Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Do

It's been a rough few years.
Starting with the loss of my job (hence the "underemployed" bit), followed by my son's illness, and a fire in my home.  Then the long, difficult (and then shocking, sudden) death of my mother from cancer.  The first three of these events were duly and therapeutically chronicled here, in previous posts.  And so was my mother's illness, at the beginning, before it became beyond my skills as a writer to turn it into entertainment.
But  now - a few weeks later - my psyche is beginning to see a little daylight, helped along by our spring rituals and celebrations which remind us that there is light at the end of every tunnel (since, otherwise, they'd be caves), and even in Chicago the weather is cooperating. 
All that being said, amidst all the doctors and medicines and hospitals and grief, life has not been without its moments of levity.
Father Carlos comes to mind.
Father Carlos is the parish priest who said my mother's funeral mass, which all sounded like this:
"OW!oor? Foddoor, hooOOoo art in HAY-ben? halooooed be thigh nay-em..."
An accent?  But from where?  Certainly no place where there's anybody named "Carlos".  A speech defect?  Perhaps.  Fortunately, my mother's name was Maria, a word he said beautifully.  Which I appreciated very much.
But, later, in the car on the way home, a discussion of Father Carlos' diction led to my husband's recollection of our wedding.  "Have you told the story of our wedding on your blog yet?"
Not until now, dear.
A little background.  When my husband and I decided to get married, we chose to elope.  A simple civil ceremony.  There were several factors in favor of our eschewing a traditional wedding:
  1. We both think weddings are a big waste of time and money;
  2. My husband is older than my parents, and I'll thank you not to psychoanalyze that;
  3. We had been living together for several years, which made the whole white dress/father-gives-you-away routine more than a little ridiculous;
  4. And I would like to ask my daughter to please ignore everything I've just said.
Further complicating the situation was the fact that my husband was (reluctantly) a highly-placed civil servant.  This meant that we had to seek a marriage ceremony outside of the jurisdiction of our county of residence.
We decided upon Waukegan (Lord knows why), the county seat of Lake County, Illinois.  We would spend a Friday night in a local hotel, get married the next morning, and drive back to Chicago, where we would then inform our friends and family about our newly-legalized state of cohabitation.  Over and done.  The bards would sing of it for centuries.
What actually happened was:
  1. Our hotel room overlooked the Zion nuclear power plant;
  2. On Saturday mornings, the Waukegan county courthouse plays host to a plethora of criminal types, in handcuffs and chains, rounded up the night before in North Chicago;
  3. And to young farm couples, also seeking the state's blessing on their unions;
  4. Many of which apparently had begun about six months previously;
  5. We were married by a person named Judge Smart (this name is not fictional);
  6. Who had a speech defect;
  7. And that brings us full circle to Father Carlos.
* * *
Our wedding:
"I'm going to wead this weawwy fast, because I have so many cwiminals to pwocess today."
(Elmer Fudd!)
"Do you take this woman to be your wawfuwwy-wedded wife?"
(Don't laugh!)
"With this wing, I thee wed."
(Okay.  Laugh.)
* * *
Afterwards, I called my mother.
"Mom!  I just got married!"
"What?!  To who?"
Aah, Mom.
* * *
Not a fairy tale, but a cartoon... 
...but they still wivved happiwy ever after.


Aida said...

I've beeen laughing and and crying trhough this heart-felt post of yours dearest Linda...I'm so, so sorry for your mom's loss and send you all my prayers. Each time I love you a little more my sweet Linda!
wish you a peaceful Easter

Connie said...

I am so sorry about your mother. But I'm looking at the labels at the end of your post: funerals, loss of one's mother, speech impediments, underemployment, weddings. I'll bet there isn't another blog anywhere with those labels. Pleeeeeeze write a book! BTW we also eloped and it was also quite interesting. I'll tell you about it some day. Love.

Rosy said...

Sorry for that loss, dear Lady. That's tough ... but I admire your sense of humor even to tell things harder. You are great!

Mary Lynn said...

You know how sad I am at the loss of your mom. I am glad to hear that Fr. Carlos was unintelligible to you too - I really thought my hearing had gone....except that Sarah asked "where was that guy FROM?".

I had never heard the story of your wedding although I clearly remember you announcing your marriage. Your brother's wedding was much the same way - in the middle of arraignment court - all kinds of guys in handcuffs, your brother and his bride, and some other wedding party with a bride in an enormous full white gown, a bunch of overdressed bridesmaides,etc., taking up the entire stairwell up to the second floor where court was in session. I think the bride planned on music and someone other than a bailiff escorting her down the aisle! Surprise!

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Awww shit. Sorry about your mom. Losing my dad was the absolute roughest.
Judge Smart! Father Carlos! It's so horrible--I laughed. Funerals & weddings. It's so awful/funny when it gets fucked up a little!

Martin said...

Pooh..I mean I know you somehow, so I know that it wont help you if I would say thousands of words about how hard the passed years have been bla bla bla bla. I mean so many things happend in your life! What I really respect and love is your way to handle it! You found a way to pass thorugh all of this by writing it down in your own, amazing way!

Let me tell you: Maria is really my favorite name and Im sure that you will have her always in your hard!!!

Ok ok, lets come back to your wedding day!

Fact no 1: I know what you mean..zzz..why has everyone the opinion that you have to have a ring on your finger?? I mean a realtionship is so much more than a metallic piece with a way to expansive stone on it!!! Diamonds are for those who have too much money ;) lol

Fact no 2: Judge Smart? C´mon never ever ever :D What would the Ninja have done in that situation :D (Im so sorry for not getting over this guy we will never ever know anything more about this guy and what would have been :)

Fact no 3: Okay I have to love you mom for these words: "What?! To who?" Your answer should have been; his name is Jason Justin, he is 18 years old, I met him at Burger King and I knew that we are ment to be :D Imagine her face :) lol

Thanks for your amazing really made my day at 1.30 am in Germany :)

Sacramento Amate said...

You are soooooooooooooo unique and funny. I was missing you.
Love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Alex Hurst said...

So sorry to hear about your mother.... I hope that whatever happened, it was peaceful.

My parents got married when I was 20 (after 20 years of dating) and I got to be their witness. The guy who wed us was the tax collector for the whole county. Somehow, the day couldn't have been more perfect. His words were exactly what my parents needed that day.

Unconventional weddings, for the win!