Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
TITLE: Thle Wedding
By Helen Murray
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Oh! She’s beautiful! I’m sure she’d have won “Miss World” if she’d tried. That glorious wedding dress dramatises a tiny, nipped in waist like grandmother used to boast about. The yards and yards of tulle multiply the effect. She made it all herself, I’m told. What a gifting!
He’s a lucky man. An engineer with a musical genius on the side, they say. Welcome to the family. There he stands, white suit complimenting the curly white mane of hair and the deep olive skin. I don’t think he could be grinning any wider without cracking his face in two. It’s a face full of joy. And pride, I think. I can see in it the great commission – go and multiply. He looks so mature and ready to be totally responsible for his new family. She’s blessed in him!
They’re at the altar now - Ian and cousin Jan. Her sister, Elise, matron of honour in dusky pink, is fussing about the train and flowers, while young sister, Danielle of the bright red hair and about eight, also in dusky pink with matching shoes, isn’t quite jumping up and down in her excitement. She has the solemn responsibility of the pillow with the rings – obviously the most important task of the day – and her freckly face shines accordingly amid a froth of startling sunlit curls. I have to duck and sway around her grandmother’s very large purple hat – the hat of many flowers – to watch her. Right now she is singing her little heart out on the couple’s favourite hymn, “O Lord my God…” What a stunning voice she has! More than choir material I think!
Pastor’s chest is heaving with pleasure. It is his young sister he is marrying to her beloved. He tells us how they met – on a mission to India where they were engaged in building a school for an orphanage. On that occasion he had fallen from the roof and was badly winded. She had seen him fall and was first by his side – which helped him not at all by completely taking his breath away again! They had quickly become inseparable, jointly working on the project, he with building, she with engaging mothers to help in the school. By the time they left, a month later, their future together was sealed.
Proudly he leads them through the vows, exchange of rings, the announcement, and the kiss, pretending embarrassment at its passion. A million hugs, kisses, joyful congratulations impede their progress down the aisle to the resounding strains of the great Trumpet Voluntary.
Stories are rife at the reception. The bride had gone chasing the ball on her first golf lesson – getting it rather mixed up with the new game of hockey she was learning. She’d been wonderful to her young sister on the untimely death of their mother last year, dealing with her own grief while taking over the care of the grieving child. Their new home was very close so she could continue her care. It has had a stunning makeover due to Jan’s skills with the sewing machine. She’d nearly drowned a puppy trying to bath it when she was very young. The groom, it turns out, is a bit keen on the golf ball too. Maybe he could slow her down a mite!
Watch out for little animals – (advice to the groom) – Jan and Elise had always been the greatest collectors of injured fauna. This could be a continuing trend! If so you’ll find them in every nook and cranny, not to mention under the feet! Ian tried to look severe at this, but her tickling finalised that remonstrance.
We wave them away to a secret destination, somewhere over the seas, and retire for a week into the care of Pastor Bob, for wonderful trips, theatre, and more family parties. Danielle proudly exhibits the family failing – the little animal collection – introducing us to Panto the Pomeranian, Apple the Possum, Turbo the turtle, and Valentine the pony.
Elise and Tom invite us to a barbecue with some of their friends, many of whom form the church choir and break out into song constantly.
My daughter is enamoured.
“Can’t we move to Australia, Mum?” I’d been away fifteen years, and just battled through divorce.
“I think we can, Julia,” I say.
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