Newlywed Love (#96)

September 6-7, 1970

M, E, and B

A blog note:

Our daughter Birgitta and granddaughter Emerald (right) will be arriving tonight for a happy weekend in Michigan.

 

Then on Monday, my college roommate Julie (below) will be coming with her friend Ming for the rest of the week.

 

Beach buddiesBecause of these festivities, the blog-saga of Meg and Nate’s newlywed year will be on hold for a week or so.

Eventually we’ll get them to their first wedding anniversary (November 29) before closing the book on them. First, though, let’s see how the 1970 Labor Day weekend finished out:

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Smooching BaronAfter Lynn and Don’s wedding, Nate and I made a bee-line across two suburbs to Mom and Dad’s place in Wilmette – anticipating a reunion with our beloved doggie Baron. As soon as we saw him, Nate scooped him up and planted a kiss right on his nose. (Picture is of a second kiss the next day…)

We were astounded by how much he’d grown. Obviously, he was a happy, healthy poochie.

On Sunday, Mom hosted a mid-day dinner that doubled as a birthday party for Dad (#71) and brother Tom (#20), who was born on Dad’s 50th.

 

David and TomAmong the party guests was Tom’s good friend David (to the left of Tom), the guy who had become a regular babysitter for Baron. As the afternoon unfolded, Nate and I could see how close David and Baron had become, with “our” puppy responding better to him than to us.

 

 

On the drive back to Champaign early the next morning, we could see the writing on the wall. Since we had one more year in our apartment where dogs weren’t allowed, and since Mom and Dad seemed to continually be on the move, Baron would be spending more and more time with David — and end up in his family instead of ours.

Playing with BaronThough we could rightfully claim him after our year in Champaign, by then that would be hard on both boy-and-dog. So, as we ticked off the miles toward home, we felt ourselves slowly accepting a difficult truth: we would need to begin separating from sweet Baron.

We drove along in silence trying to absorb this sad reality, and I remembered something David had said at the dinner. “I hope some day you’ll let me take care of Baron full time. That would be a dream come true for me. And my whole family already loves him.”

Though Nate was feeling low too, he came up with one positive thought. “I’m sure if Baron went with David, he’d let us visit him any time we came to town.” Since his family and ours were good friends through decades together at Moody Church, I knew that was true.

“Also,” Nate said, “letting your parents get out from under the responsibility we never should have put on them in the first place, is the right thing to do.” We both knew that, too.

Shaking a balloonBy the time we pulled into our gravel parking spot behind the apartment, Nate and I reasoned that maybe the back story of why Baron had come to us at all was because God wanted us to deliver him to David. As hard as that was to think about, it would mean that everything was actually turning out the way it was supposed to be.

“Submit to God and be at peace with him.” (Job 22:21)

Newlywed Love (#96)

September 5, 1970

After Lynn and Don’s wedding rehearsal, we were all primed to see them tie the knot. But there was much to be done first.

Done do'sWe bridesmaids, along with Lynn’s mom, headed for a salon where several hairdressers transformed our flat swimming-pool-hair to full-bodied, bouncy curls. Even my head, with hair not nearly as long as the others, was coaxed by their expert hands to cooperate. As we left, our up-dos all matched.

M,B,M,NWhen it was finally time to parade down the church aisle, all of us were eager for it, especially the bride and groom. Although Nate and I had separate assignments, we took every chance to whisper quick reminiscences about our own wedding day… such happy memories.

Mary and Bervin were there along with my parents, and Mom was at the organ. It was fun connecting with old Moody Church cronies along with former summer camp friends. And the pastor did a superb job pulling Lynn’s and Don’s life-stories together.

Cutting the cakeBefore we knew it, we were in the church fellowship hall with the newly-married couple, watching them cut their wedding cake – with one of the very long swords.

When it was all over, Nate and the others hustled upstairs to march in formation toward the wedding arch.

 

Arch-guys marchThe arch

Lynn and Don were definitely the stars of the day, but my personal star was Nate, and I couldn’t help being very proud of him as I watched him fulfill his duties with excellence.

Actually, I couldn’t wait to get him home alone. I wanted to tell him once more how glad I was to be married to him, knowing he’d be my partner “till death parted us,” as we had vowed on our wedding day 9 months earlier.

We all knew that Don, because of his active status with the Army, would be going to Vietnam in April. That meant he and Lynn had less than 8 months together before he would be gone for a year.

Nate and I couldn’t imagine how that would feel for a newlywed couple that just wanted to be together. But we also knew the same thing could happen to Nate, even though he was only in the reserves. It all depended on how long the war would continue.

M and NIn any case, as I watched Lynn and Don get married, I promised myself I would never take Nate’s presence for granted, not for a single day, and would appreciate every hour we had together.

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)

Newlywed Love (#95)

September 6-8, 1970

 

My friend Lynn and I had a storehouse of memories big enough to fill several books, going back to our pre-teen days.

Lynn, high schoolOver the years we’d gotten to know each other well as together we strategized in and out of countless boy-girl relationships.

Once in a while we’d sit down and list what would make the perfect husband.

When Nate and I began dating, Lynn walked with me through the 3 years of ups and downs that finally led to our wedding. And I was with her the night she met Don and through all the heart-to-hearts that followed.

Now we had come to their wedding weekend, and as Nate and I raced toward the Chicago area from Champaign to participate, we couldn’t have been happier for them. Chatting through the miles, I recounted to Nate what a loyal friend Lynn had been as I remembered her excitement the weekend we got married.

Though she and Don had met by then, they lived 850 miles apart and no commitments had yet been made. But despite Lynn not being sure she’d be trying on wedding gowns any time soon, she had happily joined into all my joy in doing that same thing. She made 3 of my bridesmaids’ gowns and in so many ways was my best cheerleader through those heady days.

Now we were on our way to celebrate Lynn and her man on their wedding weekend. As we drove north, we hoped we wouldn’t be stopped by any policemen for anything, since we had 4 very sharp swords packed in the Fiat.

Rehearsal group

We were late arriving to the rehearsal, but Lynn filled us in. She directed Nate and his swords to the other three military guys where he passed along the instruction he’d received from the officer who’d given him the swords. Apparently it was important to hold them a certain way. He also gave them their white gloves.

Sword practiceWhile they headed outside to practice, Lynn introduced me to the friend of Don’s with whom I’d be walking as a bridesmaid. She also told me that if Nate agreed, she wanted him to walk her mother down the aisle. He said yes and considered it a great honor.

The rehearsal evening was almost as much fun as the wedding, although the bride and groom couldn’t go home together afterwards. As for Nate and I, we didn’t go home together that night either.

Lynn and Meg in aisleI went to Lynn’s house with the other bridesmaids, and he went off with Don and Co. to the bachelor party, followed by a night with Mom and Dad.

It was never our first choice to spend a night apart, but he encouraged me to go with the girls, and I loved him for all the freedom he gave me. He was always gracious, never trying to control me in any way.

The bride and bridesmaids wasted no time when we got to Lynn’s house, donning our bathing suits and heading to a neighbor’s pool. Making the most of our togetherness, we stayed up half the night talking about every possible marriage scenario. Lynn could hardly wait!

“A worthy wife is a crown for her husband.” (Proverbs 12:4)