I stood in the pastor’s office, my heart was beating a bit fast. I’m not so sure that I was nervous. Granted, I’m not so sure I wasn’t, either. My friend Chance was in there with me also, and since I had given him my watch to wear he kept glancing at it and mocking me as the minutes went by. The pastor walked in from his back office door, and realized in the process that it was unlocked. Smiling at me he locked it and said, “Wouldn’t do if you could just run away right now, would it?” I smiled a bit in return.
We went over a few details about what was going to happen in a few minutes and then he had to leave. As he left via the office door opposite of the one he came in, he looked at Chance and told him, “Now, make sure he doesn’t try to make a run for it.” Chance told him he had it well under control.
Now, Chance is about 6’5″ or seven feet tall. Somewhere in there. And at the time, he was about as skinny as anyone could get without looking emaciated. Me.. well, I was 6′ even, give or take 3 inches depending on how the Navy decided to measure me, and weighed in at the 220 mark. I was pretty solid at the time having been doing a lot of exercising on the ship prior to this point. So, I was pretty sure that if I needed to, Chance would have given me less trouble than the lock on the door. (Sorry Chance, it’s just how I remember it).
I don’t remember what we talked about over the next few minutes, I just remember my nervousness got more pronounced as each second ticked away the minutes. Eventually, a photographer came into the room and took a few photos. One of them is of Chance pointing at my watch and looking at me. Still have that photo, still makes me laugh. Somewhere in all of this, Chance even offered to help me make an escape out the backdoor, completely disregarding the pastor’s command. (btw, that’s how you know you got a good friend).
Eventually, Pastor Brocious popped his head into the office and told us it was time. Chance looked at me, made sure I was good, I took a deep breath, straightened out my Navy Dress Blue blouse (yep, that’s what it’s called), and we stepped into the chapel onto the stage. The chapel was filled with friends and family, the piano music was playing, Chance took his position next to me (at this point, I think he was more there to keep me from beelining it to the door in the office), and we watched as my groomsman walked family members into their final seating positions and then escort the bridesmaids.
The moment had finally come. I think Chance busted my chops a little right before she walked into the chapel, but as she did, it was like time and space decided to go sideways for a while. Her dad was at her side and they walked up the aisle toward me, her bouquet in her trembling hands and a nervous smile on her face. My heart was doing the jig at this point.
Which is pretty weird all things considered. Here I was, a Naval sailor, home from war (or the starting of one), having been out to sea for 6 months, trained to deal with all kinds of inconvenient things, who lived a life of pure stress for the last few months, and this girl, this beautiful girl, had me in a knot so big I couldn’t think straight. What’s up with that I ask…
There was a ceremony. There were vows. There was singing. There was a ring exchange (btw, her’s totally wouldn’t go on all the way). There was a prayer. There was a blessly riched. Then there was a richly blessed. (the pastor made a goof, it was funny). Then… there was a kiss.
That first one.
As husband and wife.
I got to say…who ever came up with that idea… good job.. because it’s not a bad way to start things off in a marriage.
The cake was pretty good too…
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”