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    May 5, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    To think that it has been nine years since that bright spring morning when I arose and, of all things, had my hair done. After all, who has their hair done on a Saturday morning? Well, a prom queen, probably. But, more importantly, a bride. Me! A bride! My best friend’s bride. It was a good day, to be sure.

    Though it was not without its kinks.

    Do you remember, dear? Do you remember that less than six weeks before our wedding, the reception site called us to tell us they had not double, but triple booked the location on “accident”?

    Some poor, irresponsible man lost his job over that.

    But do you remember? Do you remember the panic of your bride-to be? Do you remember the second panic when I realized this meant we had to find a new caterer also? Do you remember the gratitude we felt when our church allowed the reception to be planned outside on the {new} grass, even though it hadn’t been done before? Do you remember the relief that they had mercy on us?

    Who knew they would become truly our church, when, two years later, we moved “home” and joined ourselves to them? {Who knew there would be three of us when we did so?}

    Do you remember the things I overplanned? The micromanaging?

    If you don’t, I am sure my father does.


    Sorry, Dad.

    Do you remember that the last thing the reception site promised was to order our sparkling white grape juice for the toast {because I was still on contract at Talbot, so no champagne}, and then they even failed at that? Do you remember that wonderful, wonderful man–our caterer, and a member of our church–who traveled all over town to gather up enough of this out-of-season product the night before the wedding?

    Do you remember the wedding? I ask because, to be honest, I mostly don’t. It is just this blur of happiness.

    Do you remember that the photographer exposed the film and we had to beg friends to send us pictures of the two of us together?

    Goodness, how much seemed to go wrong!

    And yet, here we are, no worse for the wear. In fact, isn’t it lovely to have memories to laugh at together after all of these years? It was, after all, absurdly funny, and at the end of the day, we got our wish: we were married.

    Isn’t that what a wedding is for? And isn’t that what we all tend to lose sight of in the midst of the planning and preparation?

    And so, here we are.

    Forgive my therapy-moment, but there was a time shortly after our anniversary last year that I began to wonder if we had celebrated our final anniversary without knowing it. I had just signed a document giving the hospital permission to put you on life support. Of course, we didn’t call it that. We called it “assisted breathing” because you were under-oxygenated. I remember learning to read all the monitors in the ICU, and realizing that your oxygen was too low, you heart rate was too high, and your brain waves sometime abnormal.

    And I had a couple moments where the doctors shook my faith that you would ever return to normal.

    And yet, here we are, and it almost feels like it was all a bad dream. Like a bad dream, you hardly remember it at all, while I {the dreamer, I think we could say} am still haunted by it all.

    Regardless of what the doctor’s said, God had other plans, did He not?

    He saved you. He saved you for us, that our children could have a father, and I a husband. I don’t know that He saved you for greatness in the eyes of the world, for so few men are remembered by name in the history books, but I know that He saved you for the small greatnesses of your life. You are the quiet hero of our neighborhood. You organize them to try and fight extra school taxes. You fix the sprinklers for the single mom down the street. You mow the neighbor’s lawn. You shoot hoops with the 10-year-old next door.

    I am grateful to be married to you. More grateful than last year, for last year I took it for granted that you would always be here. But now I know that days are numbered for us all, and every day is a blessing…a gift.

    I am so glad that, all those years ago, you asked me to be your wife…and so glad that I said yes.

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  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts May 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks, girls.

    And Rahime: sounds like me. A belated congratulations, friend. Seven years…wonderful!

  • Reply Rahime May 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I think it was more having an infant than being pregnant. That, and we had the wedding up here, so not many of my Biola friends made the trip. We celebrated 7 years in April. 😉

  • Reply Lift Up Your Hearts May 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Happy tears!! :*) Happy Anniversary to a lovely couple.

  • Reply Ellen May 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm


  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts May 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Rahime, Do you know I didn’t even remember that your wonderful husband had done that? I suppose we have all grown up a lot since then! 🙂

    I missed your wedding, but I can’t remember why. How long have you been married? That will probably tell me who I was pregnant with. My pregnancies limited my travel a lot, so I am guessing that was why. Sorry I missed it, though! Or maybe you had a small wedding? See?? I can’t remember anything! Goodness.

    Thanks for celebrating with me a little.

    He brought me chocolate and roses yesterday! I don’t think he’s done that in years; it was a nice surprise.

  • Reply Rahime May 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Brandy and Si, I remember your wedding; it was LOVELY. I (naively) wasn’t aware of all of the “glitches” until much later, and if I hadn’t been told, would never have guessed because you appeared so calm.

    My biggest stress that day was the mortification that my boyfriend was, at the time, Mr. Unreliable (thank our Father he has overcome that that), and did not realize that one does not RSVP to a wedding and then not attend. 😉

    May you be as blessed in the next nine years of your marriage as you’ve been in the first.

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