2010 was a hell of a year. My dad died of lung and brain cancer at the end of January. David and I got married in March. I wrote about it on A Practical Wedding. A few times, actually. The act of writing about such an awful time helped – helped to figure out what I need to say and needed to hear, and helped so much to hear that I was not alone.
So, in lieu of actual content, here some stuff I wrote in the last year. (Hey, I have to hurry up and go to a massage. Priorities, folks.) Plus, pretty pictures!
13 January 2010: Wedding Planning In The Face Of Serious Illness And Even Death: The problem I’m facing is one I’m not finding a lot of information/help on the internet, probably because talking about death is hard at the best of times, let alone at a wedding. But I’m sure that I’m not alone in dealing with a loved one’s illness during wedding planning, and I’m wondering how anyone else got through it. The kindness and stories in the comments still make me cry.
20 May 2010: Morgan on Weddings in the Face of Death: Do I have any regrets about throwing the wedding, about the timing, about our choices? Sure, everyone has regrets, but I can live with my choices. Do I regret standing up in the room full of family and friends and declaring my love? No, absolutely not. Life is short and it can be cruel, we all know this, so any excuse to celebrate joy should be taken.
21 May 2010: Wedding Graduates: Morgan and David: Taking pictures and having an intimate family dinner before the ceremony didn’t reduce the impact of the aisle walk and the way David looked at me, the same way practicing the vows at the rehearsal was a completely different experience than saying them in the ceremony. The first was sweet, and the second transcendent. Same words, but emotional intensity was sky high – David’s voice was so choked with emotion he could barely speak. This loveliness, this intensity, this palpable love? That was the only thing I should have been aiming for. I should have stopped second guessing myself about not serving dinner, or not decorating more, or any of that, and just focused on trying to allow in the most joy possible
29 October 2010: Ask Team Practical: Honoring Lost Loved Ones: Think about small personal things you can do – things that don’t need to be broadcast. I wore my grandmother’s pearls and my father’s engagement ring. My engagement ring belonged to David’s beloved godmother, who died several years before we started dating. After her cancer diagnosis, she gave the ring to him for his future bride. People weren’t told these details – their significance is personal. Many may have recognized the heavy gold star sapphire ring, but it wasn’t important for me to tell everyone what it meant – I just wanted to have something of his close to me.
I spent a lot of time with this quote – even used it in the programs, to my mother’s horror. “”Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, the loss of a job… And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another – that is surely the basic instinct… Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.” – Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson