Eleven years ago today, I stood on a snow-covered mountain, bellyful of butterflies on the Nevada/California state line with my almost-husband and said, “I do.” It had been raining all morning, making me question whether or not I was doing the right thing. Despite what people say, I don’t believe wedding day rain is good luck. I’ve been down this road once before, during a downpour, so maybe I’m just a little jaded.
A few days earlier we boarded a plane from Maryland heading for a ski trip in Lake Tahoe and to our wedding, a wedding he planned entirely on his own, even down to choosing my wedding dress. About halfway through the first flight, the pilot came on and announced there was engine trouble and we would have to turn around. I couldn’t help but let my imagination run wild, “Was this was a sign?” We ended up boarding a different plane after maintenance crews were unable to repair ours. Back in the skies just as I started to relax, we began experiencing the worst turbulence I’ve ever felt. I thought the plane was going to fall out of the sky. It dropped several times like a bad carnival ride, convincing me we were going to die. I knew it- this was definitely a sign.
When we arrived in Lake Tahoe safe and sound, physically at least, I dismissed the bad luck we’d been having. Once we put on our skis and spent a couple of days gliding down the white powdery slopes, I pushed all the concerns out of my mind. I vowed to never again ski on the steep, icy East coast hills I spent my lifetime navigating. We paused each time we got off of the lift, amongst the tall snowy pines to absorb every last inch of the view, a view worthy of a postcard. The crisp clean Sierra-Nevada air cleansed me, temporarily at least, of my worries. I could see so clearly, a million miles away into my future.
On New Years Day, almost-husband grabbed some hotel letterhead and wrote me a letter promising me the moon. He vowed to always take care of and love not only me, but my two precious little boys. I wanted so much to believe him. In the drizzling rain, as we drove to the mountain to meet the minister, I stayed quiet as I prayed for a sign, any sign to let me know I was doing the right thing. He knew, even without words what I was thinking. We arrived and sat together quietly in the car, listening to the rain, him studying my face waiting for me to speak, me waiting for my sign. I looked up to the gray skies searching for answers and noticed a small sliver of light fighting its way through the heavy clouds. As I began to feel a little ray of hope, the rain stopped. We made our way out of the car and over to the minister as the little beam of light broke its way through the clouds, radiating sunlight down on us, giving me my sign.
It has been eleven years and I’d like to say time has flown by but it really hasn’t, instead I have to dig deep to remember my former life, a life when we weren’t all together, my little family of five. Since then, my boys, our boys, have grown into amazing young men and we welcomed a daughter I can’t imagine being without, a decade ago. Throughout the years, husband has kept his promise, the promise he scribbled to me on hotel letterhead all those years ago in the mountains of Lake Tahoe. Thank God for signs.