Monday, April 06, 2015

Global Flash Mob Wedding

Every once in awhile things come together for a beautiful moment in time.  People from around the world came together to make this moment happen at our son's wedding, recently. I am at a loss for words. I wept so much all my makeup was washed away!

My heart has been aching and I have been operating in panic mode since Thanksgiving. It started with hubby's mom going in for surgery for a malfunctioning aortic valve. She did not recover as expected from the surgery and quickly went downhill. I was with her the night before surgery, staying over at a motel in Portland since the surgery was set for so early the following morning. That evening was possibly the last time Bart's mom was "fully" cognizant of her surroundings and what was happening.

Shortly after mom-in-law's episode my mother was rushed to the hospital in Ewa Beach. She was there for two months after first being diagnosed with pneumonia, which then became MRSA coupled with her COPD and her chemo wracked body, all of this brought on by a bout of VOG, volcanic smog blown over from the big island. Miraculously, she pulled through, but not before my father also went into the hospital for two weeks due to panic over my mother's condition bringing on his own bout with pneumonia and leading to a sever episode of vascular/emotional dementia. Bart's mother died in January, never able to go home since leaving it just before Thanksgiving. Both of my parents recovered, but my father still has not fully regained his cognitive abilities and often wakes up thinking he needs to get dressed and go to work. My mother's lungs remain severely weakened leaving her unable to travel, especially not able to board a plane to fly home.

During all of this emotional upheaval we received word from the reverse mortgage loan corporation that we do not get a year to sell the home but, since my father was ill and no longer able to live in the home but not dead, they could call the loan in whenever they pleased and they pleased immediately. We consulted with lawyers and found out that while they were barely within their legal rights, barely is all it took. We now had four months to either buy or sell the property. We put it for sale immediately but it is a long shot that it will sell before the Bank of America's auction date of April 28th.  Personally, my husband and I have sunk just under $200,000 into this land that has been in my family since the 1860's. Packing has been almost impossible for me to do, my heart just refuses to believe we have lost this land and my mind cannot wrap around going through close to 100 years of accumulated things in such a short amount of time.

Then, we received news that our son is to be deployed. For me, this has been the hardest to mentally and emotionally accept. He joined the national guard to help, locally, in natural disasters. To defend, should we be attacked. This gentle soul that literally cannot kill a bug without cringing ...  I worry what will be coming home. I worry if he will come home. I worry.

We were long overdue for some good news. Finally, son announces he and fiance are going to marry!  Since I cannot say too much more without it being deemed gossip, let us just say the family is very, very happy with this decision and the knowledge our grandson is in a safe and secure family unit.

So, a wedding to plan within a month! Son's fiance had BIG plans. We cringed as we don't "do" big weddings. Four daughters and our budgets have always been under $5,000.  She is from Ethiopia, where the wedding garments generally start at that price. We had to meet her father, who has decided viewpoints. How to merge our families together? Ack, ack, ack, more worries. Wedding day comes and up to the point that music started for the walk down the aisle, decorations were going up. Her dress burst open in the back and was literally pinned together with safety pins and bows.

And ... it was such a beautiful wedding we wept.

Bahai weddings are really quite different. We marry one another, no one "marries" us. No one asks who gives away the bride, no one pronounces us wed. But, how to convey that to people from another religion on top of another culture. The bride's father didn't think it could be done and had prepared what he wanted read at the wedding. It was politely accepted for consideration but was not used. With trepidation I talked with him later that wedding day. He was overjoyed with the ceremony and said nothing he had prepared could have added anything to it. I was greatly relieved.

I knew we really couldn't meet the bride's expectation for decorations, but I had two things in our wedding chest. Our family puts out a mean meal at the drop of a hat. Give us a week and it is going to be a humdinger, give us two weeks and we can wow anyone. Our family chef, Bart's brother Kelvin, and party planning big sis (who has been battling cancer herself) put out a such a spread that people were speechless when they found out it wasn't catered. Prime rib, salmon and lamb, salads, rice pilaf, veggies, with friends also bringing Ethiopian dishes and Indian dishes.  It was fabulous.

