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Ever so often, life hands you a perfect moment.
In these moments, I wish I could stop time. Everything around me would freeze and a still silence would blanket me with the promise of something magical.
This is how I felt on my wedding day when my father placed my hand in Heath’s and the heavens opened up a royal downpour on our wedding ceremony. I do believe enough water fell from the skies to succinctly end the five-year drought in Austin, Texas.
Over Heath’s shoulder I see our musician and DJ scrambling to cover equipment. I look out to see emptied ceremony chairs with small puddles of water already forming in their cushions. Some odd 200 people are crammed under the pavilion and I couldn’t make out a single face except for my mother’s.
The bridal party all huddled under the safety of the gazebo at which point my maid of honor told me she’d give me her bouquet for my exit. I hadn’t realized mine was missing.
Without even thinking, I found myself hugging Heath. I feel like there’s some unwritten rule about too much physical touch between the bride and groom during the ceremony and I broke it.
But I stood safe in his arms listening to him whisper to me we were getting married, probably in response to me repeatedly uttering, oh my God, what are we going to do?
The rain cascaded in thick sheets falling so loudly, I could barely here the officiant next to me asking if we were good to go.
I don’t know what I said, or what he said, or if lightning struck or if people left. For the next ten minutes I saw only my husband. I heard only his vows, only his voice. I cried and a tissue appeared in my hand. We held hands and exchanged rings and I could no longer hear the rain or see the people.
The rain, the humidity, the forgotten bouquet, the wet hair didn’t exist while we stood together under that gazebo.
Last night, Heath and I stood on top of our RV watching the sun slowly sink behind the mountains of Prescott Valley, Arizona. The mountains made the sun look small, but its power covered every peak with a brilliant golden glow. I must’ve taken two dozen pictures of the pink clouds hanging gently over the mountaintop, but none of them compared to the awe of living in the moment.
The arduous 350-mile drive through New Mexico’s desert and Arizona’s canyons created a beautiful sunset. I can watch the sunset any day of the week, but we worked to see tonight’s. We put in the hours (and then more hours), climbed the ladder, and basked in the beauty of a long day ending.
These moments don’t mean anything unless we work for them. We don’t remember every sunset, only a select few.
Under the gazebo, months of long distance, nights of fights, a million hugs, and a hundred apologies all created a perfect moment. We worked for that moment.