Heather & Sam & Sharks

My sister finally got married to her long-time squeeze last winter. I don’t even know how long she and Sam have been together, but it’s a long time, and when they decided to make it official, they eloped to the courthouse and told everyone once it was done.

BUT that’s no reason not to have a rockin’ wedding party. They threw themselves a reception at the aquarium in the Greensboro Science Center. This was the most fun I’ve had at a wedding in years, and the kids are still talking about it.

We rented an Air B&B in Greensboro with Mom and Gary, to make a bit of a mini-vacation out of it. It was the hottest weekend of the summer, but a childhood friend who lives nearby invited us to her pool one afternoon, and we hid from the heat in the movie theater to watch the new Lion King another day.

The Air B&B itself was a very neat house. It had lots of art and odd little decorative items everywhere. Lots of a character.

One funny thing about the house–it is exactly identical to the house we’ve stayed in for the last two stints that we’ve done in Grand Rapids. I guess they’re both Sears houses or something like that. At about 6:15 each evening that we were there, I started to feel kind of antsy and like I was running late for something. I finally figured it out–I was having a Pavlovian response to the house; it was giving me rehearsal energy!

The kids are getting to be such great travelers. They handled all the driving, the disruption of routine, the heat, like champs.

The wedding itself was amazing. It was–I cannot stress this enough–in the aquarium.

The touch tank was open, and the kids kept coming back to it, over and over. They asked the museum employee who was keeping an eye on things a million questions about the rays. She eventually had to tell them that she mostly worked with terrestrial animals, and that guests at these kinds of events usually don’t have so many questions about the aquatic life. Petra was mystified at this response.

Heather and Sam’s table was right in front of the sharks. Heather seated us near the fishing cat, which Petra was beyond excited about.

Fishing cat

We got to see baby seahorses being born (no pictures because they are just too tiny to photograph, but it was Very Cool).

Silas hasn’t worn a shirt with buttons in years, probably since he was old enough to have an opinion. Getting him to dress decently was an ordeal, involving bribery and excessive prep. Our agreement was that he’d put up with it for an hour. When the hour was up, I asked him if he wanted to get changed, and he said, “No, I feel fine. It’s not that uncomfortable after all.” So maybe now, we can move on to other uncomfortable clothes, like snowpants…

The kids hadn’t been to a wedding in at least two years (I think the last one was Pam and Jon’s), and so they were very interested in the little details, like M&M’s printed with Sam and Heather’s names, and their own names in fancy writing on place cards.

Sam and Heather have had a hard year, and maybe they tied the knot as an act of hope in the middle of a whirlwind of tragedy. Her stepmother died last summer, and then last fall, Sam’s son died in a tragic car accident. And then her mother passed away last spring. It’s been a litany of blows. I appreciated the way they chose to remember each of them in their special day, both with a table of photographs and talking about them in their toast. Sometimes, in the hardest times, all we can do is hold on tighter to the people we still have with us.

Despite everything they’ve been through together–or maybe because of it–they looked so joyful to be celebrating their life together with so many friends and family.

I loved seeing both of them so happy.


Aili Written by:

One Comment

  1. Terri Theisen
    August 10, 2019

    Beautiful… Congratulations
    I think about you both often. XOXO

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