A quarter of a century ago

Twenty-five years is a such long time, over half of my lifetime.

On September 2, 1992 the temperature was somewhere in the 80s, a nice sunny California fall day. It was warm enough that I was glad that my simple white dress was made of cotton lawn fabric and had short sleeves as we snapped a few photos after our wedding ceremony in the midday sun.

There were so many things I didn’t know that day as I knelt at an altar and agreed to the LDS vows of a forever marriage. For example I would have been devastated to know that three close family members who were present at the ceremony would die too soon. My father would only live two more years because of pancreatic cancer, I would lose my brother-in-law to lymphoma five years later, and my grandmother a decade after that. I couldn’t foresee that I would move more than 15 times in those 25 years or that the wedding gift that I received that day, of a sewing machine from my mother, would become one of the very few possessions that would travel with me for each of those moves.  And of course it was completely beyond my imagination that the eternal wedding vows I agreed to that day would, seventeen years later, be erased by the action of a stake president when he excommunicated my spouse from the LDS Church, or that a year after that I would file for a civil divorce.

Perhaps above all, I could not have imagined that 25 years later I would find myself sitting in a sleeveless polka-dotted sundress in a hipster cafe in Los Angeles sipping a latte, once again a newlywed, as Stijn and I discussed which light fixture would look best in our living room.