Sue and I were married on Friday October 13th 2017 in a lovely backyard setting attended by our immediate family. The ceremony was officiated by our very close friend, Reverend Robin Clark.
Why the 13th, and why a Friday the 13th? Well, the 13th, and in many cases a Friday the 13th, has been an important date in my family: my dad was born on a Friday the 13th, my mom and dad were married on the 13th, my brother was born on the 13th, and my mom went to the hospital with me on the 13th, but she says I was just stubborn and didn't decide to come out until the 16th. There are a few other date events like that, but regardless: the 13th is a special day for the Rose Family.
The day started out very chilly as it had got down into the low 40s the night before. About 8:00 am as we were doing some touch up arranging, a city works truck stopped in front of the house and dropped an orange cone in the middle of the road, and continued dropping a few more as it drove.
Sue and I had bumped into the Road Agent Don Vachon the week before, and he had mentioned that the town would be digging some swale trenches along the side of the road in preparation for winter. He had said that they would be, at some point, bringing it all the way up to where we were.
Oooops! A wedding with the musical backdrop of bulldozers and backhoes seemed eminent! I gave Don a call, and he stopped by in his truck on his way to the site. He reassured me that they wouldn't be getting even close to the house today, and that they'd be shutting down by 2:00 pm anyway. Whew!
And that was a wonderful thing because everyone started arriving at 2:00 pm! First to arrive were Sue's kids, Lucas and Jill, quickly followed by Robin and her husband Eric. Colin and Ren were next. As everyone was chatting away in the kitchen, Sue and Robin headed up the hill to the screen porch to discuss the ceremony. Then, Marissa, Gary, and little Mia arrived with Sue's brother Alan and his wife Joann not far behind them.
We had planned to start the ceremony around 3:00 pm, and by then everyone had wandered up to the screen porch. Robin told Sue and I to head back down to the house, and when we were ready to come out and rejoin everyone at the screen porch.
I think it was around 3:20 pm then that Sue and I, hand in hand, walked up the grassy hill. Our smiles, and the smiles of our family as we reached the gathering area couldn't have been any brighter than the beautiful Autumn sun that warmed the brisk air at the top of the hill.
Robin's ceremony was so touching and interwove the readings that we had selected so seamlessly into her own presentation. The service took about 40 minutes, and consisted of several major sections.
Four Directions Blessing
Prayer to The Four Directions
Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, let there be light on my path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day. And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.
Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North. Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the north.
Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West, the direction of sundown. Let me remember everyday that the moment will come when my sun will go down. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.
Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South. Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth. Man did not create the web of life, he is but a strand in it. Whatever man does to the web, he does to himself.
Honoring Ancestors And Family
At this time we call upon our elders, whose wisdom we seek in all endeavors. We call upon our friends, whom we are blessed to have in our lives, our siblings who travel with us along life's journey, our parents who guided us along the road to adulthood, and our children who carry our lives forward. We ask that their love be with us at this time.
Washing of Hands
The Art of Marriage
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things —
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner —
It is being the right partner.
Blessing of Hands
Please take each other by the right hand.
These are the hands of your best friend that are holding yours as you promise to love each other all the days of your life.
These are the hands that will work together as you build your future and make your dreams reality.
These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and trials, and share the joy and happiness of life together.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you all through the years.
May you always hold each other and give strength to each other to hold on during the storms and stresses of life.
May you enter this marriage with open and pure hearts.
Ring Warming Ceremony
I Susan/Peter, take you Peter/Susan,
To be my lawfully wedded partner in life, love, and all things.
I promise to walk by your side.
I vow to love you and care for you not only on this precious day, but for all time.
I vow to help you become the person that you aspire to be, to rejoice with you in times of happiness, and to treat you with respect, love and loyalty.
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
Sealed With A Kiss
You may now commit yourselves to one another through the language of love. You may now kiss one another as husband and wife.
Friends and Family, I present to you: Peter and Sue, now husband and wife.
The Rose stands as a symbol of "I love you." It is suggested that in the future, the offering of this symbolic flower will stand as a peace-offering, an act of forgiveness or apology, or a desire to regain harmony in the relationship.
As the ceremony was concluding, Sue read a tribute to her dear friend, Robin:
Undoubtedly there are many eloquent things to be read or spoken at weddings, but the one I just read speaks about an enormously important time in my life; a process I entered into a little later in life than most.
This special woman (Robin) was a loving, inspirational support during that time. As my beautiful children and family tried to understand while supporting the process, they ultimately continued loving me until this day. I am so very grateful for everyone that has chosen to stay in my life through all of our changes.
When I was ready, I was introduced to this man — 2.6 miles away the whole time!
I fell in love with and continue to love you for so many reasons, both big and small. The key that opened my heart was when I heard and then felt that you saw, loved and accepted the REAL me.
Though I am certain at times it is painful and often entertaining, you always support and encourage my continued journey to knowing and being my best self.
Thank you for understanding.
After the Flower Ceremony was completed, we all enjoyed some nice warm cream squash soup that Sue had made, chili, some cheeses and snacks that Lucas and Jill had so kindly brought, and bottled water and tea.
A Few Days In The Mountains
Sue and I took off to the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH Sunday 10/15/17 to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Autumn colors in the spectacular New Hampshire White Mountains.