The Boy Gets Married

Weddings are the product of their time, just like this cake topper.
My son’s wedding has me nostalgic for mine. Our chubby bride and groom cake topper has lasted through 36 years and 13 moves.

By Teresa Swartz Roberts

Blog 34. Copyright 2020

The Boy got married today. The day was perfect for an outdoor wedding, blue skies peeking through dramatic rolling clouds, a little breeze teasing the bride’s veil away from her dress. She made her veil from my wedding veil. She’s a talented and creative woman who wanted to include a piece of her groom’s history in her wedding ensemble, the same way I wore Grandma’s faux pearls to walk down the aisle.

Her aisle was wide so that there was plenty of room for the two other men in her life to escort her, father pushing the wheels of his wheelchair through slightly uneven ground on her right and stepfather walking to the instrumental version of “No One is Alone” from Into the Woods on her left. The bride’s sister, clad in a soft off-the-shoulder lavender dress, was the maid of honor. Her mother and grandparents were putting the finishing touches on the cake table until the last minute.

And the bride’s great-grandmother, pronounced the guest of honor by the groom, sat inside the sun room of her assisted living facility. She was what brought this family to The County, extreme northern Maine, for the wedding. In the days of coronavirus, bringing the wedding to her window was the only way for her to be there.

I wasn’t at the wedding in person. The venue had enough connectivity to allow me to watch on a computer screen while My Honey and I sat in our side-by-side lift recliners. If I had traveled from Georgia to Maine for the wedding, I would have been required to quarantine for two weeks before getting together with the wedding party. At least that’s what is supposed to happen. I don’t know that any visitors to Maine are still putting themselves in quarantine these days.

Fact is, I would not have been able to go in person anyway. My Parkinson’s is a little too far along now, and my husband, my wonderful care partner, has disabilities too and is no longer able to baby me. I first realized that I cannot travel safely when my stepmother died a year ago, and I was not able to attend her funeral.

We watched our son’s wedding from more than 1,400 miles away instead of being there with The Boy and The Girl. (It seems appropriate to call her that. She’s our “daughter” now.) Covid19 made that not seem weird after work meetings and school lessons have been held online for months now during the pandemic.

The original guest list had to be pared down to fewer than a dozen because of the virus. The gathering could not be more than 20 people total. The Boy didn’t have a single family member there, but he had his best man and some other close friends, the kind that have become family through spiritual connections forged through long conversations and shared history. They know him.

After the “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” recessional, the bride’s aunt carried us to the newlyweds to congratulate them. I told them we had been talking about what we would say to them if we had been there in person. What advice would I give to my son and his bride on their wedding day?

I would say that if you’re married long enough, you will learn what the vows really mean. The Boy and The Girl wrote their own vows, perfect words for them. For us, it was the traditional “for better or worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.” You don’t know what that means until you’ve had the death talk.

If I get Covid 19, I don’t want to be intubated, the standard treatment for severe cases. My Honey had to listen to me say I don’t want to have my life saved by extraordinary measures. That was an abstract thought until coronavirus arrived.

I would also tell them that between the weddings and funerals the mundane would become important. When your spouse’s car won’t start, it can be the most urgent thing in the world. Returning home from a trip to the store with not only a 12 pack of toilet paper, but our brand of toilet paper, can make you feel like a conquering hero. When it’s not a special day like when your son is getting married, the mundane days all strung together is life. That’s why watching a hummingbird out our back window and chuckling at a squirrel with a round belly while we watch it consume all of the nearly-ripe pears can be the most important thing I’ll do tomorrow. Not today. Today I watched The Boy get married.

12 thoughts on “The Boy Gets Married

  1. Congratulations to all! You may have not been there physically, but you were there and your hearts were present right with them! We wrote our own vows too! We wish them the best in their journey together!

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  2. Beautifully Written. All our Love and Blessings ❣️🙏 to the newest member of family. Blessings 🙏🙏🙏 to you and Frank. I know how difficult it was for both of you not being there in person. You’ve raised an Wonderful and Giving Man. I’ve always been so Proud of Jonah. His giving spirit over the years has always shined. I love you dearly BOY. I know your hearts are Full.
    Your Mom would of been estatic. Q

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    1. Donnetta, I appreciate your thoughts. I was thinking about Mother on this special day. Thank you for your compliments to Jonah. I think he’s pretty special, but I’m a bit biased.

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  3. I have Goosebumps as I read your post! You have truly learned what is most important in this Earthly life – family connection!
    Blessings to your son and new wife. 💕

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  4. My eyes filled with tears as I read your beautifully written words. Please know that Jonah has been a part of our family from the start. We have watched he and Courtney fall more in love on a daily basis. I am so grateful we were able to include you and your husband in the very special day. Hope one day we will be able to visit you and share stories.

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  5. Teresa, how lucky are Jonah and Courtney to have you and your wisdom in their lives and marriage! As my husband and I approach 35 years of marriage in just a few short days, I will continue to think about your great words to the newlyweds: “I would say that if you’re married long enough, you will learn what the vows really mean.” and “I would also tell them that between the weddings and funerals the mundane would become important.” Wise words!

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