OctOber 6, 1973
Notre Dame Church
...today would have been my 38th wedding anniversary if I were still married to David. and yes, that is the church we were married in. even though we have long gone our separate ways, I still remember this date every year as it rolls around.
I had just graduated from high school in June, that year. I had the choice to either go to college with it all paid for because we were on welfare, and back then, they did that. I also contemplated going into the Navy and attaining my nursing degree that way. David was in the Navy at the time, as well. and of course, my third choice was to marry my first love, the boy I had been with since the age of 13... that I had given all of myself to, willingly surrendering everything I had and was, to him.
I know that sounds SO unsettlingly young, today. however, back then no one could of told me anything different. I thought I knew it all. I felt so grown up. everyone who said we were too young, was just wrong. they just didn't know how much we loved each other. I felt like no one else had ever felt that way before, and never would again, ya know? and I wanted to be with him, almost desperately. did I ever tell you that for me, it was love at first sight?
we met at a teen dance, on July 25, 1969. it was held in a building in our village downtown area. it was my first date ever. my mom's friend sewed me a cute little dress to wear, and my aunt in Montreal, had bought me a pair of mustard colored leather Mary Jane shoes, also the color of my dress. they were so "chique" with my waist length long black hair, every one said I looked like a doll. inside though, I felt ugly. I couldn't accept the compliments as I didn't have any self esteem at that time in my life.
a friend of mine had set our first date up. I didn't know what to expect, how to act, or if he would even think I was cute. I didn't even know what he looked like. when I saw him for the first time, I knew in an instant that I would marry him. maybe it was just my young girlish foolishness, but I knew in. my. soul. we danced and talked... then we had our first slow dance, to the song "To Love Somebody" by the Bee Gees. it has always remained "our song." over the years, if he heard it at work he would always call to say he loved me and they were playing our song. if it played on the stereo whilst we were at home, we would slow dance for old time's sake. I still can't hear that song without crying like a baby, for what once was, what could have been, and for all we had been through together, only to end up apart. our love story is one that should have never ended... yet, it did.
yes, I had a few choices to make after I graduated high school, and I chose the one I wanted more than life itself. I married David. in retrospect, I realize I was so afraid that if I didn't marry him when I did, and had either gone to college or joined the Navy, I would have lost him. I hadn't learned that if you loved someone, you let them go, and if they came back, they were meant to be yours.. but if they didn't, god must have had a different plan for me. I just didn't learn that until much later in life.
I don't ever regret my decision, yet I cant help but wonder how different my life would have played out had I made a different choice. and I will never know the answer. what I do know however, is if it took everything that happened to us during our whole time together, including the 4 years we dated prior to getting married, in order for us to have ended up with the 4 beautiful kids we have, then it was worth it and I wouldn't hesitate to do it all again.
as I was saying, today would have been our 38th year wedding anniversary... every girl dreams of her wedding day, and I was no different. but the fantasy I always imagined took the back seat to the reality of how it was. we were a welfare family. there was no money for anything, so David took out a $500.00 loan and went in debt, so we could pay for the wedding. we had the simplest, cheapest of things all around. my mom's friend made my wedding dress, and my sister Denise's maid of honor's dress. people brought home made food as if it were a pot luck, and it was enough.
all that mattered to me was knowing we would be together forever. the week before our wedding, it had rained and stormed without stop. but on Saturday morning, the day of our wedding, the fall leaves had turned into beautiful colors, the sun was shining brightly, and even the priest said in our ceremony that god himself brought all the colors and sunshine just for us, on our special day. it seemed as though every little detail was made special just for us.
even though my father wouldn't come and give me away, and even though my cousin did, and even though the whole thing was a far cry from what I had always dreamed about, I kept my eyes on David, nothing else mattered... and I felt the magic of the union of our love.
the day our daughter Emily got married, he and I were both there of course. me with Diane, and he with his second wife. he and I both sat in the front row, as the parents of the bride do.. and I remember desperately wanting to fall into his arms and sob my heart out.. not to get back together, not for any other reason except this was OUR little girl, and she was getting married. I desperately wanted to share the joy and pride with him, to honor what we once had that produced this beautiful baby girl~ who was entering a marriage of her own.
of course I didn't reach out to him, I couldn't, and I felt cheated/betrayed/hurt/sad that we couldn't really share a parent's moment at such a special time in one of our child's lives. our youngest son, Christophe, played his bassoon up on the alter, as his gift to his sister and her husband to be. our other 2 sons were ushers. I was so emotional that day, even now as I write this...
today is our old wedding anniversary, and I wonder if he will be remembering, too. I am happy in my life now, aside from a few glitches that need to be worked out.. and I'm a totally different person than I was so long ago. yet there are parts of one's soul, however small they may be, that will never forget, never let go completely, and always wonder "what if." I write this to honor what we once had, and for our kids to know we really were in love and happy for awhile..