My Wedding Didn’t Go Exactly as Planned

Some may find it odd that I enjoy a good rainstorm. Add some lightning, crashing thunder and you’ll find me on the porch in my rocking chair taking in the sounds, smells and rich colors in the sky.

Like anyone, if it happened all the time I would grow weary.

Life’s happenings are not unlike our crazy weather. Sometimes you have warning. You know it’s coming so you hunker down in your prepared shelter.

Other life happenings are like the earthquakes, which I grew up with. Out of nowhere, your whole foundation shakes moving things around sometimes causing damage that can range from a few broken items to complete disaster, even loss of life.

On the news you hear stories of brides whose weddings were changed dramatically due to some sort of catastrophe.

we don’t need to wait for the storms to pass to experience joy.

Mine was one of those stories although it never made the news.

Three weeks before my wedding, my parents drove south to stay nearby and help with wedding preparations (I was living in Southern California at the time).

The evening they arrived they received a phone call from my oldest brother. He had struggled with health issues for several months with no clear answers.

On this day, his doctor was out of the office and the doctor filling in was able to find something that was caught by a simple blood test.

He had Acute Myeloid Leukemia. That was a Friday. He then flew to UCLA Medical Center near us on Sunday.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, his spleen ruptured and they were unable to save him.

Upon hearing the news from my dad, my first thought is that I would postpone the wedding.

My brother had made it clear to my parents that under no circumstances were we to cancel the wedding.

So amidst memorials, burials and traveling to Colorado, there were still tux fittings, dress alterations and flowers to arrange.

On that day, as we were taking photos, the photographer announced that as soon as he took the family photo, he would be taking the sibling pose. I turned to my mother and gasped, “They aren’t all here!”

She graciously took the photographer aside and he took a moment to “change film,” giving us a moment to regain composure and move forward.

I know for a fact there were a few family members who thought that proceeding with the wedding was completely inappropriate.

For me, it was my chance to move through the storm in the arms of a loving God. To have the grace of God pouring such joy into my life at the same time as the deepest sorrow I had ever known was to experience. His hand was on my life in a way I could have never foreseen.

That is the main reason I love clouds. They bring interest and texture against a clear sky. The fluffy clouds bring whimsy and wonder while the dark clouds and angry sky tell me that everything is going to smell fresh and clean when the storm passes.

We have learned that we don’t need to wait for the storms to pass to experience joy.

A few years ago, Russ bought me a small sign to put with our family photos. It says, “Life isn’t about waiting for storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

I really like dancing.

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