Monday, August 5, 2013

Mapping Out Marriage By: Karen Pilarski

My wedding day wasn't the dream wedding all little girls dream of. It was early June and quite humid inside the stuffy church. We didn't have much money when we decided to get married. Luckily some friends and family members chipped in and paid for a light lunch reception in the fellowship hall. I didn't even pick out my wedding cake. I had a horrid migraine and told my willing groom to pick out what he liked.

 I lucked out finding a clearance price prom dress that could work as a wedding gown. My mom made my veil. My childhood friend April helped me make wedding bouquets out of freshly cut roses. My groom wore his work pants instead of renting an actual tux. Our wedding was a small affair.

The big day didn't start out without a hitch. My bridesmaids were late for the ceremony, the wedding cake was not done correctly and I was heading for a Bridezilla meltdown. Somehow the wedding managed to start. I hate being the center of attention and was a bit fast going down the aisle. Some may think I was rushed to get hitched. Whatever the case was, I heard "SLOWWW DOWNNN."

The Pastor who did a few marriage counseling sessions with us wrote a sermon for our wedding. He had a map and a water bottle. My groom and I locked confused eyes. Unfortunately our wedding wasn't video taped or audio taped. The recollection of the sermon now is quite fuzzy and distorted. My makeup was melting off my face and the water bottle was looking more appealing than saying my vows. He asked my groom to hold the map. Eyes glazed over and fighting the urge not to give into heat exhaustion the sermon finally concluded.

We said our vows and had some cake. No flower toss or garter flinging. We barely got in a dance (no DJ or band) before people complained they wanted to eat cake.

It is funny to think about the map and water bottle five years later. My husband and I have certainly had ups and downs. Through it all we discovered a love of traveling and exploring what the world has to offer. He is the one who took me to New York for the first time. I used to think I would never get to experience the Big Apple. Some trips were better than others. We have fun not even leaving our hometown. One of my favorite memories was looking for a new table and going to a warehouse store that sold sale items. We goofed around and it was fun to make a big purchase together. Another highlight is taking the kids on their first plane ride to DC in the month of June. It was hotter than the sun but we learned so much. I even lost ten pounds from sweating so much.

We enjoy crossword puzzles, picnics, looking at books and antiques. He knows me so well. I as well. The bad part of knowing someone by heart, is you know when something is amiss or they have done something unacceptable. While everyone loves to hear that they were right, it seems more of relief when you are proved wrong. I carry blame for some things that have gone astray. We are mere mortals trying to survive.

Right now the road we travel seems to be filled with more bumps than flat surfaces. I worry there is a nail waiting for us to run over. It is hard to hold onto the feeling of forever when crashes keep us banged up and unable to move forward. Yesterday I was so upset that I packed up most of my things and was ready to leave him.

He sat on our bed with his head hung low as I put things in a suitcase. Then I remembered Pastor's sermon. When lost on a road a map or navigation device is needed. There are so many paths and arrows insisting a person moves a certain direction. Lines merge or split off into another lane. If all the static and noise is zoned out, a voice from within the heart leads us where we were meant to go. Anger is a powerful road block. If I took a step back, sipped from the water bottle and relaxed I would think more clearly. No matter what, I want my husband by my side. While five years ago the sermon bored me to tears, I know appreciate the words of Pastor. I look forward to where my map takes me, no matter where that might be.