It was mid February and I was devastated. My emotions were all over the place – anger at what she had done, hurt by the betrayal, worried about someone I still loved, fear about an unknown future. My chest contracted, every heartbeat was loss, abandonment, pain. I had never felt so lonely. The woman I loved was not there anymore and had not been there for a long time, as usual I was the last to know.
Once Sara was home and stabilized, it was time to hit the road – not to get away from the world but to go toward something, something that made sense, toward people that made sense. I sought out the friends and family that had been there for me. I needed contact, to have open and honest talks, to engage. One of the people I made a point to see was my young cousin MK in Portland. She’s the type to send a card or drop a text always at the right time, remembers not only my birthday but Day’s birthday too. An intelligent hard working over educated die hard liberal millenial who loves theme parties, she embodies Portland, youth, and thoughtfulness.
We stayed up late and talked into the night on the couch where I would end up crashing. After all the where have you been’s and what have you been up to’s, I unloaded my sob story on someone who knows how to listen, knows when to ask a question, knows when to say nothing, knows how to hug. After my pity party had run its course she turned it all around with some good news – she was going to get married. Specifically she said she was going to elope, which of course made no sense. I thought if you tell someone in advance about your wedding plans then by definition it is not an elopement but what do I know. I was happy for her, I was proud of her. And even though it was short notice and far away I was damn sure going to make it to that wedding.
So last Saturday I flew to Las Vegas, took the light rail to the place where you catch the shuttle bus to the rental car facility which is where you catch another bus to get to Fox rental cars which is where you go if you’re cheap like me. After an hour in line I signed my life away for a well used Kia Soul and hit the gas out to Red Rocks, which is a wonderful place to visit unless you’re running late for a last minute wedding under a tree in a small meadow half a mile up the trail from a parking lot where everyone is supposed to meet but nobody is quite sure how to get there and of course there is no cell phone coverage. It was cold, windy, and starting to rain but everyone made it just in time, and as the bride and groom stood beneath a large juniper, surrounded by close friends and family, the rain stopped and the wind died, and the couple was blessed with a moment of wedding magic beneath a clearing desert sky.
Our own wedding was in a grove of redwoods at an outdoor Catholic church in northern California. The fog had cleared and the coastal sunshine made hazy sunbeams in the clearing where we had gathered. Sara was stunning. My thought for today is that as much as we emphasize commitment, unity, and lifelong devotion, the real magic of a wedding is the celebration of a singular and brief moment in time, when two people stand together and proclaim before God and the world that they love each other more than anything and anyone else. I miss you Sara.