I spent my weekend out of town at a friend’s wedding. The bride is a divorced mother of three in her early 40s, and her groom is a former Catholic Priest in his early 30s who found he really wanted a family, and so could not take his final vows. They have been together for a few years and even have a little girl who is almost two. The wedding started on Saturday and ended on around midday on Monday.
Now that I am pregnant, I find I have to inform people of my movements more and more. And when I told my mum I would be away for the weekend, she of course asked why. She knows my friends but she didn’t know all the details in the above paragraph. Her first concern was of course the 10-year age gap, and then came the four children for this young man to raise.
When you have known people for a while and watched their union evolve, the background noise surrounding their union is not what you see when you look at them. They are just your friends, and you are out to have lunch or drinks.
I am particularly proud of this couple because I introduced them. A few years ago, I bumped into the bride at The Junction and we agreed to have coffee. She shared her frustrations with dating and I frankly got tired of listening to her. I asked her to tell me what she was looking for specifically. She did and I told her I had to run but I would introduce her to someone. I had met the groom, and he had told me he wanted two things in life, and he felt I would be instrumental in his achieving them – a family, and getting published as a writer. Long story short, I set them up on a blind date and they have been together ever since. And yes, I did get him published in a magazine I was editor for at the time.
What inspires me about these two people is the courage to start over – the bride after her first marriage, and the groom after what is also arguably his first marriage to God and the Catholic Church. Dreaming our lives anew, letting go of the path we had previously envisioned, and actually seeing new possibilities does not come easily for many of us. Some of us get frozen on an emotional spot after heartbreak and spend years marking time on it without even realising that we aren’t moving. We date without much success because we can’t fully commit to the new option in front of us, or we stop dating and say there is nothing out there for us. For others, the fear of accepting their current situation – divorcee, single parent, bankrupt, and so on – keeps them in such denial that they can’t even say the words.
As I get older it becomes clear to me that radical acceptance and acknowledgement of your current circumstances is the first step in moving forward and changing those circumstances. Congratulations bride and groom, may your future be full of more courageous and inspiring steps.