The wedding, of course, was of our son Max to his beautiful bride and our beloved daughter-in-law Devika.
The FIRST wedding was in Hyderabad, India in July. Devika's family had the responsibility for that event (really, EVENTS) -- they were gracious hosts, and each of the planned events (and the unplanned ones as well) were wonderful. We did have our share of preparations beforehand -- including getting the necessary vacinations, figuring out itineraries, arranging packing (I must have packed and unpacked 10 times!). In the middle of all that, planning for the SECOND part of the wedding -- the ring exchange in Pasadena (our responsibility) was taking shape. (In Hindu services there aren't exchanges of rings.) I made a list of things I wanted to try to buy in India for that event -- that goodness I made a list!
Two weeks in India went by quickly -- as did our time with our children and family. We love India, and being there with Max is always so special -- he is fluent in Hindi and Urdu. He is fearless when it comes to food and going ANYWHERE. People gather around him when he starts to speak. He knew the local coffee and chai vendors by name, and they always greeted him warmly as he did them. I stood back as a VERY proud parent.
When we came back to Irvine, it was near the end of July. I was Bishop in Residence at Camp Stevens, and before I knew it, it was September, and I've been running ever since!
Planning a wedding for someone who is in Texas meant that the phone calls, email exchanges and photos flying across the internet were overwhelming. October was fast approaching, and with as organized as I usually am, I felt very out of control. I used my one day off per week to run errands or search for whatever we needed for the October ring exchange. Jon and Mary Bruno graciously allowed us the use of their beautiful back yard for the event -- what a great gift to our family. Still, planning had to happen, and I was on a tight budget.
We pulled it off! With over 40 out of town guests staying in Arcadia at the Hilton Garden Inn (they couldn't have been nicer or more accomodating for us!), we organized a "rehearsal" dinner, people from out of state LOVED LA, and on the most beautiful night in October, the ring exchange happened. Bishop Bruno, my brother Bishop and friend, officiated. He was brilliant, wonderful, spirit-filled. Devika's family and Max's (my) family were all impressed. It was beautiful!
So? You may be asking yourself. Well, all the 'prep' for not one, but two events has left me on catch-up mode. I have tried to be on top of everything as best as I can. I think I may have dropped a ball or two, but I tried to catch them as they bounced. If I owe you a phone call -- let me know. If I didn't respond to an email -- let me know. It was not intentional -- you may be a victim of the post-two-weddings-catch-up.
Thank you, Bob and Sylvia, for a bit of resbit and a time to reflect -- it was a great gift to me today.
I have a bit of down time between Christmas and the New Year -- while there are things with friends and family on that calendar, I plan to rest a bit, catch my breath, and then strap on my roller skates as we begin 2014.
I wonder what I will find as I wander through my work and congregations in 2014?