Yesterday was an very important day in our family. It was important because it was the anniversary of the beginning of this family. Ten years ago yesterday in a church in Rhode Island, Andy and I vowed to stay together for the rest of our lives, in front of all of our family and friends. So much has happened in that ten years. Namely the three little beings who have turned our lives into something completely different from where we were back then. The funny thing is, we weren't supposed to have October 12 as our anniversary date. We were supposed to be married on September 15th of that year. If you're following, you will see that was also the same year as the September 11th attacks.
Since I told you all the story of how we met, I thought it appropriate to tell you the story about our wedding. Everyone has something that goes wrong at their wedding. Usually, it's something that is easily fixed. For us it was a little more involved of a fix.
Any one out there who has planned a wedding, knows how much work and preparation goes into it. How you get more excited as the day gets closer. It was no different for me. We were living in Los Angeles then, as we do now, but were planning on getting married in Rhode Island. Andy grew up there and since I had moved so much when I was younger, it made more sense to get married where one of us had strong ties. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 we were supposed to be taking a red-eye flight to RI, where we would get married that Saturday.
I remember that morning as clear as everyone else in this country does. Andy and I lived in an apartment in Burbank that had a running track behind it. I would get up early most mornings and go for a run, before getting ready for work. I headed out that morning with my cassette walk-man (I guess iPods weren't quite there yet) and turned on KROQ. I listed to the Kevin and Bean show every morning. I knew that they were on vacation and would most likely be playing old shows, but when I heard the voice of Ralph, who does entertainment and the news guy Doc I got confused. They were not on vacation with the others and what were they doing live? Weird. I continued to run and as I ran, their words starting sinking in.
Plane hit the tower.
Another plane hits the second tower.
The first tower falls.
I just continued to run, hoping that this was all a mistake. Thinking they would come on and claim it as some War of the Worlds type thing, but no, they seemed pretty somber and extremely serious. I finally decided to end my run and went up to the apartment where I found Andy wide awake sitting on couch watching the whole thing on TV.
"Where were you?!" He demanded.
"Where I go every morning, to run," I said more calmly than I felt.
He had been worried when he received a phone call about what was going on and I wasn't there. We sat on the couch for a while watching the second tower fall and trying not to panic. The talk started about this being a terrorist attack. Then came word of other planes being hijacked and immediately and all the planes were grounded. Then as the horror of the attacks continued, I started to have thoughts in the back of my head that were completely selfish, but I couldn't ignore. What about my wedding?
Now let me just say right here how tragic what happened was. I have so much sympathy for everyone who lost their loved ones that day. I couldn't even begin to imagine. That is what made it worse for me. I was lucky to still have everyone I loved safe and sound, but there was this huge thing that was supposed to be happening in mine and Andy's life that was what? Not going to happen? Going to happen later? Be moved to a different location? I had no idea. I felt bad for even trying to think about it, but we had to.
All the planes were grounded. The times for them to be back in the air kept getting pushed back, and back, and back. The earliest they could get us into RI was the day of our wedding by 10am. The wedding was at 2pm. And that was just us. We had no idea what all my friends and family were going to do. Luckily, my parents were already in RI with my soon to be in-laws. They had driven there the day before to help tie up loose ends. Now we had to tie the biggest loose end of all. Moving the ENTIRE wedding to another date.
I am so thankful to the four of them for all they did those couple days. I was in no frame of mind to make those calls myself. Again, I can't tell you how guilty I felt at that time for feeling upset about the loss of my wedding, especially when so many people lost so much more. But I couldn't help it. It was something I had planned for, well my entire life really.
Fortunately, it was fixable. The place we were having our reception had two dates available, one in November and October 12th. I chose October, for fear of snow in November. You never know in New England. All of our vendors we were using from DJ to photographer, were understanding and available that day. The good thing was that it was a Friday and not many people choose a Friday to get married. This helped us out. Most of our family and friends were able to change plane tickets and make the switch. There were a few people we lost, but a couple that we gained with the new date as well. The day itself ended up being beautiful. The weather was awesome and we had a fantastic time. We went through a bit of stress, but it all worked out in the end. That is more than I can say for so many people's lives that day. I am grateful that was the worst problem I had to deal with.
Now, ten years later, it has become just an interesting little fact in our lives. All of our engravings and wedding invitations say September 15th, 2001, yet our actual wedding date is October 12th. Every September 15, Andy and I wish each other a Happy Fake Anniversary. That week is such a blur in my mind, but Andy remained calm and helpful through it all. He was a rock. Well, after the initial shock anyway. I am thankful for him every day, because besides being a great husband, he is the best father I could have asked for my girls. He has continued to be my support and my rock through so many points in this past ten years. When they told me I needed to have a C-section with Sonya and I burst into tears, when I became surprisingly pregnant for the third time with Georgia, and when Lana had a number of problems as a baby. He has been helpful through all of it. Sure we've had a few bumps in the road, but this is something I have learned about marriage in the past ten years. It's not about flowers and chocolates. Don't expect midnight trips to Paris on a private jet for your birthday. Life is not a soap opera. (Which is too bad sometimes) It's about really being there in the good times AND the bad, the sickness and the health. We've been there for each other. It's not always easy, but it's always totally worth it. For our girls and for each other. So here's to my wonderful husband of ten years. I can honestly say I love you more than the day we got married, and I hope to feel that way in another ten years, and another ten, and another. Then we should be good. Thirty years is long enough to be married, right?
I love you Andy, Happy 10th Anniversary. Thanks for making all my family dreams come true.
Quick footnote-If I haven't said it before, I will say it now, thank you to all of you who switched your plans and lives around to be there with us on this day. Besides having a great husband, I have amazing family and friends.