There are so many prompts to choose from. It’s hard to decide which one to spend the time thinking about when all of them provide some incredible insight into where I have been and where I want to be. This morning while writing my morning pages, I chose to write about a word that defined 2012. There are two other prompts that I’m considering for this evening, and both require perhaps more thought than I’m capable of after a weekend spent at work, immersed in spreadsheets and numbers and cleaning up other people’s messes. I finally came home tonight because I started making too many mistakes.
After dinner and some decompression in the form of cleaning my bathroom, I think I’m ready to tackle this second reflection of 2012. Hope Wallace Karney’s prompt for this evening speaks the most to me:
December 2 – What was the most memorable gathering you attended (or held) in 2012?
Did you attend a fun event? Throw a great party? Had dinner out with a great group of friends? Accomplished the perfect family outing? Which was the most memorable (good or bad), and why?
This should be a no-brainer. The most memorable gathering that I attended or held has to be our wedding. How could it not? So much planning and people coming together to pledge their support to us. 200 friends and family, some of whom traveled from across the country, to be with us. There were people who made the trip that I never thought would be there, and it was such a pleasure to see them if only for a few moments.
The wedding was truly a labor of love. From preparing the food to creating the decorations to crafting the ceremony. All of those things were mountains of work not just for us but for the community around us. There were people who spent a lot of time and money to help us have the wedding that was right for us.
The problem with saying that our wedding was the most memorable gathering I held this year is that there are so many pieces of it that are blank for me. I had read that I would need to plan ways to be present, to periodically stop and take mental snapshots. I had every intention of doing that, but when it actually came down to it, it was too hectic, there were too many people, and there was too much happening. When I try to put together a timeline of the day, it is all so incredibly blurry.
Which is not to say that there aren’t moments of incredible clarity. There is much in the lead up to the wedding that I remember very well. Making breakfast for my mom and my best friends. Driving back from Wal-Mart along the beach. Being shaky and weepy, wanting to ask someone else to drive north because I wasn’t at all sure that I truly could. Upon arriving at Gumbo Acres, there was still so much to do–in addition to getting ready. People to talk to, things to make sure were done, people to talk to.
I will forever regret taking that Ativan round about 3:30. At the time, though, I didn’t know what else to do. I was beginning a panic. the chicken hadn’t been picked up, I couldn’t find my debit card, the drinks needed to be made, and my photographer wasn’t answering her phone. It was much easier to take the pill, have the drink, and let the chips fall where they may.
I remember pieces of getting to the backyard and taking photos, but that great shot of Amber, Shannon, and me laughing? I have no idea what that was about. I don’t really remember the first look.
Of everything, I think that I remember the ceremony the most. Looking out at all of our friends and family, standing and pledging to support our marriage was overwhelming. My sweet TaTa, choking up as she talked about what a special place Gumbo Acres is, laughing with my husband and everyone else. Blending our families together. It was a long ceremony. Or at least longer than most of our friend’s weddings, but I don’t remember it because it was long. i remember it because it was so important.
Talking with friends, hugging and kissing and enjoying the celebration is another thing. I don’t even clearly remember our first dance, but there are a couple of amazing photos of that moment. There are snapshots of the night that I look back on and am filled with so much gratitude and love.
Those bits of confusion, though, the moments of it that are missing make me question if our wedding is truly our most memorable gathering. The truth is that even with all the missing pieces, I can think of no other gathering that comes close to that night. My sweet husband’s 30th birthday party? Good. My bachelorette party? A blast! St. Patrick’s Day at our house? Great fun. The 4th of July with Matt’s parents? A good time.
Nothing comes close to our wedding, and maybe that’s because of all of the support and love that was uplifting us on April 21st. There was fun and a party to be sure, but being enveloped in all that love? It stays with you.