This was one of the most popular pages on my old writing website and even though Dave and I have now celebrated our 30th Anniversary, I’ve decided to share our Story of Love Ever After here on my new site.
You are Invited
When the story of my life is written, February 09, 2003 will stand out as one of the most loving and memory building days of Dave’s and my life together. So come as I talk story with you and tell you of that day.
Dave and I and our children invite you to share our 20th Wedding Anniversary and Recommitment Ceremony.
When you arrive at the park… around 3:30 Maui Time (that’s anywhere from 4:00 to 4:30 Mainland time)… the sun is shining brightly, the sky is Hawaiian Blue, the trade winds are blowing; sometimes gently at 5 mph, others picking up to 15.
Over in the far corner of the park under a Macadamia Tree are three tables arranged in an H. Two tables are spread with food. The third is draped in a white tablecloth. A box sits in the center. I had hoped to have the cake set out for everyone to see but the columns that are supposed to hold up the top layer of the cake keep falling over so we have decided to go with Plan B (more on that later.)
One of our children notices you arriving and comes over to greet you, places a shell lei around your neck and gives you an Aloha hug. You see that a few others have arrived early and are already visiting and enjoying a drink. Did you remember to bring your drink of choice? If not, there’s juice, iced tea and beer in the coolers. Find a spot, set up your lawn chair and visit with our friends.
Two family friends have told me to quit fussing with the food trays and go enjoy the party; they will finish setting things out, so off I go to spend time with our guests.
Then it’s picture time on the beach. First under the palm trees and then over by the lava rock wall. “Ah ha,” one of the men with cameras says. “Sue climb up on the rocks and sit. Dave stand in front of her.” So I, in long gown, climb up on the rocks, find a spot to sit and cameras snap away. “Sue you stay there. Dave walk towards us. Hold out your hand.” (In case anyone is wondering… the idea is to take the picture in such a way that it looks like I am sitting on Dave’s outstretched hand) Meanwhile, I don’t know if you know this but lava rock is not the most comfortable thing to sit on, “So hurry up guys and take your pictures. Now Dave, come rescue me and help me down off these rocks.”
Now back at the party, it’s time to eat. Come on everyone… I’ve been cooking for days ahead so there’s lots of food. Your choice of rolls, ham, turkey, roast beef, baby quiches, empanadas, caper points, tiny cabbage rolls, meatballs, a layered salad, lumpia and veggies and dip. Help yourself.
We visit some more as we eat. Dave and I take time to spend with each of you to talk story.
Cutting the Cake
The wind has died down for a few minutes so Dave and I quickly set out the cake. Dave gently places the top layer on and holds it in place so that it won’t fall over. We’ve already had one minor disaster with the columns falling over but our middle daughter and I have smoothed the icing back into place. It looks almost perfect. Everyone gathers around to watch and take pictures of us cutting the cake. Then middle daughter and I hand out pieces to anyone who wants some. Would you like chocolate or white cake?
Now a little more time for talking story and then…..
Just after 6 o’clock, Dave and our son head for one side of the beach. Our girls and I head for the other side. Our beautiful Hawaiian friend, Missy (the one who translated our vows)… stands in the middle of the beach at the ocean’s edge. You hear a Conch shell being blown by a little girl. That is your signal to join us on the beach. After everyone is assembled Missy begins to sing a chant of Pele crossing over the bridge. From opposite sides of the beach we walk towards each other. We meet as the chant ends and Dave and I exchange leis. Next our children exchange leis.
Then Dave and I join hands… smile at each other and Dave tells me in a voice filled with emotion of how much he loves me… how we’ve been through good times and bad…. and how he would do it all over again. Then in that wonderful deep voice of his he says:
“Aloha wau ia’eo, a ko makoa ‘ohana ma’aneii a hola imua i na was apau.” (I’ll love you and our family present and future forever and always)
Then it’s my turn. “Dave, twenty years ago, you took me as your wife. You have been my best friend, my lover, my soul mate and the father of our children. And I wouldn’t change one minute of it.” Then I repeat our vows:
“Aloha wau ia’eo, a ko makoa ‘ohana ma’aneii a hola imua i na was apau.”
Dave takes me in his arms and we kiss. Which of course calls for more kisses because not everyone got a picture the first time.
A loving tribute
There is one final thing to do. Dave turns to our friends and says, “There is someone who was very special to us and befriended our oldest daughter when we first moved here. He worked at the Whale Sanctuary that you see over there. Papa Jim passed away a few months ago and so could not be here in person… but we know that he is here in spirit. This is our tribute and thank you to him.”
Then Dave and our oldest daughter wade into the waves, cut the string on the lei we have brought just for Papa Jim and they let the waves take the flowers out to sea where Papa Jim’s ashes were scattered. Next Missy takes her lei and Dave cuts the string and those flowers are sent out in remembrance of her Hawaiian ancestors.
In this way, we paid respect and gave thanks for those who no longer share this earth plane with us in this lifetime.
Aloha Nui Loa
We turn now, back to our guests, tears in our eyes and thanks giving in our hearts. Dave thanks everyone for sharing this, our special day, with us. Now it is time for hugs. Aloha hugs for everyone.
We all stand and watch as the sun sinks into the ocean and just as it dips out of sight… far out, we see a whale breach… the spray of water and then a tail fluke appears… another spray of water.
The perfect end to our celebrations.
Time now to say our goodbyes. More hugs all around. Thank you again for coming. We’ll see you in another 20 years.
Aloha Nui Loa,