing out bouquets (orange-tinged nosegays of roses for the bridesmaids, and a sheaf of calla lilies for the bride). Sonia insists on waiting for Joy, who did her makeup, to get to the church before starting everything.

Finally the doors open. In walk us mums (me on the arm of my own son). Then on cue the music changes and it’s magic – the four bridesmaids coming down the aisle, then the little ring-bearer and flower girl – tiny people who needed a little encouragement – and the older flowergirl scattering rose petals, and finally Sonia and her dad.

"Who gives this woman to be married to this man?"

"Her mother and I do."

And Matt takes her away.

They stand on stage facing each other holding hands in front of Pastor Nolan while he gives a short talk.

Then they wash each other’s feet while Heather and Kim sing the Benediction song from Heather's Selah 2 CD. It is beautiful and moving.

After that it is vows and the ring ceremony followed by signing the register on one side of the stage, while three girls from the Jesus School dance to "Have you Seen My Beloved" (Andrew Smith - Through My Emotions). (Let’s pretend these pictures are actually art shots and meant to be a blur of activity, shall we?).

And that's it for the ceremony!

A receiving line follows where we meet the wonderful people who came from near and far.

Now it’s off to Riverside Park for pictures. You know the drill – every possible combination, until it’s high time to head back to the church and reception.

The reception hall is starting to fill up when we get back – and the place smells wonderful -- coffee and garlic from the Filipino food made by Matt’s Mom and her friends (chow mein and spring rolls - so very tasty!). The bridal party arrives a few minutes after we do and we get underway before 3:00 (not bad for something that was to start by 2:30!).

The reception is great fun – casual and full of stories and laughter interspersed with getting more food and drifting from table to table. Ernie’s song and my poem go okay. Before we know it, it’s wedding cake time

(Did I mention Sonia’s incredible friend Ida also made the cake?!).

Then toss the bouquet and garter. Five o’clock -- and it’s over.

All day I’ve been dreading the cleanup. But Sonia’s old roommate has her crew going like an oiled machine. The plan for leftover food is to give it to the Jesus School residences and if any is left after that, to the mission. I quickly realize that my worry was all in vain. I’m not needed here!! I grab all the stuff I brought (plates, plastic wrap, paring knives – that sort of thing – oh, and I find Sonia’s misplaced shoes), some meat and cheese which is still in its shrink wrap, a bucket of leftover squares, a half bag of buns and we’re out of there by 6:00!

Back in our motel room Ernie and I do a little jig. We did it!!

We spend the evening visiting in the motel with our family from afar. Around 8, we get the nibblies and of course I serve leftover wedding fare, washed down with coffee.

I don’t sleep well. I know -- coffee too close to bedtime. But in my half-awake state, I feel a lot like I did the nights after the birth of my kids; I can’t stop smiling.


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