Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A horrible introduction to marriage

The day before my wedding I spent outside helping to string white lights in the trees and decorate the arbor.  I began to feel a little tired so I went and laid on my mom's bed and fell asleep within minutes.  When I woke up I felt completely ill and barely made it to the toilet before all the contents of my belly came up.  I spent the remainder of the day throwing up and feeling terrible.  Mike called from the billiard hall where he was spending the last few hours single with his best friend.  When I told him I was throwing up he drove up to my parents to see me.  I didn't want him to come because I didn't want us both sick but he came anyway.  I spent a restless night sleeping on the couch pillows on the floor and trying not to throw up.

I woke early and got ready.  My sisters wanted to do my make-up and hair so getting ready didn't take me long.  I was weak and could barely stand straight--food was not even an option that morning.  The rest of my family woke up and got ready and my dad moved at a snails pace, snapping at me when I urged him to hurry so I wouldn't be late for my own wedding.  Finally, we were out of the door, running late but still possibly able to make it in time.  We arrived at my sister's house with only a few minutes to spare before the ceremony was supposed to start.  At that point I felt ill and frustrated that we were late (with no fault of my own) and didn't care what I looked like.  I just wanted to get to the temple and see Mike.  My sisters applied make-up as quickly as possible and we took off to the Salt Lake Temple. I could tell when we arrived that Mike had been worried.  I am not generally a late person and he looked so relieved that I had finally arrived--I hadn't backed out!  

Mike whispered in my ear, asking how I was feeling and I told him I still felt pretty bad.  He told me he was beginning to feel bad too but wondered if it was just nerves.  I was taken to the dressing room where my mom helped me into my wedding dress and then she was ushered up to the sealing room and I was taken to Mike, waiting for me.  We were taken to the celestial room and guided to a couch.  I felt pretty awful, trying not to throw up, and laid my head on Mike's shoulder.  I briefly closed my eyes and opened them to see other couples across the room from us.  They all looked so happy, fresh, in love, and excited.  I wondered what they thought of us.  I'm sure we looked as miserable as we felt.  They probably thought we didn't love each other and were both contemplating backing out.  

After what seemed like a few minutes a kind lady came and motioned for us to follow her.  We stood and followed her to an elevator that would take us up to the sealing room.  It was a horrible ride up and I found myself willing the contents of my belly to stay put.  We had only walked a few steps down the hallway when we were told that they had gotten the wrong couple and we would have to go back down the elevator and wait until it was our turn.  We endured another nauseating ride in the elevator and then sat down in the celestial room for a few more minutes.

Finally, it was our turn and we were walking into the sealing room.  I had no energy to even smile and the sealer looked at us quizzically.  He had us sit in chairs and began to talk.  I honestly remember nothing of what he said except one thing:  He told Mike, "The three most important words in your marriage will be, 'You're probably right.'"  Even though he rushed through his speech, it felt like he talked forever.  Eventually he had us come to the alter and he began the ceremony.  Just as he began I realized that I felt as though I had to throw up right then.  I scanned the room for a trash can but it was the sealing room so obviously there was nothing to use to catch my throw up.  I realized I had to hold it in at all costs and so instead of throwing up, the lights began to go out.  I felt my body go hot and my vision go dark.  I tried to hold on and looked at the sealer.  He was waiting for my response at the appropriate time.  I said, "Yes" and then promptly laid my head on the alter where I briefly passed out.

Mike thought I was possessed by the Devil from the look on my face and my strange behavior and the sealer was confused himself.  Everyone in the room gasped and no one knew what to do.  I don't think I was out very long and the sealer continued on with the ceremony without stopping.  I just remember looking up at him with one eye opened and my head on the alter.  Mike looked relieved that I was coming to and the sealer just gave me with a concerned look.  Mike answered when he was supposed to answer and it was all over.  We stood up and instead of getting the chance to stand in front of the mirrors we were ushered to some chairs.  Everyone in the room came by and said congratulations and then we were separated and I was taken back to the dressing rooms.

I was just so hot and felt like I'd pass out again or throw up.  The workers in the dressing room just kept shoving crackers and juice at me and I wanted none of it.  Finally I was ready to go be reunited with Mike and greet everyone outside.  The typical wedding pictures at the temple didn't happen.  Mike was starting to feel ill at this point and I was feeling slightly better but still not well.  In one of the family pictures I was so weak that while everyone else stood I sat on the steps.  We truly just felt miserable.

