The morning that would never come is tomorrow. And tonight is another night that will not end, drenched in tears for the life I am leaving, sorrow for the things I love.
It is the end of an era.
I ask myself if something is wrong. These tears, are they wrong? Are they bad? Are they telling me something?
No, they are telling me nothing. Only mourning. Mourning as ties strong as life wear thin, making way for a new, single rope of love.
To my boyfriend. Who I will marry tomorrow.
Morning comes, and now we’re down to business. Packing supplies, checking and double checking. Marriage certificate, check! That’s an important one. Wedding rings? Got ’em! Bride? Guess so. Groom? He’s on time!
We’re traveling before the ceremony can be done. We’re driving three hours before we reach a church by a long road, a field of corn, a set of power lines. A church surrounded by grass yellowed from the drought this dry, dry summer. A church under an overcast, yet dry, gray sky.
We are solemn on the trip to matrimony. We are jittery as our families arrive to witness the bonding of hearts.
We meet our pastor for the first time. First time for me, anyways, not for my husband-to-be. But I know this pastor. I have listened to his sermon and spoken with him and his wife online. He is a comfort in this new place and strange ceremony. He guides us.
I change into my white dress in a downstairs bathroom, echoey and ill lit and I hope it has a functioning lock. Insecure in my wedding attire, my dressy cowgirl boots, I hope I look nice.
Up the stairs I climb, to set up my camera, to record the event. Finally I’m in my comfort zone! Fiddling with my camera, that’s where I belong. When it is set up, I begin again the aimless wandering, the waiting.
The guests seat themselves. He waits for me with the pastor. The music starts – that’s my cue. In we go.
What an odd walk down the aisle!
My dad says “I love you” as he lets me go. It makes me sad all over again. Not that I ever really got less sad.
Then we’re watching each other, trying really, really hard not to miss any important line, like “I will” or “I do”. When it’s my turn, knowing my voice doesn’t carry well, I give my best “I WILL!” I think I startle the pastor, but at least the camera could hear that part.
The ceremony goes on, and our knees don’t buckle, and we smile at each other when the pastor says the words that tell us we did it. We smile and wave at the family, walk down the aisle, and wait to greet the folks as they come out. It looks like they’re enjoying themselves in there, though. They’re reluctant to leave their seats. That was it? Maybe they’re wondering. We drove 3 hours for a 10 minute ceremony?
Not really. I think they’re just mingling. Getting used to the idea of being related to each other, after the two of us said “I DO!”
They make it out after a while. Then we take photos! That part is fun. Photos here, photos there, paparazzi! So many cameras. Lots of photos to look back on. In some of them, we look happy. Some of them, we’re putting on our happy faces while our minds are wandering. Some of them, we’re blissfully occupied in some very present task of arranging people for a photo or wondering about logistics, rather than contemplating the significance of our “I do”s.
Afterwards, we continue in the cloud of disbelief for an unknown period of time. At least, I do. Everything’s weird and new and different. I’m living with my boyfriend! Wait, my husband. Who’s no different from my boyfriend! We don’t feel like a family yet. This feels weird. And we’re sad, so sad, sometimes. We miss the lives we had.
And time goes on. We love each other, we go on romps together, we build a life together, we get used to each other. The first four months were noteworthy; every single one had a different flavor. Month five, we began to feel settled. Month six? We move to a new home, feeling like husband and wife.
Month 7, and I imagine the months turning to years.