September 13th, 2008. That was the day Joey and I were supposed to be married. That was the date that I had been planning toward for about 8 months. Well, it didn't happen. If you will recall, that is also the date that an uninvited guest came to town: Hurricane Ike. I think about this time one year ago I was most likely doing one of a few things, picking up hurricane debris, crying, raking, crying, picking up more sticks and oh yeah, did I mention crying? I literally remember doing both types of activities at the same time. Picking up limbs while a tear would slide down my face. I was a pretty pathetic emotional basket case at this point and completely drained. It was upsetting enough to have the wedding postponed as it was, but then on top of that to walk outside to a wreck of a backyard that we had been working on for 8 months, no power, no water, and complete chaos in Livingston was too much. But, thankfully I have an amazing family along with their friends who pulled together and helped to pull off a beautiful wedding two weeks later, same time, same place and with A LOT of physical labor. The road up to the day may not have been perfect, but The Day itself was perfect in my mind.
Something I learned from this after looking back on it now and maybe it's surprising, is that it all didn't matter in the long run. Well, I guess it did and it didn't. Now, I would not advise saying this to someone in this situation because you can't see that when you're in the middle of it. And I also wouldn't have done it any other way except maybe picked another date. It's a HUGE day, don't get me wrong and it's an absolutely beautiful picture of the bride of Christ, BUT nothing compares to the actual marriage itself. And that would have happened one way or another, with a gorgeous wedding or without it. I love that I got to wear The Dress, walk down the aisle, be the center of attention for a day and not be looked upon as selfish, and the whole experience of it, but nothing truly mattered except what took place at the end of the aisle when Joey and I both said "I do." God taught me about what was truly precious and it was a great reminder how much I can get tied up in the decorum of the wedding day and in life in general and totally miss what's important. Lesson learned, but I'm sure this is a lesson that I will learn again and again along the rest of the journey.
What you can't see are the 2 huge trees that were down in the back. Behind the garage it was like you walked into a treetop jungle.
More pictures would have been taken, but the camera ran out of batteries after these quick shots and of course we didn't have electricity to charge it back up. I wish I had more showing the back part of yard - it was about as bad as the front yard and you couldn't see the ground for the debris. Another thing that I wish I had a picture of was the plywood boarding the front windows. Mom, to my angst and horror, spray painted "Ike Wedding Crasher" in white letters that could be seen from the road. Classy, I know. Thank you, Mom. I still to this day, do not understand why she did it. I was actually pretty mad about it, but now it's borderline humorous. You can imagine both mine and my Mom's emotions at the time.
Anyhow, here's to September 13, 2008, The Wedding Day That Almost Was. Happy Almost Wedding Anniversary, baby!