At the wedding reception on Saturday, family and friends shared stories about Melissa and Stephan, and their many years of being together, prior to their wedding day. And in fact, The date … May 5th, 11 years prior, was the day that Stephan had asked Melissa to be his girlfriend.
Most couples meet at some point in their lives, and date and later marry. Melissa and Stephan met in high school. There is an old Facebook photo from that time period, long ago, of the two, standing in front of a “Just Married” sign. Portents of the future, they say now.
Who knew that back then, that eleven years later, they would meet in a chapel to make it official. There is a history there for sure.
Both sets of parents had introduction stories about the “other.” When they either first met Melissa, in Stephan’s parents case, or when Melissa’s parents first met Stephan. We got to hear what the parents were thinking at that time, and their concern over “longevity of such a young relationship.” Who could tell, if they would make it, or survive the test of time, and still be together.
A few years into Stephan and Melissa’s relationship, Stephan went into free fall. He was not sure that he wanted to be with Melissa forever, since he had NOT had another girlfriend before, and wasn’t really sure if “this was it …” so to speak.
The next day, he broke up with Melissa. He went home that night and told his mother what he had done. And she asked him bluntly … what the hell did you do that for ??
Thankfully, he had been talking all along with Jessica, Melissa’s younger sister, and his closest friends about the breakup. After receiving wise counsel from all, he had decided that Melissa was the girl he wanted to be with for life. He had to devise a plan to “get her back.”
With Jessica’s advice he went out and bought a “Promise Ring.” The very next day, he met with Melissa to give her that ring.
With that promise of love and devotion, Stephan and Melissa began walking the long path of 9 more years to the altar.
Stephan had figured it out. The girl he asked to be his girlfriend ended up being the woman he would marry on Saturday, last.
A moment happened at the reception that I had Stephan to myself. Oddly, during that night, people had the opportunity to speak one on one with bride and groom, individually.
When the moment came for me, I hit my mark. I told Stephan the story about the “wedding vows on the fridge story.”
Yes, you both had eleven years together before the wedding. You hit some hard times, well, things that were hard on lives so young. You built businesses, and then found a home together. Now you are married. And this is where the “Rubber meets the Road.”
They did not recite the traditional wedding vows …
Wedding vows may also take the following form: I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
They instead, opted for the HANDS reading that I wrote about the other night.
So I told Stephan about the vows as they are stated. And that now they were married, what happens when shit really hits the fan? What happens when good goes bad, easy goes hard, wellness turns into sickness. When better gets worse, when richer goes poorer, such and so forth.
I told him about people I knew, who got married, because it was the “thing to do at the time.” They really did not think about Forever very well. And for some of them, when things did go south, as they sometimes did, they did not make it, and for many of those couples, break up and divorce was in the cards for them.
I warned him. Told him to be vigilant. To Be a good Boy Scout and “Always be mindful and prepared” because you never know when shit is going to get real.
Right now, in Hubby’s family, shit is getting real. And the writing is on the wall, and death is a forgone conclusion, for Hubby’s Mom. She is frail, and weakening badly. She is not eating. (Once a sick person or an elderly person decides to stop eating) you know, the end is not far away.
My father in law, over dinner, with all of us sitting around him, related my Mother in Law’s frail condition. At one point he was free, and I implored hubby to go talk to his father, and tell him what he needed to hear from hubby. Which he turned around and spat words in my face to the effect that … “I should butt out of his family life…”
He did go talk to his father in the end. And when he left the reception we both spoke to him, offering them whatever help they could ever need, that we would be ready and willing to do whatever needed to be done, when it was necessary.
We are going to lose a family member, the question is When ???
So we are steeled right now for the inevitable. Many of my nieces and nephews are young, many of them have never experienced death in real-time. Stephan needs to know what to do when this event comes around. And how he is going to support Melissa when the time comes.
Warnings that Wedding vows talk about.
Marriage is not always a bed of roses. Life has a funny way of throwing wrenches into life at the worst possible moments.
One never knows when shit is going to get real.
Hubby strode up behind us while I was talking and rolled his eyes at us, and turned to Stephan and said … “Ignore everything Jeremy has just said, because he likes to talk.”
He was afraid I was putting the Fear Of God into our young married man.
Forever is a long time. And Marriage is Forever.
We only hope that Stephan and Melissa last the test of time, till death they do part.