Don’t know where I’m going this morning. I usually have the day all planned out by 7 AM, but today I can’t seem to find a direction or focus. There are a few things on my to-do list but no real ambition or obligations driving my focus. I seem to be in a holding pattern – between events, between blogs, between widowed and married. The next event is a road trip with Tom to Racine to attend my late husband’s nephew’s wedding. I’m looking forward to this because I will see my Texas family there. I haven’t seen my granddaughters since June. Minor stress planning the drive through Chicago at a time when it won’t be choked with traffic, but aside from that it should be a very pleasant trip. Of course, after that comes our wedding on October 24th. I’m a little lost on this one. It will be a very small affair with about twenty people tops; just a few of Tom’s family and my parents and siblings. It is, after all, my fourth marriage. It certainly feels strange to be getting married at sixty-eight. I don’t feel like a “bride” for sure. A friend asked me if I had bought new lingerie. “Ha”, I said, “I did get some new knee-highs”. She laughed and told me that there was nothing less sexy than an old lady in a dress with knee-high hose. I told her I would be wearing slacks. So you see, it’s not going to be a big deal but I can’t help thinking that it should be.
I think I’m stuck between needing this special moment to be very simple and uncomplicated and believing that I should be making a bigger deal out of it than I am. It’s just that thinking about cutting into a wedding cake again with Tom, after doing that ceremony with Archie, feels like it would lack the meaning that it symbolizes. I think I need to find new symbols to bring to this ceremony but I don’t even know what that means or what it would look like. I ponder.
Last week I thought I would go through the boxes and boxes of old photo’s from all of my past lives, take photo’s out of frames and albums and file them away in three manila envelopes one for each marriage. This was to be a symbolic ritual of letting go of the past and wiping the slate clean so to speak. I didn’t get very far. I did go through all of the photos but just didn’t feel the need to “file them away”. I recognized that it would not make a difference. The past is already in the past, and those past lives made me who I am today. I cannot shed them. So, how about a wedding pie?
The fact is I am entering into a union with a wonderful man who has chosen to spend the rest of his life with me. He has his history and I have mine. We both are well worn but not quite used up. We are both realists and know that the symbols of a first wedding ceremony, (or second or third), are not adequate to represent the life we are creating together. We need to create symbols that represent what marriage means to us, today. We are using our wedding rings from our marriages to Archie and Dorothy for the ceremony because we see this marriage as a continuation of the commitment to another that was made long ago. We see these rings as symbols of a love that has been purified by the pain of loss but that represents the love which we now extend to each other. Wedding pie, or cake, or cupcakes – it doesn’t matter. Those symbols no longer have any meaning. It is the recognition of what is sacred that we bring to our new life together and that is enough.