The rings. The veil. The tux and the dress. The flowers. The music. The family and guests. The question. The I Dos. The kiss.
A wedding is made of these and so many other beautiful moments. Moments that become wonderful memories as the years go by. Many that make us laugh and some that help us cry. But none of them could we ever forget or trade. They are all part of who we have become. Together as one.
It’s been a little over 32 years since Barb and I said our I Dos. A few parts of our day at Dutch Run Trinity Church are a little foggy for me but most are crystal clear in my mind’s eye.
How beautiful Barb was. Not just in her wedding dress which was spectacular but the joy in her eyes and the love in her smile as we completed our vows. And the strength of the promise we made to each other as we slipped on our rings. These are the fondest memories I have from that day. Beautiful memories.
Our wedding service was very traditional. We had talked about doing an outdoor wedding, writing our own vows, and not having cake at the reception amongst other things. But in the end we wanted our day to reflect who we were which somewhat surprisingly was traditional. Plus Barb’s dad would have never forgiven us if there wasn’t cake.
I’ve been to many weddings over the years and each have been uniquely beautiful. Reflecting the souls of the bride and groom. Giving us a glimpse of who they will become together as one. A ceremony and a celebration of commitment and love.
It’s been a little over 6 months since Barb completed her journey in this life. Every day, every experience is different now. Not necessarily bad, although many times they are sad, but mostly just different. It’s like tying to complete a puzzle with one, a few, or many of the pieces missing.
I’ve progressed through the days, one at a time while figuring out how to live now as an incomplete puzzle. With God’s help I’m starting to see the puzzle come together again. But the picture is different and understandably so. Some day it may be whole but for now pieces are missing. Perhaps some always will be.
Yesterday was a day with a new piece missing. I had not been planning to do so, I had no specific date or time period in mind, but yesterday I decided to take off my wedding band to see how I felt without it.
I discovered this little band of gold that symbolized our commitment to each other had more strength and power in it then I had ever imagined. I felt the loss of Barb all over again. I felt incomplete without it. I felt my world change just like it had back in March. It was devastating and I wept.
Then I felt peace.
Call it God’s grace or Barb’s love, I believe it was both, but a feeling of calmness and peace overtook me. I wept again but this time from a heart filled with warmth. It was a moment I will not ever forget. It was a newly made puzzle piece beginning to fall into place.
Today has been a new day, a good day. I’m thankful for that. I’ve made it two days now without wearing the ring but I’m keeping it with me in my pocket for as long as I need. Keeping it close along with all the other memories of Barb and our wedding day. To bring me strength. To bring me peace.
All the pieces of the puzzle, both old and new, that remind me of who I’ve been and who I may be.
See you down the road.