Tuesday, December 05, 2023 11:45

Remaining Single: First Time Bride At Last

I’m a first time bride at 55 years old, and I now have a husband! Who could have imagined that would ever happen to me? I may have had hope in my Cinderella heart but I didn’t know if it would ever come true. And now it has and I’m married. So unbelievable for me to be able to say, and I’m filled with gratitude for Higher Power’s love, shown to me through this ultimate experience as well as in every other aspect of my life. Sometimes I struggle with the belief that Higher Power has a plan far better than any I could ever imagine. I try each day to give my will and my faith over to Higher Power and ask for the willingness to be open to whatever I’m sent and know that’s what was meant for me. Often I’ve heard the slogan “Higher Power’s time, not mine.” But being human and wanting things when I want them, I sometimes was reluctant to really believe. But as in many instances before and I’m sure many more yet to come, the plan that came true was in fact the best one of all. As I’ve said, if I could have ordered my husband from a catalogue or built him from a kit, I couldn’t have found anyone else as perfect for me as he is. Every day with him on this earth is such a gift and for that I’m truly grateful.

How can I find enough superlative words to describe the magic and beauty that was my wedding day? There are so many thoughts and feelings inside my head – reminders of the memories created on that day. It’s an event that I prayed for, hoped for, thought about, wrote about, and wondered about. Everything leading up to the event and the event itself were all beyond my wildest dreams. In the weeks just before the event there were many details to finalize and the tasks all got completed. In the few days before the wedding I felt the butterflies of anticipation. That was such a new feeling for me. I’ve had nervous anticipation before for other reasons, but never for this. In the days before our wedding we had other social events that helped build the anticipation even more. We spent time with family members and good friends at dinners and lunches and it was lovely to see their excitement for us and to share that positive energy.

The day of our wedding dawned with good weather, another gift from Higher Power as we planned an outdoor ceremony at a mountaintop location. My husband (!) and I got ready and went to meet our photographer for some pre-wedding photos. I felt so nervous just before we got in the car to drive to our ceremony location, but once we got there I felt calm and relaxed and so happy. Some of our guests began to show up and they hugged us and took photos with us and it was so warm and friendly and joyous. Our ceremony started right on time and our friends and family assembled on the mountaintop. The sun shone down on us as we exchanged rings. After the ceremony there was an impromptu hugging reception line as our guests came to wish us well. One of my friends who is also single, in her 50′s and never married said to me “There’s hope for all of us.” My husband’s sister told me she hasn’t seen him this happy for many years. There was a shuttle bus for some guests to be driven to the ceremony from the reception site and then back to the reception. One of our friends told me that on the front of the shuttle bus was a marquee sign that said “Shinbaum/Lane Wedding.” That’s so cool!

Our reception site was an indoor space with outdoor access overlooking a lake with a mountain view beyond. Our guests gathered at inside and outside tables with food and my husband and I gave a toast to welcome everyone. We had a piano player to play music and the rest of the evening was spent visiting with our guests and enjoying the wonderful energy of that experience. It was so amazing to look around and see my favorite people all in the same place at the same time. That was the best wedding gift of all. My husband (husband!) told me that the whole week leading up to the wedding and on the day and evening of the wedding itself I was beaming with happiness. I have been looking at the photos some folks took with my phone and it’s true. I have a smile on my face that I know was so genuine and so heartfelt. He and I were happy and we had such a wonderful time and magical experience.

There was one note of sadness and disappointment. My mother chose not to attend the wedding. At first, she was going to come and sent her RSVP as a yes. Later on she changed her mind. I have no way to get inside her head and understand what motivated that choice and it’s not important or necessary for me to do that. I sit with the feelings of the little girl inside me who was constantly disappointed and hurt by her throughout my life and continued to believe that she was capable of being the kind of mother or really ‘mommy’ that I yearned for. With the decision not to be a part of this special experience, I am once again reminded of her inability to be the fantasy I made up in my little girl head and heart. It would make better sense for me to believe in the reality of her limitations. Therefore, out of this sadness and disappointment came the recognition of the strength of Higher Power’s love for me in the gift that was my mother’s absence from our wedding. The day was all about me and my husband and our loving friends and gracious family members. We celebrated and affirmed the positive energy created by those people along with us and the presence of Higher Power in our hearts.

Now that this life changing event has come and gone, what will the future hold? There was such a huge emotional build up not only toward this experience with my husband around the wedding but also in the remaining single lifetime before it filled with wondering, dreaming, thinking, planning, doubting and trying to continue believing it would happen. In the movie “Fools Rush In” with Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek, Matthew Perry says “You’re everything I never knew I always wanted.” That’s so true of me. So many times I thought I didn’t need this milestone, that it wasn’t for me, that I could live without it, that I was more than okay if it never happened, that I was doing fine on my own, that remaining single was a wise and well thought out choice. And that was all true. But as in all things, Higher Power had a different plan for me, and I was being prepared through my own personal work to be ready for my husband to arrive, just as he was being prepared for me through his own work and life journey. We are together in life, sharing the same road going forward. Remaining single until this moment was the ultimate right choice, even though it was more driven by Higher Power than by me. None of this would be possible without that willingness to accept what is and believe in what could be.

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