This past Saturday I officiated a wedding at The Ritz down in Dana Pt. The photo is not of the wedding, but it is of another wedding I officiated on the Pacific Lawn. It’s one of my favorite vistas of the Pacific.
I had the pleasure of working for the first time with Christine Bailey of White Orchid Productions. I hope it’s not my last time as she’s wonderfully organized and her team went about their work with effortless ease and graciousness.
I always arrive an hour before a ceremony’s start as it gives me the chance to settle in to a location and gather my thoughts for a final time. And so it was on Saturday.
After checking base with Christine, I took a stroll behind the lawn. And that’s where I spotted the couple to whom this post is dedicated.
They looked to be well into their ‘70’s. The man was in a wheelchair and his wife was pushing him. She pushed the chair up to a fence that bordered the perimeter of bluff. Once he was close enough, he reached over to the fence and pulled himself up. The wife put her arm around him as they looked out. I thought, “how sweet.”
But then he turned to his wife, cupped her face in his hands and they began to kiss––energetically. I was startled because the scene went against the scenario I’d mentally created for them. Old couple; probably cranky; affectionless not to mention sexless––hope she doesn’t push him off the bluff! I know, none of this sounds very kind on my part, but, hey, if you knew my relatives, you’d know why I came up with this oh-so-wrong snapshot!
I was deeply moved by the sight of them. Their bodies may have been broken, but their tenderness was strong. And apparently their love was as vibrant as the love that my couple, Christine and Nelson, was celebrating that day.
Before a couple exchanges rings, I have them hold hands and remind them that “these are the hands of your best friend.” My reminder to them ends with the line, “and these are the hands, even when aged, will still reach to you with the same touch that comforts you today.”
I’ve like the image of that line; but, I’m not sure I’ve ever really understood the profoundness of it until I watched this couple, as the wife stroked her husband’s face (you’ll note that I’m presuming they were married and not having an affair!).
I went on my way and officiated the ceremony that was touching in many different details. Afterwards, as I walked to the lobby, I passed the cocktail lounge and who should I spot having a martini, but––my couple from the bluff!
I grinned. . .so you’re in your 70’s, use a wheelchair, but you’ve got a wife you still make out with (in public) and can cap it off with a drink at The Ritz. WOW! Now that’s the good life. . .
May your life be just as good. . .