Friday, September 11, 2015
Looking back, it could have been a scene straight from the pages of a fairy tale love story. It was a warm October evening in Texas and a gentle breeze was stirring the air as I unloaded my groceries into my car beneath a sky shimmering with stars.
I opened the hatch of the black and gold 280 ZX and was loading my groceries as I heard a car approach and a door open then shut. I turned and the man behind me was smiling. It was obvious he was a body builder. Even under the over sized flannel shirt I could see the form only seen on a man that had been lifting weights for years.
He had a beautiful smile; his skin bronzed by the Texas sun and had hair that shimmered like golden threads as the lights shone from above. His chest was broad and defined and I could see the outline of his large biceps as his baggy shirt moved with them as he finished loading my groceries into my car.
We chatted a bit and a dinner date was made for October 23, 1987, two days later. After the abusive relationships of the past, I refused to allow him to pick me up. We met at a little place called the Oyster Kracker and I left my car. He opened the door for me on his Cadillac, as any gentleman should for a woman, and we went to a steakhouse for dinner.
Conversation was easy; it flowed as if we had known each other forever. He took my guard down; I let it down. He was polite, handsome, chivalrous, and we had an incredible evening of deep, stimulating, conversation, dinner, dancing, dessert and more conversation before he dropped me off where I had left my sporty little car.
It seemed like a dream come true. He appeared to be everything I’d always wanted in a partner but could never find. We connected instantly and within six months we were married at a little white chapel in Tarrant County, Texas.
Being on a tight budget, as well as time frame, I made my wedding dress with the help of my mother’s sister. It was flowing ivory satin with a strapless, lace, and beaded bodice. I also hand made my bridal veil, and the bouquets we carried down the aisle.
I was nervous as I waited in the bride’s room with my father. Dad was so handsome in his tux, the first one he had ever worn. He was joking around to keep me from hyperventilating. My breaths were shallow, I had never been so nervous.
As the proper song began, I looked at my Dad, took a deep breath, and out we went. I saw my soon to be husband’s eyes watching me. He was smiling as I walked down the aisle of the candle lit chapel. He was so handsome with his glistening, sun-bleached hair, his perfectly fitted, elegant tux looked amazing on him, and his radiant smile warmed my heart.
My six-year-old daughter was the flower girl, my two-year old son the ring bearer. His boys were ushers and lit the many candles whose flames danced with the music that filled the sanctuary.
My father walked me to the man I was marrying, and as Dad stood beside me, I heard something rarely, if ever, heard from my father, he was quietly crying. Dad then placed my hands into the waiting hands of another man and went to sit next to my mother.
There came a time during the vows where the man I was marrying was supposed to speak and didn’t. His head was down. I was sure he was going to turn and leave. I felt his grip tighten on my hand, and tug it a bit. A hush fell upon the guests, not a noise could be heard. He then lifted his head, looked into my eyes, and through his tears, repeated the vows.
After the ceremony the pastor had us turn and face our guests as he introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. Both smiling, we walked through the people, giving kisses, shaking hands and exited the building to a waiting limousine.
The driver, or someone, handed us a bottle of champagne, my new husband popped the cork, bubbles overflowed and, of course, my father was first in line for a glass. Someone toasted our new marriage, my husband helped me into the limo and off we went, straight to Arby’, I hadn’t eaten all day.
As we drove from Arlington, Texas to the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas for our first night as a newly married couple, we finished the champagne. Not being a drinker it hit me hard and getting out of the limo in a long flowing dress was more than I could handle. He reached in for my hand and gently helped me out of the glossy silver limo.
As we walked into the grand lobby people turned and applauded. We got checked in and every eye in the hotel seemed fixed on the bride and groom as we headed toward our suite.