Tuesday June 21st [Summer Solstice]: Here’s where life takes an interesting turn. PDM has a free continental breakfast for guests. I was enjoying my fresh fruit and coffee when Marcia arrived [the infamous Marcia of Mornings in Mexico]. Suddenly, Brian and Marcia beckon to me and they say “Sit down, we need to tell you something together”…my heart sank, I was sure that something had happened to my yellow Lab Sheffield. I see Brian’s eyes get teary so now I am really worried…then….he says…..”Marcia has set up a renewal of vows for us on the beach…will you marry me again?” It took several minutes for this to really register…I was totally focused on the trip and hoping that everyone has a great time, everyone calls me “the travel agent”….the fact that we had not been able to do a renewal was forgotten as soon as we had decided not to go until June…..I said to Marcia “NO WAY!”…..and although I can’t remember the whole conversation [I wavered between laughing and crying], it became apparent that Brian and I were getting married again! This had a been a dream of mine for quite some time as Brian and I had our 1991 wedding reception in our backyard - we had just bought our house and could not afford a full frou-frou sit-down affair…plus the fact that when he proposed to me, he said “What are you doing for the next 20 years??”- that has been the brunt of innumerable jokes when I would say “the 20 year lease is almost up!”…I kept saying to Marcia “How did you guys do this?” I was completely surprised [which obviously was the point]… Apparently, Marcia contacted Brian with her scheme and they had been emailing back and forth since February or March using my in-laws’ email address! All 16 of my friend knew except ME….LOL.
The day went by in a blur…Rambo and Doug decided to have a “bachelor party” which cracked me up….the beach was beautiful [yes Bomba Girls, I actually laid down in a lounger on the BEACH in the SAND at Posada Beach]….
Brian also told me that Marcia had arranged everything and had PAID for everything…she would not accept ANYTHING from Brian and I know that would have bothered him but he knows Marcia- when she gives, she truly gives with no thought of reciprocation…I have seen her many acts of kindness and generosity towards Isla families that she knows are in need, as well as the animals of Isla, of which she has rescued more than a few…so the day keeps getting more and more overwhelming….I hope that I am able to fully explain the beauty of this day, and the beauty of all the components of the renewal, most of which Marcia was responsible for…
I guess I’ll break it down into categories:
• THE DRESS…oh, the dress. Marcia assigned her friend Paula make me a typical Mexican wedding dress [called a huipil]. She had Brian sneak into my closet and get measurements, etc….PDM reception told me in the morning that my dress would be delivered to our room…I told Brian he couldn’t see it so he and Doug had their impromptu bachelor party. One of the maids delivered the dress around 2 PM….she carried it with reverence….I beckoned to my mother-in-law and she came into the room with me…as we opened the package, I started crying and Mom got all teary-eyed. It was [and is] absolutely stunningly beautiful. Hopefully Jamqueen can post a pic – I cannot properly describe it. White skirt and a white overgarment with gold embroidery over the top of the dress [can you tell I am not a fashion plate? I have no idea what you call the different parts of the dress!]…all handmade by Paula….Marcia thought of everything- she had also provided white sandals and gold dangly earrings that echoed the gold swirls of the embroidery. I felt like royalty when I put it on….Marcia also bought Brian a traditional white Guayaberra shirt- he looked so handsome!
• THE PHOTOGRAPHER…everyone left for the beach. Capt. Tony Garcia was hired by Marcia as he is a wonderful photographer. He met me in front of PDM, clicking away….I’ve known Tony for a long time and despite all my kidding with him [I always call him Guapo], he truly is a very handsome man and he is a kind, caring, intelligent and loving person. He has been even happier lately:-)...and that makes me very happy. He had me posing here and there and everywhere…ironically, the photographer at our 1991 wedding got drunk so we have very few pics…but I will take an Isla Mujeres sunset background any day despite the additional 20 years of living evident on our bodies and faces now-LOL. The pictures that he took were beautiful and they can be seen on his Facebook page. There were a lot of cameras that day and Jamqueen also uploaded our vows on YouTube. I normally hate to have my pic taken but this was a special event and I will be able to relive it forever ….
• THE CEREMONY…Marcia arranged to have Sabina conduct our renewal of vows on the beach in front of Restaurante Velazquez. My father-in-law and grandson walked me down the “aisle”…..Brian waited for me under a trellis of flowers …Sabina’s words were comforting and life affirming. As Brian and I looked into each others eyes, the years of ups and downs, caring for my disabled brother in our home for years, caring for our grandson, experiencing the deaths of my brother and many other loved ones flashed through my mind [Brian later said he was doing the same]….we have had so much joy too, and despite the occasional marital spats, we’ve had much more frequent marital laughs…we have spent many great days on Isla and have tried to give back to the Islenos as much as we could, whether it be donations of medical or school supplies, books, clothing, etc. to the LYSH, Red Cross, our college student Gaby, or just smiles hugs and intense conversations about things that are important to our Mexican friends. They have given us so much perspective on what REALLY matters in life…family and friends...that material goods don’t matter, it is how much you can extend yourself to help the life of others…..we are better people because of the lessons we have learned on Isla….the ceremony ended with us throwing a bouquet of flowers into the Bay of Mujeres from the Velazquez dock…
• THE RECEPTION….Marcia has always known that we love Velazquez, it was the first place we sat down and had a cold beer and sat with our toes in the sand. We had come over on a cattle boat from Cancun and since shopping is NOT my thing, we ended up at this little open air restaurant. That was in 1993 and I announced “THIS is where we are coming next.” And we did, 5 months later...and ever since…we hated Cancun and since I had studied in Cuernavaca in 1978, I really craved a more “Mexican” venue….Isla has changed physically but her soul has not. And over the years, the Velazquez family has made us feel welcome and loved; our pic was actually on their wall until Storm Ida blew it away-LOL…. Marcia paid for everyone to have meals at Velazquez- choice of chicken, fish or shrimp…Julie and Marco [of MJ’s fame] generously paid for all the champagne which was yummy...[thanks guys!] They are also wonderful loving generous folks who we have been honored to befriend over the years …..we felt SO blessed to have our CT Connection friends there, as well as our Isla friends- Marcia, Tony, Betsy, Nacho, Sabina, the Velazquez family …the shrimp ceviche was AWESOME as were all the meals! Then it was time for….
• THE CAKE…..Jamqueen Anna and hubby Alan paid for the cake which was ordered by Marcia from “Dulces Temptaciones”- oh my…was that cake GOOD! Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting but there was a creamy mousse filling…and no, we did not smash it into each others’ faces! [Who made up that ugly tradition anyway?]….Marcia managed to find a husband and wife calaca for the cake topping [Day of the Dead skeleton figures] which made me laugh because she didn’t realize that I collect those!
• THE WEDDING NIGHT…HaHaHa…all I can say is that we gathered back at PDM after the ceremony to have nightcaps, swim in the pool …and reception gave us a key for Room #212….we were on the 3rd floor? Well….Nacho of PDM the little devil had given us a suite for the night- there were flowers petals all over the bed….it was a very special touch and totally unexpected….but it was nice not having to share our room with our grandson ;-)
OK, I am sure I will think of more things but this is a big SHOUT OUT to Marcia…your friendship and total generosity made a dream come true and I will never be able to repay you for the happiness your brought me and Brian on June 21, 2011. You have always been helpful to folks, even when they don’t want to hear what you say. One of the things I love most about you is your integrity and honesty- and I still can’t believe how 2 people of different ages and different backgrounds, and totally different careers, ironically from the same part of the Northeast USA got to become friends on a little island in Mexico…that is serendipity….and I cannot thank you enough. Love, Sandia