18 years ago today, I stood outside the door to the sanctuary of Grace Presbyterian Church in Metairie, LA, impatiently awaiting my turn to walk down the aisle! The pianist was playing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The bridesmaids each walked down the aisle, then the ringbearer and flower girl. Finally, it was MY turn!! I was getting a little ancy. After all, we’d been planning this day for months!
Finally, I walked down the aisle on the arm of my father. At the front of the church, he handed me off to the groom, PWM. It was finally happening! I actually don’t recall much of the ceremony. I remember that the rings were tied on the pillow so well that the best man had a tough time getting them off. I know that while PWM and I were standing and holding hands during a song after we lit the unity candle, I realized that I had left my engagement ring on my left hand, so I tried to discreetly move it over to my right hand. Eventually, all the words were said, prayers were made, and kissing was done, and PWM and I were declared to be “man and wife”!
After the obligatory photos at the church (which I had requested to be few), we went to our wedding reception at a local reception hall. (The reason we chose the reception hall we did – they quoted us a price without alcohol. Every other reception hall looked at us like we were crazy – how can you have a wedding reception without large amounts of alcohol?) We were quite fortunate to have found a place that had delicious food. The menu included all kinds of New Orleans yumminess like jambalaya and crawfish etouffee. We danced, ate cake, and generally enjoyed ourselves!
Afterwards, PWM and I left the reception to spend our first night of married life at Nottoway Plantation. The next morning, we drove through Baton Rouge and then back to “our” apartment in New Orleans. I had to spend the next two days finishing my preparation for Step One of the USMLE (medical board exam). But, after the board exam (which I did pretty well on!) we embarked on a week-long honeymoon at Walt Disney World.
So much has changed in 18 years that it’s hard to look back and believe we were those incredibly young people! We have two children. I finished medical school and practiced medicine for 10 years. We aren’t two separate people, but a couple. (As a friend likes to say, we have differentiated oneness!)
I may have been a little impatient to get started on this life journey with PWM, but I think I’ll say it’s because I knew it was going to be so great!! I wouldn’t trade a minute of the last 18 years for anything. Not that it’s all been easy, of course. But, it’s totally been worth it!
I love you, PWM!! You’re the best husband a woman could dream of!!