The day came with the threat of stormy weather overhead. Dark billowing clouds threatened the sky and I prayed as I had never prayed before that the rain wouldn't come until after the ceremony. I had an appointment with the hair dresser on Lafayette street. I wanted to leave my hair down with some body and a little bounce, a curl here and there. My hair was a dark blond color. I had ordered the white tuxes from the formal shop on Frederick Ave for Kelvin, Chuck, and Madison. Vallie too, was to be in the grooms party for her dad. She was to be the ring bearer. She not only had a white tux with a teal green boutoneer but she also wore a top hat. She looked like the Mad Hatter in Allison in Wonderland. She had big blue eyes and long blond hair that had never seen a scissors since the day she was born, the day before Halloween in 1986. I had a ring bearer's pillow I had bought at Ambers for her to put the rings that Kelvin had bought me and the ring I had bought for him. My ring was a marquee diamond with small diamond chips surrounding the 3/4 carat marque in the center. The wedding band had small diamonds across the gold band in the middle. Kelvin's band matched perfectly. They had been seen and purchased at a pawn shop on the Belt Highway, Pony Express. When businesses can't think of a name for their business they usually go with The Pony Express, since that is what St Joseph is most known for, that and Jesse James who was killed here. The house he was shot in was moved from the Belt Highway to 12th and Penn St where they charge visitor's to see the hole in the wall where he had been shot in the 1880's. His picture is hanging on the wall at 11th and Charles St museum, of what he looked like in the coffin at his funeral.
My hair appointment was scheduled at 3p. I sat there and got beautified for about 2 hours. It was getting closer to the time to leave for the park. So far the clouds yielded no rain. I was at home alone trying on my dress when Mary Ann, Jenny and Floy Mae came over and exclaimed how nice I looked in my size seven white lacey gown and my veil. They helped me with the necklace which refused to stay put so that the pearl stayed in the crevass below my thyroid gland. It kept sliding cockeyed to one side no matter how hard I tried to readjust the thing. The pearl earrings went into my pierced ears without too much difficulty but threatened to irritate the holes that hadn't had earrings in them for several years. The veil went on and Jenny and Mary Ann and Floy Mae went to the park to wait with other family members. Friends from the hospital I worked with were there and sat on bleachers on the bride's side of the fountain in the hot sun, it was above 90 degrees, and family and friends of Kelvin's began to gather on the left side.
The time came, I walked out onto the deck Kelvin and his friend and neighbor had built for us, stepped gingerly down the steps and walked to the gate to get into the Ford Probe. His sister Michelle and her boyfriend Larry helped me into the back seat. I asked where Kelvin was and how he was doing, not really believing he wouldn't walk out on me and not show up.They said he was nervous too but he should be at the park in his white tuxedo, bow tie and all. I waited at the end of the walkway waiting for the music to start. I instructed Brandy, who was also dressed in a frilly teal dress to take the basket with the rose petals and start walking down the path throwing petals around for me to walk on as I made my way to the fountain. She sat down and refused to cooperate. The more we tried to make her get up and do as she was told the more stubborn she became. Jennifer tried, strangers tried, there was no way she was going to take that basket and walk with it. Pam and Madison had a little girl a little older than she was so I begged and pleaded for her to take the basket and throw the petals as the music was starting to play. She said she would be glad to do it and the procession was on its way.
Kelvin was waiting for me along with Jenny and Vallie and the minister. We stood in front of the trellis, the roses had bloomed and the fountain was shooting water up out of a fish's mouth and making loud gurgling sounds. The sky had cleared and the hot sun shone brightly in the sky. We said our vows after the minister and when he said, "you may kiss the bride" Kelvin's kiss lingered on and on until I had to pat him on the back several times to make him let go. Everyone laughed and we headed to the groom's side of the fountain, the right side now, and stood in line to wait for visitor's, family and friends to shake our hands and congratulate us on our special day. Charles was there to my surprise, and gave me a big hug and a kiss for the last time. He and Deanna had gotten divorced about three months after the wedding on the farm in a gazebo that took the place of my swimming pool. One day when Kelvin and I had been at the main post office at 8th and Edmond St, Charles was there and said that he had stayed home from work one day when his back had gone out, called into work, when Deanna woke up and saw that he was still there in bed beside her she exclaimed, "What are you doing still here?"She insisted he had to go to work. He said , " I can't, I told you my back is out and I can hardly move." She didn't care, it turned out while Charles had been at work she had been seeing a man she had met at the bar where Charles had been managing the pool games. It was obvious to me and Kelvin and anyone else who he had told the story. It finally dawned on him.
She had several children from the five previous marriages. They were all young children. Charles had wanted another child after his vasectomy he had had after Chuck was born. He loved those children as if they were his own. The youngest was 2 years old and he called Charles, Daddy. Charles had asked me for the number to the lawyer's office I had gotten off the television ad and they filled out the papers as I had. Before Kelvin and I had married he tried to persuade me to go back to him and I had kept my distance. Before I had met Bill and was at the end of my rope, I was in my little red Geo at the end of the street where I lived in Wathena. I flagged him down on 36 highway as he was going on his lunch break. I was crying and begging him to take me back, I just wanted the pain and agony of living alone, all the male suitors I had hopes of keeping around for more than an hour, to stop. I was done and just wanted to go home, back to the way things were. He just laughed and said he had to go, he wanted to go to the diner where Deanna worked in Wathena and propose. We had warned him that every man in the past that she had married, all five of them, she left for the next one that came along. He said he and she had talked that over and she swore that would never happen again. So I continued on surviving, then on April 18th 1992 I met Bill and thought I was done. It was finally over, I was in love and I'd never have to look back.
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