Part V of V
The words in our ceremony rang true. Debbi hardly missed a beat. As it turns out, she also knew several of our guests. Later, I learned she had been married a long time herself. To this day, I couldn’t be prouder that it was Debbi who married us.
Just as the ceremony began, a blue heron flew in and watched from a distance as we said our vows. He stayed, perched on a driftwood bench, until just after we kissed. His presence let us know that even those who could not be with us in body, where there in spirit.
After we said our “I do’s,” Big Papa and I made our way down to the rowboat moored on the shore of the little pond. A bottle of champagne was tucked under the seat. Big Papa popped the cork and we floated out, bits of light dancing on the water like the diamonds on my finger. We toasted our marriage and I laughed until my face ached.
I’d been feeling so down on our luck, when in fact the stars were smiling on us all along. Each place we landed was the right place for us. It was everything I’d imagined and maybe even more because we had an amazing story to tell. The best part was the happy ending, finding each other.
Plus, now we were married. Well, almost.
As it turns out, when we tried to retrieve our wedding license from our ex-officiate, she said she lost it. Friends would ask, “How’s married life?” and I would tell them, “As soon as I’m really married, I’ll let you know!”
Although we managed to finally get our deposit back from her, we had to go back to the King County Department of Licensing to have them reissue our marriage license. They told us it was the second worst story they’d ever heard. It was also a close call. Only a few weeks remained before the license, good for 60-days, expired.
We sent it, by Fed-Ex, to Tom, our best man, who had returned to Pittsburgh. Then we met my friend Jessica and she signed as a second witness. On August 11, we took the ferry back over to Bainbridge Island and met Debbi at “the scene of the crime,” the Eleven Winery Tasting Room, where I’d first heard the news. We signed. She signed and, yes dear reader, some fifteen days after our actual wedding, we were finally legally married. Our wedding certificate, if carefully read, should be a source of amusement to our kiddo one day. Big Papa and I were married July 28, yet became husband and wife on August 11.
So, that’s our story, the first couple chapters, in any case. Happy Anniversary, Big Papa! We’re just getting started on our journey and it’s already been a heckuva ride. I’m so glad we’re traveling this road together.