I'm back from the weekend and busy recovering from the combo of heat, travel, and alcohol! For those who don't know, Chris and I hopped a plane on Thursday to go to my cousins wedding. If you were at my wedding I know that you'll remember some of the characters from the family and they were all there. We know how to throw a good party in our family and a wedding is a very good excuse for a party!
This particular wedding was even more joyous because their was a very real possiblity that it would not occur at all. I've been busy praying for the bride and groom for several months. The reason for all the concern was not cold feet or a lack of commitment, but the very real possiblity that my cousin (the groom) may be too sick to get married. Several months ago he developed colitis and went to the hospital. He recovered somewhat and went home to keep planning the wedding. A month later he was in the hospital again, and this time in addition to the colitis he developed a leg clot. He has been ill and pumped up on steriods for a good month or two since. Ultimately he needs surgery but can't have that until he is off of the blood thinners for the clot - oh, and he is 23.
So we have been looking forward to this wedding for a long time and hopeful that it would happen as they had planned. And even though it nearly didn't happen, they were married and it was beautiful.
Chris and I flew into Detroit on Thursday and were picked up by my sister and her husband who are in school at Michigan. We stayed at their place and played games that night. For those game junkies among us, there is a new game called Deflexion which I brought for Logan's birthday present. It is basically laser chess and is awesome! I had a great time with them, especially since I get to see them so rarely.
Friday we drove up to the town of the wedding and checked into the resort. We went to the rehearsal dinner and participated in the favorite of our "(insert last name here)-wedding" traditions. Complete with a side of BBQ and beer, we read poems prepared for the bride and groom. They were tamer than usual (at our wedding it really resembled a roast) but came from the heart. I think we all felt that the bride and groom had enough to worry about. It is a great time and the family is always so creative.
That night was spent in the party room with my relatives, drinking beer, getting Tiger/Twin game updates (a lot of Tiger fans in the room, I was outnumbered!), and playing cards, with only an occasional question about when Chris and I were going to have kids!
Saturday we woke up (4 hours sleep is plenty!) and my mother and I went out to my aunt/uncle's house to help get fruit salad ready for brunch the next day. When we got there we heard that my cousin had been up all night sick and was currently running a temp of 103! His desire to be a participant at the golf outing on Friday and the rehearsal dinner had him threatening to relapse! Poor guy. But he was ultimately determined to go through with the wedding and assured us that it was on.
And true to his word the wedding did happen. His fever dropped some and the church had AC and they said all their vows sitting down, but they were married and it was beautiful. I always love weddings but have only occasionally cried at them. I think that they are extremely joyous occasions and often find myself smiling too much to cry...this was true at my wedding too. But here I broke down. It wasn't the most elaborate wedding I've been too, or the most expensive, but it was so touching the effort that they went to to have the wedding. Here were two young people who already knew the meaning of "in sickness and health" and it didn't change anything. Here were two people so in love and determined to get married that they weren't going to let anything stand in their way. So I cried. It was a beautiful and touching moment to see something go right for them, when the last few months have been hell. I think the world of my cousin's bride, she was strong and supportive and would do anything for my cousin. And my cousin would take any amount of pain to be there and marry her. It was great.
They did come to the reception, after a shorter set of pictures. They had toast right away, a few "songs with love in it" to kiss, a cake cutting and a first dance and then the groom spent the rest of the evening in a cot in the side room, while his bride kept the party going. He did make an appearance to say goodbye to folks. I'm sure that was not all they hoped for in a reception and it was hard on both of them but I have so much respect for the way they handled themselves this weekend. I hope that life only gets better for them!
In the end the party was great, lots of food, dancing and fun and I had a great time with the whole family, but I'm most moved by the strength and love of my cousin and his wife. I wish them all the happiness in the world, they really deserve it.
Pictures coming tomorrow I hope...