This is the first part of a two-part post, the final installment will be tomorrow for reasons which will become immediately apparent….
This night 21 years ago I was a very young, very naive 20 year old and I was spending the last night at home with my parents. I was tucked up in my brother’s bed (the top bunk) and I was sharing the room with my cousin Natalie (in the bottom bunk). Dotted around the house were various friends and relatives all awaiting the big day tomorrow.
I didn’t sleep much that night. I was scared stiff, nervous, excited, puzzled, lost, adrift, out of control….as most brides-to-be are I would imagine on the eve of their wedding day.
Looking back now, some of the memories are as crystal clear as if they were only made yesterday, both of that last night at my parent’s house and of the Big Day itself. Like the fact that I couldn’t sleep and I was worried I’d have bags under my eyes for the wedding (at 20 years old!). Like waiting for the flowers to arrive the next day and the big wide box everything got delivered in – my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s flowers, the button holes and the corsages all fresh and cold from the florist. Like the house emptying in sudden big stages as everyone left for the church in the various limos and hire cars, eventually leaving just my Dad and me in the house on our own. And his pale face and cold hands as we waited for the car to come back for us. And the tears of nerves and happiness….and if I’m honest now, fear too. I remember as clear as day him being so nervous that he trod on me in the back of the limousine and him holding my hand tight as we made our way to the church. I’ll never know who was comforting who on that journey.
The day itself was magical in a strange and wonderful way. I can’t believe we were both so young, and looking back I only realise just how young we were with the experience of 21 years of marriage behind us. I know we didn’t feel that young and foolish back then (who ever does??) but we were little more than children I suppose. Ah well…
An awful lot of water has passed under the bridge since that day, and a lot of awful water has passed as well. I’m going to post part two tomorrow on the top ten things I’ve learned about being married and living a married life in the intervening years.
Please come and visit me tomorrow and see how many things you can identify with off my list.
Oh, and just in case you don’t believe me when I say we were little more than children, here is a picture of us on our wedding day!