Monday, April 23, 2012

A Death and a Wedding: My Weekend in Notes

Some of you may have been wondering where I went toward the end of last week. I've been very habitual in the production of my How-to and How-Not-to Parent blogs, but I missed the Thursday edition last week.

I'd like to take a moment and explain why.

Thursday began as any day: I woke up, woke up Olivia, made coffee, woke up Olivia, made my breakfast, woke up Olivia, made Olivia's breakfast, woke up Olivia, took a shower, dressed myself, brushed Olivia's hair, pulled Olivia into the car, and dropped her off at school. Then, I headed to Furman University for the Upstate Consortium for a professional development seminar. The good news: I got to spend a couple of hours at home before coming back to school for musical rehearsal. The bad news: that was my only break for about three days.

After one of the most frustrating musical rehearsals of this year, Michelle and I packed the kids off to my parents' and went on a field trip to see Les Miserables at the Peace Center. We have about twenty students with us (and two other teachers), and despite a twelve minute technical error that stopped the show, IT WAS INCREDIBLE. Pardon my caps, but it was awesome. Then, because Jean Toole is awesome, she secured us a backstage tour by an electrician after the show.


To keep this as brief as is possible, I'd like to mention three interesting facts and move on: 1.) Over four miles of cabling are used in the show. 2.) There are over 5,000 costume pieces, including 80 wigs. 3.) They change the lightbulbs every 3-4 months. The total cost of LIGHTBULBS: $25,000.

That, and the fact that they had stopped the show for a technical difficulty every night at the Peace Center made me feel much better about Cinderella. However, as we were leaving the stage, texts began coming in that a fellow English teacher at my school had died of a horse accident earlier in the evening.

The bus ride back was not pleasant. All I am going to say on this note is that Pam Scott had some students that loved her on that bus. I also owed her a piece of chocolate for covering my class earlier in the week while I went to a doctor's appointment. It was with me on Thursday, but I never went to work to give it to her.

Pam Scott, Liberty High School English Teacher
Coworker, Friend
I hope she's enjoying something better than chocolate right now.

My life kept churning, though. And the next day landed me at the wedding of a beloved friend, Nathan George. As sad as the previous day was, and as tired as I was (we weren't home from Les Miz until almost 1:00 o'clock in the morning...that's late for this twenty-five going on forty father of two. What would Eric Cromer think?) the wedding was spectacular.

I have to spend the last few moments of this post recreating one of the most spectacular events I've seen at a wedding in years. The ceremony was beautiful and meaningful, filled with family blessings and prayers of support and the whole atmosphere screamed that the couple was already loved and in-love. The h'orderves were kickin'. (Whoever invented bacon-wrapped barbecued shrimp on a skewer: Thank you.) Seeing some of my old friends was special, how we've all moved on separate paths, but mostly connected along the lines of ministry and Wesleyanism. Some were married since I'd seen them last, some were pregnant, and somehow I was the old dad in the room. But I think I laid it down pretty fresh on the dance floor. Thanks, Michelle DeRossett, for turning away long enough for me to jive like it was 2007. You are my only love.

But the most spectacular event of the entire wedding came later, on the dance floor. A song came on, Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The dance floor lit up. Despite the fact that I did not, everyone else there seemed to know this song. And by the second chorus, I knew it too. Suddenly the wedding, spectacular up till then, seemed like something scripted from a Hollywood movie. I can't capture the emotion here, though I am going to try.

Thad, Nathan's younger brother, was there in his grey-vested groomsman suit, no jacket, with a shock of red hair shagging back around his neck, looking the picture of Thomas George (his older brother) from our freshman year together when he red shirted on the SWU soccer team. There was Thad, clapping and spinning around in a circle, everyone singing the words about home being "wherever I am with you," and Nathan and Lauren, his bride, looking the picture of love. Then, the magic happened. I asked them if it was planned and they all shrugged and said, "not at all." The song kicked into the last run of the chorus. Nathan and his brothers,and their wives--the close family--moved into a circle, arms locked around each other's shoulders, and began dancing in a clock-wise circle, legs kicking in and out. The groomsmen and outer-level of friends began dancing counter-clockwise in a circle around them, and the other guest stood around this circle, clapping and singing. When the last Ho-oo-me  came across the speakers and everyone lifted one finger and looked at their loves and smiled--that was real.

I know what it's like to get married: a blur of color that ends with two kids and a cardboard box of orphaned kittens. So I thought maybe Nathan would forget this moment (though I don't see how) and I wanted it committed to the written word. I think the most spectacular part was that some of the immediate family had not been dancing until it came time for the intimate family circle. It's like they knew they needed to be there and everyone else knew they did not. I feel like everyone connected, and I just couldn't imagine a better way to kick off your marriage, or a better way for me to end of heartbreaking, exhausting week.

Congratulations, Nathan and Lauren. I've got a feeling you're going to go far and be happy on the way.

1 comment:

  1. you are a great friend Kevin! That was an awesome article, you have a wonderful gift! Thank you for sharing and writing about that special moment for Nathan and Lauren! It was and always is a a great day when i get to reconnect with you. Take care my friend.