The months leading up to our move were not good ones. I was burned out and all I could see was a very long ‘to do’ list with a strict time table. Pragmatically it was all doable, I just wasn’t in top form. However the moment that toppled it was when I found out that I had only been given a tourist visa. What that meant was that I had to leave the country every 3 months to renew my visa with no guarantee it would be. Tim and Somara received one year visas; Tim because of the position he was taking, Somara because she was his dependent, but I was out of luck. We didn’t have the magic piece of paper, a marriage certificate. The more optimistic of my friends said ‘that’s at least 4 guaranteed trips to other countries’ but in my mind the only guarantee was one trip out.
So after 23 years together Tim and I got married. It was what I’d call a shot gun wedding. Nine of us around the dining table on a Sunday night including my friend Cindy, a Justice of the Peace. We’d had 4 days to think about it.
In those 4 days I couldn’t think about what we were going to say, wear, eat, let alone contemplate the meaning of this marriage. I was maxed out…AND I was mired in the disappointment that this was going to happen without my family and many close friends. So I just need to get through it and surrendered all the planning to Tim. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
But from the moment our friends arrived presenting Tim with a bottle of Scotch, and me with lacy underwear, everything clicked into place. It was chaotic, and noisy and a bit disorganized. But it felt right. All my anxiety and sadness went poof into thin air. There was genuine joy around that table, as well as numerous bottles of Prosecco, plates of eggplant parmesan and a crazy delicious chocolate cake. Hannah and Somara didn’t eat the eggplant and it wasn’t ‘the wedding’ I had imagined for myself 20 years ago, but it was exactly who we were as a family; together, eating, drinking and celebrating with great friends the life we’ve had and the life to come. I think this is going to be a good year.
(So even though I didn’t even think about photos, let alone charge my camera…here’s our one and only fuzzy, wedding picture, with the whole family – minus one cat.)