Nov 15 aniversary
I stood in front of ninety of my closest friends and family. The sun set behind me and the room lit up. A feeling of euphoria and nervous excitement filled my body and my soul. I waited for the next chapter in my life to officially begin. To my left stood my best friend and best man, dressed in a tuxedo he looked better than I have seen him before. In front of me sat my father and his partner holding hands, smiling at me with unreserved pride and joy. We awaited the grand entrance of Krista. The room felt filled with joyous energy that lifted our spirits and connected everyone.
A distant song began and elevated to a celebratory crescendo. Krista took her first nervous steps; she glowed as she passed the crowd. I stood filled with love, her beauty took my breath away and my heart skipped a beat. She walked toward me and the rest of the room disappeared into the background. It happened in a flash as we declared our commitment to each other and our future.
It feels like it’s only yesterday, but we have made six turns around the sun since that glorious day at Big White Ski Resort. We hold each other tight and are grateful to have one another.
It was tumultuous times six years ago. I knew my dad was not long for this world, one of his last wishes was he wanted to see me get married. I bought the ring in June and it took me all summer to find the courage and finally get over my fear. On a beautiful late September afternoon I took my honey for a motorcycle ride. It was a warm afternoon and we cruised down Lakeshore Road in Kelowna. We stopped to look at a view of the sun basked Okanagan Lake. I held the ring in my hand, it weighed nothing in my palm but yet it like a massive boulder holding me down. It was time to release the weight and myself.
With nervous anticipation I got down on one knee, held her hand in mine. I looked up into her questioning eyes and told her I did not want to ever be without her. Would she marry me? After an agonizing pause, I begged her not to leave me hanging.
“Yes!” came the answer with a sob. Surprised and excited we began our preparations.
Seven weeks later at 4:20 in the afternoon on November 15, 2014 we were married in front of many of those we loved. My daughter, Marijke, Krista and I officially became a family. We got married as the sun set on my last day of freedom, it was strangely appropriate that sunset was 4:20.
Many small miracles happened to bring that moment to pass. Most importantly my dad lived to see that day. It was in no small part thanks to the community of Big White. There were so many people that we were able to pull of an amazing wedding celebration with less than two months preparation. Mitch Perlman graciously allowed us to hold it in Crescendo, Canada’s ski Chalet of the year. Jude Brunt and the staff of the Globe catered a fantastic meal. The Lofsquists and the Webbs worked hard to help us accommodate eighty-five guests on the mountain in the off season. And the amazing combo of Darcy and Timmy launched a fireworks show for the ages. Only at Big White can you get such a special event as this. We had no real itinerary, we only knew we would get married at sunset, eat at six, have fireworks at eight and party all night. As far as our plan went, it went off without a hitch. It wasn’t perfect but it was wedding to remember.
It was a great way to see my dad off after a good life of eighty-four years. Big White Fire department helped him get through the days with oxygen to help him breathe. The kind firefighters came and checked up on him a couple times in the day and on into the night. Dad had such a look of happiness on his face in that moment I am forever grateful to take those memories with me.
Now we celebrate the last six year together. It has not been perfect, but I feel the strength and resilience our marriage has gained since those first steps into the night air at five thousand feet. I know as time continues to race by us, we will not only survive, we will thrive.