Thursday, April 30, 2009

Four Years of Hard Rain

It rained on my wedding day. Internally I groaned because that was the wrong script. Like most girls, I'd dreamt about that day for a long time. In those dreams, I wore a gleaming white dress over-burdened with tulle and I posed magnificently with a throng of coquettish bridesmaids. There were tweeting birds, and possibly a harp, and definitely, most definitely, a bright yellow sun pasted delicately to a clear, cerulean sky. The groom in those dreams was always a blur, an afterthought. But whoever that man was he was supposed to be powerful enough to control the whims of the sky, or maybe that was God's job. I don't know.

When I woke up to the dreary greyness of that soul-tethering day, I held every hope in my heart that something golden would still arrive and rescue my little girl dreams, bring them back to me wrapped in rainbow paper on the beaks of tweeting birds. But the moment arrived when I realized that rain was going to keep right on at it's falling. So I did the only thing I could; I grew up and faced the rain.

Rassles wrote a great post last week about her passive, weak, piece of shit umbrella. I commented to her that I did away with umbrellas a while ago. That now, I just face the rain. Well, I think my wedding day was the day I learned that I could do that. I felt the rain. I felt for sure in my heart that I needed that rain the way I needed to feel the kicks of my baby girl 5 months new and strong in my womb. That rain was our baptism, symbolic of the tears of joy and sorrow we would be facing in the days ahead.
My bridal gown wasn't the one I envisioned in my dreams. I had to select a dress that would accomodate my ever-expanding belly. I had to accept the fact that I'd look like a marshmallow in all my photos. And when Todd saw me in my bridal gown before the wedding, it wasn't magic; It was real. I was holding my 9 month old niece in my arms as she wailed loudly in my ear. Todd walked in the room and said...something. And I said, "What?" So romantic. And then 5 months later, he held our crying newborn daughter in his arms and I cried too saying, "Lord, give me more drugs." And two years after that he held a sobbing me in his arms as I buried my sister. And 6 months after that he held me again as I cried over the loss of my breasts. Rain. Just so much rain in these four years.

I love our wedding photos with that grey backdrop. It's prettier than any sun or clear, blue sky. At my wedding and reception, as the rain fell outside, we said "I do" and we kissed and we laughed and we danced in a room made cozy and intimate by the fog against the windows that surrounded us. After the revelries of that night we fell exhausted into each other's arms, husband and wife. In the morning we woke up to a bright yellow sun and he said, "Shit, it's beautiful out, I'm going to play golf" and I said, "Fine, I'm going to brunch with my sisters and having a mimosa". That's so Gwen and Todd. Always will be. Happy Anniversary, Baby. I love you; especially when it rains.


  1. Happy Anniversary! This post made me want to hug you both!

  2. Just beautiful!

    Happy Anniversary :)

  3. Happy Anniversary.

    It rained in the afternoon of our wedding day too; it started while we were taking photos outside the church, so we moved to the "rain location" (seriously; my wife was, and is, uber-organized). Most of our wedding photos are in front of a huge staircase with indoor mall-style trees around us.

  4. Maybe you don't want to hear it. But the day of our wedding, we woke up to an absolute torrential downpour. Flooding in the streets. Dogs and cats living together. Armageddon.

    But by noon, the time of our wedding, the sky was clear and blue, the ground was mostly dry. It was absolutely lovely.

    And all went without a hitch. Except for that damned organist, who never showed up. We marched down the aisle to a Canadian Brass tape one of our guests happened to have in his car.

    They say rain on your wedding day is good luck. Has been for us so far. Well, luck and a hell of a lot of committment and hard work.

  5. Beautiful! Happy anniversary.

    (I had rain on my wedding day, too, but it didn't bother me nearly as much as the OPEN SEPTIC TANK and BACKHOE on the front lawn of our wedding venue.)

  6. Sort of like the storm before the calm. Nice!

  7. Bossy - I hope so, Georgia. I hope so. We've had enough storm to last a lifetime. We're due a little calm, I think. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it so much, especially from such an accomplished blogger as yourself!

    Ruth Wells - Thank you! Yeah, an open septic tank and a backhoe could really ruin the romantic ambiance. You poor thing! I'm glad you can smile :) about it now.

    Pos - I sent you a response via email

    Sci Fi Dad - Your wife sounds incredible. I envy people who have organizational skills. I'm such a scatter-brained type. Thanks for reading and commenting. You're certainly no lurker and I appreciate that.

    Candice - Thanks! I invite you to have an empathic, celebratory glass of wine tonight. What do you say?

    Praying to Darwin - I'll consider myself cyber-hugged! Thanks for that. I'm particular about being hugged and touched in general. But a hug from you would be divine!

