Friday, July 1, 2011
25 years and counting ...
Well here we are ~ the old married folks, renewing our wedding vows Sunday. A totally unexpected event, and one Ralph and I will never forget.
I hinted about this here on Monday, but I was waiting for a photo to illustrate!
The occasion ended up being kind of a blur, but I'll share what I remember.
We were invited to the Baptism of seven-month old Noah, the first child of Ralph's boss and friend, Marc. We arrived early and found a spot on the aisle in the last pew.
The Rev. Thomas F. Lynch (above) came over and smiled and welcomed us to the church. He struck up a conversation and asked Ralph what his illness was; Ralph told him he has Muscular Dystrophy and then mentioned I have cancer.
Father Lynch, an incredibly friendly man, seemed taken aback.
He asked, "Are you two friends?"
We said something like, no, we're married (hahaha) and told him we had just marked our 25th wedding anniversary.
He asked us if we had celebrated or renewed our wedding vows. We said no we hadn't. He told us to see him after the Baptism and he would renew our vows. It was our turn to be taken aback!
After the Mass, Father Lynch announced to a crowd of about 200 people (there was also a First Communion that day in addition to the Baptism and the sanctuary was filled with proud parents) that there were two visitors from Ansonia who had just had their 25th wedding anniversary.
Ralph and I just looked at each other.
We thought he was going to renew our vows privately, after everyone had left. Nope. That was not to be.
He called us up to the altar, asked us to take each others' hands, and we recited our vows.
My voice got a bit shaky, as I saw Marc and his lovely wife in the first pew beaming at us.
After the brief exchange of vows, everyone applauded! I was overwhelmed, and I do believe Ralph was too.
We walked (and rolled) back down the aisle to lots of smiles, and one elderly man got up and shook my hand and said congratulations. Ralph's co-workers were beaming, and surprised, as were we.
Afterward more of the parishioners came up and congratulated us.
I told Marc (who fortunately has a great sense of humor) that we didn't mean to steal his thunder! It was his special day!
He told me, "I feel like I should get you a gift." I said jokingly, "Don't worry about it, we didn't get you one."
At the luncheon afterward we got more congrats and best wishes, from Ralph's co-workers as well as from people we didn't know.
I'm grateful to Ralph's colleague, Chris, who was quick with the camera and got a few photos of the moment for us.
Words escape me ~ I can just say it was wonderful. We went to the church Sunday not knowing we were going to get married again.
But we did.
And sealed it with a kiss.