Wednesday, November 26, 1969
The pace was quickening as Nate and I headed for our wedding day. Driving 40 miles each way to school seemed silly for the half day of classes before Thanksgiving break began, but my carpool buddies and I made the trip.
During the morning, Principal Scarce visited my classroom, wishing me (and the first graders) a happy holiday break. He stayed to chat for a few minutes, and I sensed he was feeling bad about limiting Nate’s and my honeymoon days.
“After you return to school,” he said, “my wife and I want to have you and your new husband over for dinner some night. We’ll invite the other teachers, too, and we’ll celebrate your marriage.”
Apparently he’d forgiven me for my part in ditching the teacher training meetings earlier, which meant more to me than his invitation. But I thanked him and said Nate and I would look forward to that occasion.
“Uh…. maybe for the rehearsal dinner?” I said, thinking of his parents and the new suit.
“In today’s mail,” he said. “From your sister!”
The pants were full of 1960’s wisdom: Flower Power, Hang Loose, Gimme Some Skin. It was Mary’s colorful way of joining in on all the happiness of these special days. And she used two of her many talents to send Nate’s gift: her shopping expertise and her generosity.
Before we left for Wilmette, I made a long distance call to the bridal shop to make sure my gown had arrived. “Friday for sure,” they said. I was stunned. That was cutting it pretty close, but I was powerless to speed things up. I reminded them my wedding was Saturday, and with profuse apologies, they told me not to worry.
Grabbing our double-packed bags, we headed for the stairs but not without stopping at the front door first. “Just think,” Nate said. “The next time we come to this door, I’ll be carrying you across the threshold…. as my wife!”
A thrilling thought – that called for putting the suitcases down and sharing a few kisses in that special place. Nate held me extra-tight, and I knew what he was thinking. That threshold-moment was a moment he’d dreamed about far longer than I had, waiting patiently through nearly 3 years. And it was almost here.
Wrapped in his arms there, I was very thankful he’d been so patient.
After we arrived at my parents’ home, the celebrating began in earnest. My California relatives were there, and I had the special joy of introducing my man to all of them. It was especially lovely to watch Aunt Joyce connect with him. Though they’d never met, she’d been praying enough to already feel close.
After we all shared dinner, Nate and I began opening gifts that had come in response to the wedding invitations. (Right: Aunt Agnes folds wrapping paper) When it came time for Nate to say goodbye in order to spend the night with his parents and brother at a nearby Holiday Inn, we’d hardly made a dent in the pile. We were being engulfed by love.
“Love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)