With the return of my energy came an influx of great ideas that I felt pressed to accomplish as soon as possible, (my usual way of doing things), with of course the added incentive to forge ahead quickly. Marriage was top of the list. What would be the purpose of dying, if I hadn’t yet lived? I phoned the priest from the church I had always gone to as a young girl and asked him if he could marry, my then fiancée, and me? Of course time was of an essence since I might be dead any time now, so perhaps he could come over in 1-½ weeks to perform what would be an in house ceremony.
The priest, Father Mudge, duly informed me that he would love to, but on such short notice he was a bit busy, so could I change the date to the day before, which would be December the 23rd instead? I had no problem with that, a little disappointed, but hey I could live with it, and it was set. This was all accomplished in the matter of hours from onset of thought to ‘set in stone’. When my, husband to be, came over from work that day I informed him about the great news, that we were to be married in 1-½ weeks! The excitement didn’t reverberate throughout his body, shining like a ray of jubilant energy, like I might have hoped, but he did not disagree and it was set. The planning and preparation for the wedding made the 30-day fast go by much quicker, for me, (and I’m sure for him as well).
It was actually the 23rd day of the grape fast on the 23rd day of December 1977 when we got married. We had spent countless shopping trips acquiring the perfect ornaments for the Christmas wedding tree. It was so exciting picking out a new veil and renting a hoop for under what would now be my wedding gown. I had played in my dress up in it as a little girl and now, thanks to the weight I was able to lose on the grape fast, I would be married in it, slight alterations were made, dry cleaning was rushed and we were ready. All attention was focused on making the wedding perfect. The roses had to be a perfect Christmas red with green leaves and white ribbon. The men quickly rented formal tuxes. The cake, well, on such short notice and the fact I couldn’t eat it anyhow, was cardboard, great for the pictures though.
Friends and relatives arrived from all over; it turned out to be a picture perfect time in my life, regardless of the circumstances. It just shows you can find something positive wherever you look; you just need to believe. Our neighbour, a close friend of the family, would do the pictures and out of consideration for how exhausted I was supposed to be, decided to do the pictures before the ceremony. Strange, but for some reason, my husband seemed to be frowning in most of the pictures. (As I found out, years later, he had been in the middle of a quickie bachelor party when he was abruptly called to do the pictures early.)
The wedding was performed by candlelight in my parent’s living room with about 45 friends and relatives attending. I slowly descended the staircase to my grandmother and cousins humming ‘Here comes the bride’. It really was a beautiful romantic wedding.
I got the giggles. There I was shoulders shaking trying not to laugh, I had no idea what it would look like to anyone else, in the candlelight, with my veil covering my face, but to my mother, with all that had been going on, she thought I was sobbing uncontrollably. So right there, exhausted from everything of late, including all the wedding build-up, she broke out in tears. Which, got everyone else going, even me. It was quite a scene.
Eventually we were able to continue and the rest went smoothly. Afterwards there was a beautiful and ‘delicious smelling’, potluck dinner, which I got to watch everyone eat. There was homemade wine, which I pretended to join in with my grape juice. It was a picture perfect wedding, a positive interlude on my ongoing battle with cancer, everything went right. Before we knew it though, the evening was over, and not long after so was the grape fast.
The fast ended after the 30 day period, my husband and I were living on our own in a quaint little cottage on the water, my health seemed to be doing so well, we were extremely hopeful, as I gradually began to add food back into my diet. Starting with juiced beets, onions, cabbage and a whole lot of other yummy, yummy veggie stuff. Soon we added whole wheat bread. Not wanting to add anything to my system that didn’t belong I choose to become a baker, grinding the flour with a hand crank grinder and baking the bread in our old oil burning stove, along with this we were slowly adding a variety of fruits; this was when I started to notice the headaches, the nasally voice, finally around mid January /78 we came to the conclusion that the lump was quickly starting to grow back.
No problem, the search was back on.
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