We all just decided to forgo taking any real pictures and go straight to the luncheon.  I'm sure it was a wonderful luncheon but I felt too gross to attempt any food and Mike now felt sick enough to not want anything either.  We stayed as long as we could and then left to go to our apartment.  I cancelled my hair appointment, feeling too sick to consider going to a salon, and Mike and I took a good, long nap.  We woke up in time to drive to my parents house where my sister rushed to get my hair pinned in a tight bun on my head.  In the meantime, Mike was down in the basement feeling ill.  Everyone started arriving for the reception and someone came upstairs to tell me that Mike was throwing up.  I made my way down to the basement to find my new husband throwing up in a bag.  I held the bag (in my wedding dress mind you) for him as we walked to the bathroom at which point one of us dropped the bag in the bathtub and Mike continued to throw up in the toilet.  I am pretty sure it was about then that someone in my family came and told me to leave the throw up in the bathtub and go outside to greet everyone--they would clean it all up.  I helped clean Mike up and we both somehow stumbled up the stairs to the backyard where the reception had already started.

Part way through the night Mike started feeling sick enough that he whispered to me that he had to go lay down.  He retreated to the basement, leaving me sitting on the bench greeting friends and relatives alone.  My brother noticed I was alone and jumped up next to me, acting as the "fill-in groom."

My brother pretending to be Mike

Mike doesn't look very happy 

That's pretty much the way the remainder of the reception went.  Both of us were too out of it to take notice of too much.  Mike did eventually make it back outside for the rest of the reception but we didn't taste our cake or really socialize with anyone that night.  We discovered that some of Mike's family ended up in the same situation we were in and were too ill to make it to the reception.  Because Mike had school and I had work on Monday (we got married on a Thursday) we had opted out of going on a honeymoon promising each other we'd go somewhere sometime later.  As it turns out, it was a good choice on our part since we spent the entire weekend in bed--not for the typical reason, but rather, because we were sick the entire time.

It was a miserable way to start our marriage and I would be lying if I didn't admit that I have always regretted not having those pictures in front of the temple.  I often feel sad knowing that I didn't have the typical happy wedding day.  I didn't get to taste my cake or receive my friends and family at the reception with my husband by my side the entire night.  Pretty much, it was a miserable, disappointing day.

But here we are, nine year later.  Nine years ago today I said "Yes" to marrying Mike before I passed out on the alter.  And I realize that it wasn't the day I had envisioned my entire life.  But more importantly, my marriage isn't what I had envisioned my entire life.  Truthfully, my marriage is much more than I ever envisioned.  I realize that while the day was horrible, we made covenants that mean everything to us and that is what matters, not the dress, the cake, the pictures, the reception, or anything else.

And now that I have a daughter that is no longer here with us on this earth, those covenants made nine years ago mean even more to me.  I'm so grateful I was sealed to Mike September 25, 2003 in the Salt Lake Temple so that I could be with him forever and so that every child that enters my home could be a part of us forever.


Marcy said...

Your post made me feel queasy :). Or maybe that's my pregnancy. I remember your reception; I felt so bad you were sick. I'm so glad you and Mike found each other a decade ago. Happy Anniversary!

chelsey said...

That was indeed a day for the record books. We were all soooo worried for you both! I'm glad you endured through those sick hours to make it to the temple. Mike's a great addition to our family!

Frances said...

I loved that story.

politicchic6 said...

I love the look on your husbands face!!! Classic, and hilarious. And you have an awesome story to tell.

Seth and Natalie said...

This really makes me wish I would have been at your wedding just so I could see what was going on. Passing out on the altar? The sealer must have thought you had some wild bachelorette party the night before! Even though you were sick you still look pretty in your pictures. Happy anniversary!

Michelle said...

Yes despite being sick, I personally think your pictures taken at the temple look very nice. Even your reception pictures are good pictures as well. I'm glad you found Mike and that he's part of the family.

Lisa said...

This post had me laughing out loud, but it is so wonderful. You are so right.

Erica said...

I love you guys so much! I love your family! So sorry that you felt so bad that you actually passed out at the alter--oh boy! But I love your message. Nick and I had a backyard do-it-yourself wedding with some random guy we hired to marry us. Nick has always felt really bad about it. But he made it up to me by taking our little family to the temple to be sealed. You're right, it's not how the actual day goes, but the covenants made that make all the difference. Happy anniversary!! :)

Jess and Jason said...

I can remember the sealer leaning his head in the same direction as you, trying to keep good eye contact as you laid your head down and passed out.

I also remember that Jason threw up on the way to the temple in your car! Luckily there was a car part box that he had left there for him to throw up in. What a mess!