After two inevitable and tearful postponements, my granddaughter and her fiancé finally pronounced their happy “I dos” before an ordained minister and a handful of witnesses in Duluth, a beautiful suburb not quite an hour’s drive from Atlanta, Georgia.
Alyssa and Dalton announced their engagement about this time last year and had scheduled their big day in May at an old Southern plantation where such happy events are held. Save-the-date announcements were sent. Every single detail was designed and choreographed. It was to be the wedding of their dreams.
And then the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) happened.
Alyssa had to swallow a huge lump of disappointment when she finally accepted it was not to be. They moved the date; a June wedding, why not?
But the virus was relentless. So they signed up for October.
By the way, even in the midst of a global calamity, money held as a deposit is not refundable. Not a cent! They are allowed three postponements and then they forfeit the entire amount.
But last week the couple took a bold step. They heard City Hall had reopened for marriage licenses. They fell in line.
And then an aunt said, let’s celebrate! And while she ordered favors and flowers, she decided, “Let’s have a wedding!”
Long story short: Zoom invitations were emailed to friends and family all over the world. Only 25 guests, including the couple and the minister, were allowed to be physically present. And it was lovely. White tents and tables festooned in bridal finery were set up on the spacious grounds.
Then, an hour before the ceremony, a freak storm suddenly broke. Power went out. The entire setup was ruined, even the sunflowers floating in the pool. They rushed to salvage whatever they could. And then, just as suddenly as it came, the storm passed.
It was a cool evening. The bride was radiant. The ceremony was brief, warm and intimate. Vows and rings were exchanged. The small congregation cheered. Champagne bottles popped.
In Manila it was the crack of dawn. Tears poured in Alabang where the mother of the bride lives with her twin brother and me. Vicki was up all night watching on FaceTime, as her sister Rachel, who had driven 10 hours from Florida, did the bride’s hair and makeup.
I am still in awe of how much can be accomplished “online.” There was none of the pomp and circumstance. But you could feel the love. Nothing can ever stop that.
This lola missed it. I had no internet in my casita. But I feasted on video and screen shots after. It was the next best thing to being there. It is truly amazing what technology can do under the circumstances.
Much too real
PS: Festive face masks were provided at the wedding. But only the minister wore one. Go figure.
I will never understand why the wearing of masks has become such an issue in the United States. Many say it violates their freedoms. What utter foolishness!
In the meantime, the US is in the middle of an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. My friend who lives in the West Coast says California may completely lock down.
I read that the European Union is getting ready to reopen to countries it first barred from entering. But that it might opt to totally shut out the US for now, choosing instead to risk losing untold amounts in revenue.
I discussed this with a friend and he laughed at me. He told me “they” have hoodwinked me. “I think you have been drinking their Kool-Aid.”
I am puzzled. Are there really some sinister groups out there manipulating people’s emotions and sowing seeds of panic? Could so many of us have fallen for the same ruse? Somehow I doubt that very much.
COVID-19 is much too real to be just a ploy. The numbers can’t be just a figment of someone’s imagination.
I recently wasted a few precious minutes watching a congressional hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise. If you want your blood pressure to soar, I suggest you see for yourselves.
Are these hearings held “in aid of legislation”? If they are, here is my takeaway.
What you see shows you exactly how not to be, as an elected official or an ordinary Juan de la Cruz. It is an eloquent lesson of how not to behave, whoever you may be. God forbid there are children watching these proceedings.
Thank God someone posted a blog that day. “Choose kindness over fear.” What a great concept. Embrace it.
We are connected
As we try to live through the consequences of this forced isolation, it is important for us to remember that we are all in this together. Not a soul in the world is untouched by this pandemic. If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that we are all connected, that we need one another deeply, desperately.
John Donne, in his classic “No Man is an Island,” wrote: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
Then there was a song some of you may still remember.