I’ve just recently started seeing the value in long term commitments. You see, I suffered (and sometimes still do, to be truthful) from pretty major depression as a teenager, and quite literally believed that I would never see January 1, 2000. I had worked out that I would be 26 years old, and, as I could never imagine myself EVER being ‘that old’ (“HA!” my brain is saying now,) I just assumed that I wouldn’t be around. That I’d be dead by then.
So, seeing 2000 was pretty momentous for me. But not enough to make the list I’m starting today: the six most momentous events in my life (to date). And the first would HAVE to be the day I commenced the long-distance “marathon” I hope to finish only on the day I die. (Which will hopefully be many, many, MANY years from now! I’ve kinda gotten used to this whole ‘living’ bit!)
The 18th of November, 1995 dawned just as the day before it had, and the day after it would. Nothing momentous there. I was up early, full of adrenalin and my brain working overtime with those “last minute” things which absolutely HAD to be done. Then it was a quick dash (no, I didn’t speed!) from the family home at Eight Mile Plains to the Stradbroke Ferries Water Taxi at Cleveland. Arriving with a couple of friends with a few minutes to spare, we clambered aboard the 6am Taxi and spent twenty minutes being jolted across to Dunwich. Once there, we made our way to the first of three destinations for the day. Meanwhile, up the hill, in the green house with the stupendous view overlooking the whole of the Bay, and the mainland from Coolangatta to Coolum, more people were busy, getting ready for the day’s activities. An informal bus service was set up, from the house down to the Water Taxi terminal, to collect the many visitors that would be arriving, and bring them either back to the house or take them to the second destination. Which itself was also a hive of activity – being decorated with flowers, ribbons, and candles, ready for the midday celebrations.
By 8am it was starting to heat up. So much so that by 9.30, it was raining. Enough to dampen the spirits of others, but not mine. I was determined that nothing could spoil this day for me… and sure enough, the rain stopped well before 11, leaving a cooler day and enough time to dry out the ground prior to the big event.
By midday, everyone had arrived that was meant to, and all had been transported to the second destination. St Marks Anglican Church – a tiny wooden building on the road north. It had louvres for windows, and each louvre was a different colour. “Perhaps the Australian version of stained glass windows?” I joked later. Still, everyone was there, milling around, catching up with old friends and acquaintances, and meeting new ones. By 12.10 Pastor John Geoghegan could be seen checking his watch. He then started pacing from the altar to the front door, looking earnestly. He was there, ushering the last of the stragglers inside, when he caught sight of the car. He happily turned to the church and announced, ‘Well – Ceridwyn IS here’ and then took his place back at the altar.
Steeping out of the car in my dress and heels, veil over my face, I remember I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear. My father took my arm, and as the flower girl and bridesmaid walked ahead, I thought to myself, “Well – this is it!”
It’s now over fifteen years later. I’m 36, and on the 18th of November 2010, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. No, it hasn’t always been easy. Some of it’s been downright TOUGH. But without that first day, I wouldn’t be sitting here now, on the 18th of January 2010, proud of the longest commitment I’ve ever had. (Well, with the exception of being alive, that is.) Without that first day, I wonder if I would indeed lived to see January 1 2000, even. Looking back, I’m very glad I DID live to see it – and glad that I’ve seen every day since then, too!
Well that’s it. The most momentous event in my life. My wedding to the man of my dreams (yes, literally!) on the 18th of November, 1995. A brilliant event. One I’m so appreciative I’ve experienced. And I hope you don’t mind my sharing it with you today.
So – any thoughts on YOUR most momentous event?