Five Years AgoIt so happened that five years ago, also on Saturday, August the 9th at 11:00 in the morning, a very beautiful young lady in a white dress walked down the aisle of Holy Cross Church in Pigeon Forge, and was set to marry the burly fella who waited at the end. The bride's father didn't say anything to the groom, I'd imagine he was too choked up-but I also reckon by the look on his face that he was rightly thinking "now if you hurt my daughter, you shall surely die."
The couple had selected hymnody for the Nuptial Mass that the assembled guests would all be familiar with. During the opening hymns, the readings, and the homily, the bride and groom sat together, which is often the custom at Catholic weddings in modern times. The bride's party was assembled of family members, all cousins, and the maid of honor was a close cousin if the bride. The groom's party was composed of men he had went to college with. His best man had been one of his closest political and personal confidantes, and he had encouraged the best man to go to law school- which he did-and became a successful attorney. The other men in the wedding party had all been through college with the groom and spent part of the gathering the night before sharing stories of the past, including crazy but true stories about the first time they saw the groom-nearly all believed the groom to be a raving lunatic until they introduced themselves to him. Several of the wedding party fought political battles with the groom, and had the stories to prove it. (For those who think the groom might be a pure ideologue, there was a Democrat in the wedding party who also read the scriptures that day.)
When the bride and groom approached the altar, they both recited their vows and everyone did just fine until the time came to place rings on fingers. When the groom attempted to do this, he got choked up when blessing his wife and get the entire Trinitarian formula out without crying, for he got choked up on the words "Holy Spirit." The bride later told the groom that if he had continued this, it would have just been too bad because she and the entire bridal party would have all begun to cry-but alas, the groom regained his composure.
Five years later, Nicole still has the ability to get me all choked up. I know that sometimes she does not believe it, but there is very little that I would be able to accomplish in this life without her help and support. She is an island of stability in an otherwise unstable world, and she is quietly but firmly supportive of nearly everything I try to accomplish-she is often the hand behind the scenes who unobtrusively advises.
I simply would not be the same man, or be where I am today, without Nicole.
I love you sweetheart-Happy Anniversary.