There were lots of things going on in my life 12 years ago. Rocket Man and I were planning to be quietly married on my birthday, which is May 20. We had secured a minister, bought the license, bought rings, had many long conversations with our children about blending our family, and I had given notice at my apartment that I would not continue my lease. I had even bought a cake topper.
We were doing this quietly, planning to be married with only our children present. It was a second marriage for both of us. Rocket Man had custody of his girls, but his ex-wife had sued for custody and we were smack-dab in the middle of the fight of the century. We wanted to keep his girls from being pulled any more than they already were and a quiet wedding just short of eloping seemed the prudent thing to do.
My son had come home from college for the weekend on May 1. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening with our kids on that Friday night. After I went home with my children, the thought came to me that we could go ahead and get married on Saturday. The children were all with us. We had the license.
I got up early and caught up with the Rocket Man, and asked him, ‘Why don’t we go ahead and get married tonight?’ He asked me why we had decided to get married on the 20th and we remembered that it was because he would only have one date to remember instead of two. He said he thought that was a wonderful idea, as long as I wouldn’t be offended that he might occasionally forget the date of our anniversary. I figured that I could remind him in both subtle and not-so-sublte ways, so we called our friend who was going to perform the ceremony and decided to go for it.
We gathered our children and asked them if anyone had plans for the evening. Nobody did. I said, “Want to go to a wedding?” In chorus, they asked, “Whose wedding?” We told them ours and everyone agreed that this was a fine idea. Rocket Man really wanted to take everyone out to get new jeans to wear, but I nixed that. I didn’t mind having a non-traditional wedding, but I didn’t want to get married in jeans. The girls and I went to have our hair done and then my children and I went home to get dressed and ready.
As the sun went down, we executed our plan. Our minister friend met us at our church. Rocket Man had a key to the church, so we let ourselves in and sort of sneaked into the sanctuary. Everyone had a part; lighting the candles, reading scripture, presenting the rings…it was lovely. There in that sanctuary in the very building where we met and fell in love, we united as man and wife.
We said our vows, signed the paperwork and were off to the reception. This is where the story gets funny. Rocket Man had given our 4 children, ages 19, 17, 13 and 9 the task of deciding where we would go to eat after the ceremony. He told them we could go anywhere they chose. He had in mind some very nice restaurant.
Know what they chose? The Waffle House. I'm not joking. They were insistent. The debate was between Waffle House and Dairy Queen. I am so glad they chose The Waffle House, if those were the choices. Ed tried to talk them out of it, but they were united. So, off to the Waffle House they went. Ours may be the only wedding reception in the history of the world that cost less than $50. In fact, I think it was less than $35.
The children went in one car and Rocket Man and I followed. On the way, he earnestly explained to me that he would gladly have gone to the Fogcutter, Green Bottle Grill, or any of the other nice places in town. I told him it didn’t matter. I would enjoy telling this story over and over and over. And, I have. We laughed and giggled our way through dinner.
Every year, on May 2, He gallantly offers to take me anywhere I want to go for dinner. He exact words are, “Where does Molli want to go to eat?” My answer has been, every year but one (we were in Oakland, California that year and we went to an A’s game for our anniversary) has been, “Molli would very much like to eat at The Waffle House.” We laugh and go have a waffle and I thank God for the day he brought such a dear man into my life.
That Rocket Man, Ed Massey, is my husband, my lover, my friend, my favorite human on the planet. He is a wise and loving step-father to my children, a good and kind son-in-law to my parents, a generous and funny Uncle Ed to my nieces and nephews and their children, and an amazing and very loving Granddaddy to my Grandsons. He completes me. We make a formidable team when we work together on anything. He makes me laugh, encorages me, comforts me, protects me, and makes my dreams come true. He is the answer to my prayers, my companion and one of the most amazing blessings I have ever had on earth.
So, on this momentous occasion when we have beaten the odds (second marriages usually dissolve within 7 years, especially if you are trying to blend a family) and are celebrating our 12th anniversary…our Delightful Dozen…I give thanks to God for allowing me to know such a heaven on earth.
I give you my hands
And take your hands in mine
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one flesh
I give you my love
The outpouring of my heart
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one spirit
I give you this ring
From out of my worldly goods
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one family
~our vows upon the exchanging of rings~