It was not your traditional wedding... Our wedding "chapel" was miles and miles of blue sky and wide open sea. Our wedding march on the open deck of a cruise ship. Our wedding song the laughter of guests and the salty sea breeze whistling through our hair!
And as untraditional as this ceremony was, the real story is that the wedding was supposed to take place on the balmy beaches of Cozumel! Obviously, we never made it. Katie and Jordan learned early that life if full of adversity.
Sometimes you get derailed, despite your best plans. We are blessed to have a daughter and son-in-law who trusted the goodness of God more than the circumstances that surrounded them. The smiles are genuine, the joy enormous as Jordan and Katie finally made it to their wedding day.
For months, 8 to be exact, Katie and Jordan had planned a dream Destination Wedding to the beaches of Cozumel. She wanted to be barefoot in the sand sharing their vows under a tropical sun. Beautiful, well-orchestrated, planned down to the smallest detail. So much fun, that planning!
Katie and Jordan had chosen a 5-day cruise out of Galveston that stopped in the port of Cozumel. We had booked the Cozumel Wedding Garden, complete with the canopied tents, beach altar, cake, champagne, and even the Mariachi band! Not only would all our guests be able to enjoy a tropical wedding, they also got to participate in a 5-day Wedding Extravaganza Vacation. We boarded the ship in Galveston, all 40 of us, mom included, and prepared for the Fun to start. Only to be socked in by fog... The Galveston Port Authority closed the port to all ship traffic. We spent our first night anchored to the dock. This delay set in motion a chain of events that ended in a total itinerary bust. By the time we left Galveston the following afternoon, the Captain informed us that we wouldn't be able to make port in Cozumel. Instead, we would be enjoying a 4-day cruise to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico...
Katie had two choices: Become an enraged Bridezilla, or accept the upset with as much grace as possible and move on. Not an easy decision, even for the most grounded of brides.
In that moment, when we watched Katie take in the announcement from the Captain, my heart just broke. Her eyes widened, tears pooled, but she leaned into Jordan and together they said "it doesn't matter where, it only matters that you're all here." I just love my baby girl.
And so we went into hyper-wedding-planning mode. Only 36 hours to prepare a new wedding, which the guests were now fondly calling the Wedding at Sea on the Cruise to No Where.
The cruise ship bent over backwards to make it right and that's when the Blessings began.
Katie and Jordan were moved to the Penthouse Suite (never knew ships had them, but boy was it amazing!)
Their activity director helped organize a wedding that was uncomparable. They cleared the back deck of the ship at sunset, arranged for the chairs, the flowers, even a beautiful champagne and cake reception.
They closed the double water slide for the bride and groom to Trash the Wedding Dress in High Sea Style! This happens to be all the rage for beach weddings nowadays, and our cruise ship wasn't going to be outdone just because we were at sea!!
It truly doesn't matter where...Just as long as we're all together!
Joyful Memories of a Wedding Day filled with Love and Laughter
And best of all, Memories of a Grandmother's Love.
So very grateful for her presence on Katie's Big Day.
We will never know why the wedding plans went awry (fog and all), but, we think God had better plans in store for this wedding couple, as seen only in hindsight:
And perhaps the biggest gift of all was that Mom was able to make the trip. She was in the middle of radiation therapy when we left for the wedding cruise. With her doctor's blessing, she took a 5-day break from the radiation treatment and packed for the trip. She was exhausted, nauseous, frustrated with debilitating mouth sores, and determined to go to her granddaughter's wedding. We can see now, that the cruise ship wedding was so much easier on her than spending the day on the beach, no matter how beautiful that might have been. Katie was the first to acknowledge this and I cry to realize how grown-up my little girl has become. On her wedding day, when she had every right to be distraught at the abrupt rearrangement of her plans, she was thinking of her grandma.
It angered me for weeks that pancreatic cancer had tainted my daughter's joy on her wedding day. I ranted and raged to Leroy that it wasn't fair. He could only agree. It isn't fair. It's not fair to the families that watch in sorrow as their loved one suffers, it's not fair to the cancer sojourner, who has everything to lose, life itself, if this disease wins, and it's not fair to the children, the little ones, the innocent ones, who should be dreaming big dreams, not worrying about their mothers or fathers, or grandmothers and grandfathers. Pancreatic cancer changes everything.
Katie reminds me that "it doesn't matter where, it only matters that you're all here." That circle remains unbroken, though eternity veils our time together. The blessing of a Wedding Miracle fills our hearts today. Cancer has changed all our priorities, but Love remains the theme.
Happy Anniversary, Katie and Jordan! May your years be filled with a Love grown ever deeper, a friendship to hold you close, and a Home built on the Grace that never fails. Love you Always, Mom
P.S. The Cross-stitch Marathon was a success! Katie sent me this pic of her wonderful day, complete with flowers, candy, the wedding cake topper(frozen this past year awaiting 1st anniversary celebrations) and the finished cross-stitch. Hallelujah it's done!