Monday, June 15, 2009

When I Said "I Do"

Clint Black has a great song called "When I Said 'I do.'" I have a favorite part:

Only you and I can undo all that we became
That makes us so much more, than a woman and a man...

When I said I do, I meant that I will 'til the end of all time...
That's what I had in mind, when I said "I do."
by Whoever Wrote That Clint Black Song

I don't want to talk about my own marriage.

I want to talk about my job.

I'm a wedding coordinator at St Henry Catholic Church in Monticello. In fact, when the head coordinator retired, she asked if I would take her place. I guess that makes me the Coordinator of the coordinators. It's a position of authority, but also a position of service. I don't collect a wage for it.

Hollywood makes wedding coordinating glamorous. It's not. It's hard work, tons of walking, massive amounts of time and energy, and complete and total selflessness.

I do it because it's my pink in an otherwise blue -- deep blue -- world.

I realized some time ago that I would never be the Mother of the Bride. So I took a position that made me a quasi "mother of the bride" every time I coordinate a wedding.

When I'm not coordinating, I'm available to play the piano for weddings.

I love playing the piano for weddings. Not only is it MORE pink in my sea of blue, but I get paid well to play the piano. Were I doing it in the metro area, I'd be getting $200 cash for each wedding. As it is, I collect more for playing the piano for two hours than I do for coordinating for nine hours.

I collect wedding money in our vacation fund. The money I make at weddings and funerals pays for us to take a family vacation every year.

Yes, funerals too.

I love funerals. There's so much hope. So much faith. So much... God.

I never -- well, rarely cry at funerals.

Weddings? I cry at every single one.


From my vantage point, whether at the keyboard or the soundboard, I can see the groom during the vows. I can see him watch his lovely bride. I can see him recite his vows. I can see him give her the ring.

It's beautiful.

There's so much love and hope and conviction in his face.

He promises his life for her.

Does he have any idea, I wonder, what exactly that means? Does he know what paths they'll travel? What illness will strike? What infidelity will confront them?

He doesn't!

He. Has. No. Idea.


He means what he says. He loves her completely and totally in this moment. He hopes and dreams and wishes for a shared future. He believes they'll beat the odds.

I see it, and weep.

I weep because I believe they will beat the odds.

When I said "I do" I believed it too.