  8. DAMN.

    Good stuff.

    I might change the way I look at rain (at least until my husband doesn't put his fucking laundry away next time) differently now.

  9. So lovely. And it's supposed to be good luck, you know, to have rain on your wedding day. Happy anniversary!

    And I love the rain. I often walk through the rain, face upturned, smiling.

  10. Come to think of it, it rained on our wedding day.

    Lovely post, despite the tears and rain - happy anniversary.

  11. I feel like a broken record ... you're writing is so beautiful and that was a great post. I really admire your strength and "I can face the rain" outlook. Surely, it's what has gotten you through all of the storms you've weathered in your life and since you've been married.

    You may not feel okay, but i think you are very okay, my friend. ...babspeapod

  12. You're so pretty, Miss Gwen. I love those photos too. and Todd...happy anniversary to both of you. Simply wonderful.
    Oh, and that tough stuff in-between then and now? It's good too, you know. Hellbilly and I did the same thing. Moved out here all happy and couple-y, and then the shit hit the fan and we kept walking through it and through it and it made us into great communicators. We actually call ourselves the 'A Team', give each other fist bumps, and beat tag team anyone who gives us shit about it!

  13. WRH - if my husband put the laundry away EVER I think I'd just about die from happiness. But I love him, every bit of his lazy ass!

    Magpie - Thank you. I'm finding so many people that had rain on their wedding day. It makes me feel surprisingly good to know that the universe didn't single me out!

    Gypsy - I heard that about the run, that it's good luck. I hope that's true. I walk in the rain sometimes too. But only when it's warm. I love rain falling on a warm day. There's just nothing like it.

    Lisa - I don't think any of us get tired of hearing that, do we? :) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I try so hard to be strong against the onslaught. I'm working on being "OK". Friends like you make it easier to do that.

    Mongolian Girl - Thanks for thinking I'm pretty! I have the lowest self-esteem so to hear that is! really? You really think so? I love that you and Hellbilly call yourselves the A-Team. That's so great I might just have to steal it, fist bumps included! I have found that our tragedies have brought us together instead of further apart. I mean, we have our problems but I think we do genuinely love each other. I'm lucky in that regard.

  14. Gypsy - I heard that about the RAIN not the run. Though I'm sure going for runs can bring good luck. Getting the runs? Not so much :) I hate when I make stupid typographical errors.

  15. Gwen, you're so lovely...just beautiful. I hope you had a GREAT day!

  16. It rained on my wedding day as well. I have some of the same pictures, clouds in the sky and everything.

    We've weathered many storms since that day, and I can't help but think it's because we started out in one.

    Lovely stuff, my friend. Here's to another great year . . .

  17. Happy anniversary! It rained on my wedding day too, which I always thought was a bummer until this post.

  18. So nice, Gwen.

    Happy Anniversary!

  19. So lovely! I think rainy days are great. I don't use an umbrella because it always gets caught in my hair. And I don't like having my hands full.

    Watch "Sports Night" for a great dialogue about standing in the rain. A nerdy guy is starting to date a porn star, but he backs out because of her job. She gets mad and storms out into a rainy.

    "You should take an umbrella," he tells her, following her outside.

    "I don't believe it. You can't stand in the rain without an umbrella?"

    "Yes, Jenny. I learned when I was young that if I do that, I'll get wet."

    "And I learned when I was young if I get wet, I'll dry off."

  20. (I meant "a rainy night," btw. Can't correct comments.)

  21. Sad and beautiful at the same time. Just like life.

    Happy Anniversary, Gwen.

  22. Here in Franklin - I'm in disbelief that anyone could find me beautiful, but I'm polite enough to say "thank you" when I receive a wonderful compliment. So, thank you, for both your compliment and for reading.

    Ty's Daddy - I know what you mean. I sometimes wonder if we were "jinxed" somehow. I think that the things that happened were set in motion long before the weather was, though. I mean my sister already had cancer, I already had a BRCA2, etc. It's comforting to know that others have weathered many storms and are still happily married. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    Lori - Another fellow wedding day rainster (and yet another thing we have in common!) I'm glad I could give you a different perspective on your wedding weather.

    The New Girl - Thanks, Tina!

    Erin Alberty - I adore that sentiment - If I get wet, I'll dry off. YES! And I also think about that Annie song, "The sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun!" Corny, but lovely in it's simple optimism. Thanks for commenting - and I knew you meant rainy night! I hate the fact that we can't correct our comments. It's so frustrating, especially if you're like me: a person who hates making mistakes but seems to constantly make them.

    Musing - Life is mostly sad and beautiful as opposed to happy and beautiful, in my experience. But it's still better than no life at all. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  23. Gwen. Wow. This is such a beautiful post.