Friday, 13 April 2012

Congratulations and Condolences

Today is Friday, April 13.  My little sister got married today.
At this point, most people say:
1. Who the heck gets married on a Friday?
2. WAIT....Who the heck gets married on a Friday the THIRTEENTH?!  DUN DUN DUN!
3.  Did you know that Friday the 13th is bad luck?
4.  13 is a prime number!  What?!

Wow.  Really, you had to add that last one, didn't you.

Well, my sister had not really planned on getting married on a Friday, nor on the 13th, and especially not on a Friday the 13th.  She was supposed to get married on September 15th, a nice relaxing sort of number, divisible by 3 and 5, and a Saturday, like all normal people.

This wedding was anything but the norm.

Three weeks ago, Talia (my sister) called me to tell me that her future father-in-law was very ill.  He was battling cancer, and it seemed that he was losing the battle rather quickly. The doctors had given him at most a few months to live.  At that point, he was already basically bed-ridden in his home, unable to complete any further cancer treatments as his health was not really up to the onerous task of dealing with cancer drugs and so on.  They started treating him palliatively.

Talia and her fianc√© (Leigh) decided that it was very important that his father be present at their wedding, so they decided to forgo the big fancy hoopla and have a small ceremony in their house, scheduled for today.  They wanted to get everything planned as quickly as possible so that he could witness his oldest son get married.

Leigh's father died yesterday.

In his last hours in this world, he was adamant that they NOT cancel or postpone the wedding. The family, wanting to honor his wishes, unanimously decided to go on with the wedding as planned.  When Talia initially told me this, I thought she was crazy.  We lost out father 12 years ago, so I knew how difficult it was and I could not imagine getting MARRIED the day after he died. But I wanted to be supportive, so I picked out some karaoke music (I was supposed to play the piano, but we discovered it was badly out of tune and would make the guests' ears cry), went over the songs with her and started learning lyrics.  I decided to only bring one child (iBean) as Tony's mom had told me that she would take the boys to Telus World of Science (is that what that place is called now?  I can't keep it straight).  I had not planned on bringing any kids to the ceremony - Leigh's dad was ill and I didn't want rambunctious hooligans (read: my chillins) causing him any additional discomfort.  But I also did not think Tony's mom would have as much fun at the science center with a 15 month old.  So I used the excuse to buy her a new cheery outfit and brought her with me:
Did your computer crash?  Sorry, it's just a minor cuteness overload.  Your data should all be in tact.

When I arrived at the house this afternoon, things were quiet, but not somber.  Just calm.  There was no rush, no sense of urgency, just a sense of being truly in the moment.  I am pretty sure the ceremony started late, but no one was really looking at their watches (except maybe the marriage commissioner). And everyone was smiling.  There were some tears, but they were the usual wedding tears, nothing like the funeral tears I had been anticipating.
And Talia flubbed her vows a bit - she looked at the marriage commissioner and said "Wait a minute.  I missed that.  What did you say?" True Talia style.
But she was beautiful. You can cut her some slack for that, right?
Beauty was not in the eye of the beholder.  She was GORGEOUS on an objective level.

Leigh had the most adoring look on his face with eyes only on his bride for the entire ceremony.
And once they were introduced as Mr and Mrs, he picked up a ukelele and serenaded his new wife. On a ukelele.  Serenading.  Did I mention it was a ukelele?
 We had some appetizers and wine, followed by the ritual of the couple feeding each other the cake:
Have YOU washed YOUR hands today, honey?
I was happy to have been there, and I am sure that Leigh's dad and our dad were both there.  Although not in monkey suits like the rest of us, who have to wiggle out of our spanx everytime we need to pee.  And I am sure they smiled down on us.  I mean, who wouldn't laugh at someone trying to wiggle themselves free of their underwear while their bladder is ready to burst from the large volume of wine you drank?  WHY OH WHY did I drink that last box of wine?  I really need to invest in a stadium pal.  Or maybe they should make spanx with a built-in stadium pal.  That's a million-dollar-idea right there. Now DON'T STEAL IT.

 Oh.  And congratulations you two!


  1. So sweet! My most hearty congratulations to the new husband & wife!

  2. Congrats guys!! That's amazing. And wicked happy! So sorry about your Dad, Leigh. Love you both! All the happiness in the world.

  3. I am sure both dads were watching with pride as this union took place. Congrads to Talia and Leigh.
    Sarah, as usual , your writing is right on!!!

  4. Hi this is jill, leighs cousin in England. Thank you for your blog it really made me feel like I was there with you all. We were all thinking of Leigh and talia on Friday, wondering how it would go and if everyone would hold it together. It may not have been the wedding they planned but it was so genuine and loving and that is not a bad basis for marriage! Good luck Leigh and talia and rest in peace uncle Tony a great guy gone too soon xxxx


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