Ouch! Driving a stick shift on Day 3 took a toll on my knee. It was a tough night that pain meds barely touched. When I woke up the morning of Day 4, it wasn't much better.
Leanne had risen early to retrieve Venus and Emma, so it was puppy love all around once they hit the door. Emma is a chocolate lab that's a month younger than Miss Mocha. Thank goodness they were playmates as puppies. I don't think anything chewable would have survived in either of our households had we not had regular play dates with the two of them. Venus is the latest addition to the family and she is a sweetheart, full of play and kisses. Neither dog minded I was piled up on the couch with a pillow under my knee. It gave them easy access for petting and snuggling and that's just good medicine in my book.
We spent a leisurely morning with the newlyweds, hearing more stories about their trip to Niagara Falls and catching up on life since the last trip to the Lone Star State. Soon other friends would be arriving for the celebration and I knew this quiet morning was a gift to be cherished.
The Lovely Linda and I ventured out to run errands and either the meds or the heat and humidity hit me half way through. I broke out in a cold sweat and thought I was going to be sick. We finished up quickly and I went straight to bed for what I hoped would be a restorative nap. This was too important a day to be less than 100%. The nap worked and I awoke refreshed and ready to resume the festivities.
By early evening, we were driving on the Old Galveston Highway to the restaurant where 60 of Holly and Leanne's closest friends and family were gathering to celebrate and bless their union.
***Pausing for a little rant***
It is ludicrous that two people who love each other have to go to another state or country to get legally married. Suffice it to say those who filled the tables that night felt the same way I do...that love is love, this world needs more of it and it's a violation of a person's civil rights not to be able to legally wed and receive the benefits of such a union. One day this will change. And when it does, we will sing a song of emancipation so beautiful the ivory towers built on myopia, hatred, fear and self-righteousness will simply crumble.
Like any wedding reception, this celebration dinner served as an important bridge between family and friends. A humorous, but heartwarming speech by Leanne's sister had us all laughing through tears. This was an "official" welcoming of Holly into Leanne's family and I can tell they treasure and love her as much as her biological and chosen family do. Likewise, Holly's father gave a short but powerful blessing for the couple. Here's a sweet photo of them dancing:
Friend after friend stood up to celebrate the wedding of Leanne and Holly with raised glasses and happy hearts. They have a strong foundation of love and support from family and friends that will help sustain a long and happy life together. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Holly's father and we spent a large part of the evening in conversation. A former major league ball player, I wasn't sure we'd have much in common, but we're both talkers and sure enough we hit it off and I even talked baseball with him. [For those of you who know me, you may now pick yourself and your jaw off the floor.]
The meal was divine and the spirits flowed and as I look back, a poem has risen from my spirit to yours...
To Holly and Leanne,
Leanne and Holly,
your life of wedded union begins
surrounded by your love
surrounded by our love.
There is no force sweeter,
greater or wiser.
There is no force more forgiving,
patient or skin-tingling.
There is no force
more powerful than love.
It is alpha, it is omega,
it is worthy to stand wedded
before those who walked with you,
at times carried you
to this place.
On this day,
and a lifetime of tomorrows,
we celebrate and honor you
as Holly and Leanne,
Leanne and Holly,
on this blessed wedding day.
Ride along with us tomorrow on our trip to Galveston