And then, and then, and then ... this video. We will have the split screen done a little better, my mom threw this together as a little token of her love. She wasn't allowed to fly home for the ceremony (another heartbreaking moment).  We planned a surprise flash mob for the reception. We not only planned it but pulled it OFF!!!  We see on You Tube where the wedding party surprises guests with a flash mob, but have not seen the guests surprise the bride and groom with one. To top it off, we asked family and friends who couldn't make it to the ceremony to video themselves dancing to "Happy" as well as a congratulations on the wedding video.  Videos came in from around the world! From Japan to Addis Ababa, from Alaska to Oklahoma, Washington, Minnesota, Oregon and many points in between. The response of people stepping outside of their comfort zone was unbelievable. I weep as I write this, out of gratitude. You guys are just the best. And with this dance, two families and so many cultures, came together.

It was FABULOUS, and everyone was crying, again! In our family, if we can bring you to laughter or tears, its a WIN!  

If you want to watch all the congratulations first, watch the whole video, if you want to skip to just the dance fast forward to 11:04. 

I write this today as I procrastinate more packing. I watch the video today to remember the happy as I weep with the sadness of saying goodbye to the land where my people have walked for seven generations, where my grandchildren will no longer play alongside the memories of their grands, great grands, great great grands and even great great great grands.  With sadness I pack up the old, with hope in my heart I look forward (if not with radiant acquiescence at least with determination) to the new.

The script for the Wedding of Martha Kemma & Matthew Morrell

Tod says:
On behalf of Martha and Matthew, welcome and thank you for coming to celebrate their wedding.

All religions revere marriage, each in their own, unique way.  The unifying thought in all holy scriptures, regarding marriage, is that
the union of the husband and wife is regarded as an eternal spiritual bond, created as a gift from the Creator.

In Christianity an often used quote for marriage is from the Bible, Mark Chapter 10:

But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.
 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

Helen says:
A prayer from the Eastern Orthodox Church ~ O Merciful God, we beseech Thee ever to remind us that the married state is holy, and that we must keep it so; Grant us Thy grace, that we may continue in faithfulness and love; Increase in us the spirit of mutual understanding and trust, that no quarrel or strife may come between us; Grant us Thy blessings, that we may stand before our fellows and in Thy sight as an ideal family; And finally, by Thy mercy, account us worthy of everlasting life: For Thou art our sanctification, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Tod says: In the Baha’i Faith scripture tells us that the true marriage of Baha’is is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God.

O ye two believers in God! The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other.

If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favour in the Kingdom of heaven.
Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.

Katrina says: A prayer from the Baha’i Faith: H
e is God! O peerless Lord!  In Thine almighty wisdom Thou hast enjoined marriage upon the peoples, that the generations of men may succeed one another in this contingent world, and that ever, so long as the world shall last, they may busy themselves at the Threshold of Thy oneness with servitude and worship, with salutation, adoration and praise.  “I have not created spirits and men, but that they should worship me.”  Wherefore, wed Thou in the heaven of Thy mercy these two birds of the nest of Thy love, and make them the means of attracting perpetual grace; that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge and cast the pearls of pure and goodly issue on the shore of life.  “He hath let loose the two seas, that they meet each other:  Between them is a barrier which they overpass not.  Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye deny?  From each He bringeth up greater and lesser pearls.” O Thou kind Lord!  Make Thou this marriage to bring forth coral and pearls.  Thou art verily the All-Powerful, the Most Great, the Ever-Forgiving. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tod says:
It is the strength of the commitment of the two individuals that will determine the strength and bond of the marriage. Matthew and Martha, with the blessings and approval of their parents, have chosen to marry one another. They choose to say the vows that will unite them through eternity.  

Matthew takes Martha’s hand and says: “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God” and places the ring on Martha’s finger.

Martha takes Matt’s hand and says: “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God,” and places the ring on Matthew’s finger.
Matthew then removes the veil from Martha’s face and kisses her.

Tod says: And with this simple, but profound, vow, Matthew and Martha have become partners in a new creation, the divine institution which is their marriage.  May I present to their family and friends, Mr & Mrs. Matthew & Martha Kemma Morrell.

They turn to the guests, holding hands, and smile. Music starts up and they walk back down the aisle followed by Kahlil and Olivia, then Helen and Katrina and then Martha’s father, then Matthew’s parents. 

As Matt and Martha get to the end of the wedding aisle carpet Tod makes announcements

Tod says: Please leave row by row to go through the receiving line. Pictures of the wedding party will then take place while the room is prepared for the reception. Feel free to relax and wait here. The reception will begin in approximately one half hour.

The wedding and reception was held at the log cabin at Camp Rilea. It was simple, beautiful, and we are so very grateful to all who participated in so many different ways, from near and afar. Love to you, one and all.