Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Wedding, Vertigo and Unexpected Benefits

I realized this morning that the blog I thought I'd posted about the big trip my family took to Europe last month existed only in my head! So here I am, the morning after the last big presidential debate, blogging about life, love, weddings and how an event that seems unfortunate can have unexpected benefits.

Gary and I started planning for this trip when our daughter, Lisette, who lives in Germany, announced that she and York Hagmeyer were going to get married on the 13th of September. Getting that kind of news is always exciting, but for us it had extra significance. In the years since my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, we've learned that having an event to look forward to changes how one lives in the present. And what better event to anticipate than the marriage of our daughter to a fine man we were proud to welcome into our family.

The celebration was truly an international event. In addition to Lisette and York's friends and family in Germany, four of Lisette's high-school friends from America were in attendance, plus York's host family and friends from when he'd been an exchange student in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I got such a kick out of watching York's exchange mother carrying on an animated conversation with his mother, Heidrun, when neither understood the other's language!

The love that was present during the ceremony in the city hall in Goettingen was palpable, and it carried over to the celebration held in the square in front of the city hall and later to the reception held in a restaurant in Werretal. Even the servers commented on what a wonderful event it was.

I was so proud of my family that night. Gary's toast to the bridal couple was so sweet and touching, many guests told Lisette they wished they had a father who would say something like that at their wedding. David sang a song in German while Lisette and York danced the first dance. Then Gary, who at times during the day had been using canes or a wheelchair, actually danced with me--and I have the photos to prove it!

The party was still going strong when Gary and I finally went to our room after midnight, wrapped in the glow of love, friendship and fun. The plan was to visit a park in Kassel the next day and leave for Rome the day after.

But the next morning, I woke to find the room tilted and sliding to the right. Rats! It was vertigo, which I'd had problems with off and on for years. I closed my eyes for a moment and carefully opened them again, hoping the room would be mercifully stable. No such luck. I stayed in the hotel during that day, thinking by resting I would be in shape to go to Rome. But the next day, it was even worse. Gary, Mattie, John, and David left for Rome, and I left for the a doctor's office.

I never did make it to Rome. Instead I spent the week with York and Lisette at their apartment in Kassel. It was a disappointment not to be with the rest of the family while they toured The Eternal City, but there was something very sweet about being able to spend more time with my daughter and new son-in-law. Once I was feeling better, I had the opportunity to get a picture of what their life in Kassel was like--going to the Saturday market, walking in the city park, and seeing the clinic where Lisette works.

I treasure that time. In fact, I wouldn't want the trip to have turned out any other way. Now we're back to our normal routine, enjoying the glory days of SE Arizona in the fall. Life is good.


Rebecca Talley said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. I'm sorry that you didn't make it to Rome. My son served his mission in Rome--I'd love to go there someday and see where he spent 2 years of his life.

Congratulations on the wedding!

And I love the name of your blog!!

Jim said...

It must have been a wonderful trip. There is nothing I would rather do now than spend time with my family.

Mer said...

Congrats to Lizette and her new hubby! :)