When they entered the small church in Bedford, Quebec, I could not help it. Tears started flowing down my face.
Popeye nudged me sweetly and whispered to me:
«This is a wedding, honey. Not a funeral... for a change.»
How right he was. We had been to three funerals in less than eighteen months. Our dear Yvonne and Henri and then Jean, our closest neighbor, a mere three weeks before.
I kept crying... I was bursting with joy. Only tears could relieve this emotional outburst. Impossible to start waltzing or clapping or singing in the church! So I cried.
I was not sobbing. I just let the tears flow down freely from my joyful heart.
Yes, tears can flow from one’s heart. At least this is what happened then and there.
Marc-Antoine and Marie-Claude looked so happy. Pure bliss.
Marc-Antoine walked down the aisle, holding hands with his parents. The three of them were beaming. Our sweet and dear friends ever since the early 1990s.
Marie-Claude followed a few minutes later, holding her parents’ hands. They too looked so radiant.
The bride was so beautiful, standing as she did in the ray of sun while someone opened the church door to let her come in.
I felt so, oh so happy to be there, in Bedford, while this perfect couple was getting married... holding hands with my two men, my husband and my son, ‘Popeye’ and JC (aka Swee’ Pea in so many posts).
One day in 1990, a long time ago, a young boy from Quebec entered our life. He was to become our «Canadian son», JC’s lifelong best friend and «brother». When the story started, they were almost 11 years old.
What can you say? We made plans. I sort of remember that Popeye cancelled a trip. Wow! And JC decided to come over even though he was in the throes of writing his PhD dissertation - last mile. Wow again!
Marc-Antoine and Marie-Claude arrived in Brittany in May 2007 to spend a few days with us.
We fell in love with «the» girl as soon as we met. She was so charming. Happy. Cheerful. Beautiful and bright. And very much in love with our Marc-Antoine.
Marc-Antoine was beaming all the time, very much in love and quite different already. Quieter, I’d say. More level-headed, if I may say so. Probably from a feeling of deep fulfillment.
The few days we spent with them were delightful. We were sad to say goodbye but we knew that we’d see both of them again. She was so obviously «the one» for our dear Canadian boy.
Later on, they told us about their engagement. We were so happy.
Sounds like everything they have been doing since we met Marie-Claude made us very happy. Well, happiness begets happiness, doesn’t it?
This April, they flew to Paris to visit with us. On their way back from Thailand to Montreal. There was something they wanted to tell us about.
They were getting married in September in Montreal and they wanted to make sure we’d be there... the three of us.
At first, I felt a little bit worried, not because of their wedding of course. Their wedding was wonderful news. I was worried because I was not really feeling up to travelling so far yet.
We started to make serious plans in June though. JC would be arriving from LA and we’d meet in Montreal a few hours before the wedding.
I went and bought my 'wedding finery' and started planning the trip... I mean, planning the trip in my head. This is a process anybody else would call 'getting ready'.
In August, I had a few minor health problems and I really wondered whether or not I’d be able to make it after all.
But I did have to go to their wedding. JC and Popeye used a very convincing point: Marc-Antoine and Marie-Claude were really expecting us to be there. Period.
They were so right.
Had I not been there...
I would have missed being reunited as a family again during three wonderful days... Two parents from France and their son from California...
I would have missed all the text messages Marc-Antoine left on JC’s phone as soon as he heard we were getting closer and closer. Questions upon questions. Until JC called him: «We are really here and on our way. We’ll be arriving very shortly in Bedford. Quit worrying.»
I would have missed all the hugs and kisses we got from Marc-Antoine’s family as soon as we got to the hotel prior to going to the church where he was already waiting for his love to arrive.
I would have missed his broad smile and the way he engulfed the three of us in his arms as soon as he saw us. (He’s a huge guy as you may have noticed.)
I would have missed crying while they walked into the church (and through the whole wedding. Almost!)
I would have missed their so radiant and obvious love while they promised each other love and fidelity.
I would have missed her beauty and sweetness and joy.
I would have missed meeting so many sweet people who welcomed us so warmly...
I would have missed... I would have missed... so many things, so many sweet moments. Moments I still treasure in my heart and will treasure for a long time.
Their wedding truly was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to. The most enchanting one. So simple and so moving. A wedding filled with so much love and happiness that we all came out of it feeling so much happier, more hopeful and serene about life.
This was their gift to all of us. I don’t think they realize how wondrous this gift has been and will be for many years to come.
Thank you, Marc-Antoine and Marie-Claude for getting married (and inviting us to the wedding).
Thank you, Popeye and JC, for putting me on the plane to Montreal!
*Good Luck, and Good Night*