You probably read the title and were confused, but never fear an explanation is at hand. Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our first year of marriage…..in the Catholic church. But, we have been married for the last twenty-six years. Still confused? Well, here is the story.
Twenty-six years ago, I married Brian. It was a beautiful scene. But, my delightful spouse decided to use a Barbie doll ring instead of the the actual ring selected. I can hear the women reading this gasping. It was bad. I might have uttered the “F” word, but to my spouse’s credit, he did ask the judge prior to the ceremony, if the fake ring would still solidify the union. At least he did that, right? I was pissed, disappointed, humiliated, and hurt. Of course, there were many that thought the premise was hilarious. They will probably burn in hell one day or perhaps karma has already gotten a hold of them. This was a glimpse into the havoc alcoholism can do.
Fast forward ten years later. Brian is no longer drinking but has not sought a spiritual solution yet. We decide Vegas would be a great place to renew our vows. (Yes, I am aware that was incredibly insane. It is like an alcoholic playground.) I planned the renewal ceremony at A Little White Chapel where hot Elvis wasn’t available, so we were officiated by rigor mortis Elvis. He was large, sweaty and quite pasty. Unfortunately, the night before, Brian decided that he had gone four years without drinking, so he must not be an alcoholic. Wedding number two was the catalyst for recovery. He sought a solution the day after we returned home.
Jump ahead to twenty-five years of marriage. We have yet to kill each other. He is sixteen years sober and I am working to be the best version of myself, so life is radiant. We signed up for a spiritual journey with our church to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Fatima, and consulted with our priest as to whether a renewal/official Catholic union would be possible while traveling. He was excited about the prospect and secured a place to have the ceremony.
On a beautiful evening in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, September 24, 2017, a small chapel welcomed some of my favorite people to celebrate this life that we created. I am not going to lie, I was more nervous than I was for my first wedding. Maybe I had a touch of PTSD. I mean, seriously, wouldn’t you? Fake ring, drunk groom (both times), and horrid individuals who relished in my sadness (first time). But, this time, third time was charm. How could it not be with the stunning landscape and a quaint chapel in Spain? It was meaningful, magical, and a true testament that murder is never the answer.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that a year ago, I had my fairy tale wedding. It only took three times to get it right.