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Looking Back on a Wedding 31 Years Ago Today

Thirty-one years ago today, I got married. It was a very warm day in upstate New York but thankfully, though we married outside in a friend’s garden (a most generous friend!), some surrounding trees provided shade. I actually remember not being bothered by the high temperatures.

The wedding itself was thrown together over just a few weeks. The venue came about one evening when I ran into a friend and mentioned we did not have a place for this occasion yet. We had the date. It was considered an auspicious date, per an astrologer. Now we just had to take care of everything else!

My friend promptly offered his back garden. It worked out perfectly.

And, indeed, all fell into place quite wonderfully. In fact I have to mention this adorable story related to my wedding dress. My soon-to-be mother-in-law was speaking to me one day from Morocco, where she - Nicole - and her husband lived. That is where my intended grew up, actually. They comprised part of the French populace that resided in North Africa.

As we were speaking, (haltingly as I did not speak French yet!) Nicole asked if I would mind if she provided the wedding dress. Now, she had never met me, and had only seen photos. But I guess she caught wind that I didn’t have a proper dress and wished to provide thusly.

I was very touched by this and promptly agreed, allowing her to buy it sight unseen. They (she and my future father-in-law) arrived a day or two before the wedding. Few alterations, which Nicole provided, needed to be made. It was a little short, though. I don’t think she realized my height really. (I am close to 5’10.”)

It was a lovely dress, a bit frilly for my taste, but truly beautiful.

And that was how the whole occasion went, one could say. It just all came together…

I look back on this day with gratitude for all the blessings and transformation that has taken place. The marriage lasted around 25 years, and two beautiful sons came from this union.

It need be said one does not enter a marriage with the idea of it not enduring. Of course not. But, this one did not.

The transformation I refer to, in my case, comes from the experience of married life itself and what happens when one steps out of this paradigm. This immense change necessarily works it’s effects in all sorts of ways. An autonomy and hidden strength and courage reveals itself.

Much grief accompanied this change, as well. This, too, can be very transformative.

An ending of a marriage is not necessary for deep transformation obviously. It’s wonderful when a marriage endures…Truly wonderful.

This is just my journey.

So, I look back on myself those 31 years ago. So much has taken place. So many experiences and blessings have been woven into the tapestry of time since….

On that day 31 years ago - and in my 35th year - I trusted where life would take me.

And that trust continues today.

Annie Kiyonaga

July 20, 2022

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