Monday, December 08, 2008

The Power of Our Words

This morning before I got out of bed I heard Emery writing out a note. I could hear the pen racing across the paper and hear paper being folded. Its our anniversary so I knew he was writing a note to me. We both love writing love notes to one another to share what seems to overflow from our hearts towards one another. Still, after 30 years of marriage we both feel that we have one of the greatest loves that the world has ever known. I can honestly say that in 30 years, Emery has not once said a mean thing to me. Now, I am no where near as good as he is and have on occasion called him a jerk, only later to see he wasn't. You know, the proof is always in the pudding and time always proves Emery to be wise and level headed.
I laid in bed this morning, thinking about what I would say on my blog this morning and I most often pray about what thoughts pop into my head to write about and sometimes I just frankly ask God, "are you sure you want me to write about that ?" and today was one of those days.
I would love nothing better than to share with you all pictures of my wedding and for me to spend hours pouring over photos and memories of that day, but they don't exist. Emery and I had to elope, all because of the power of one persons words. The night of my wedding I cried myself to sleep, bitter sweet tears. So happy to be with the man of my dreams, so happy to be his wife, but at a cost. I snuck away like a thief in the night, secret plans, at age 24 to marry Emery, knowing in my heart that my family would never speak to me again....that was the sad part. I had snuck all my treasured things out of my house in the weeks before we eloped, knowing there would be no way on earth I could go back to my parents house after Emery and I married. One person, just one very close person, told my parents that Emery was mean and had treated other girls badly. Of course it was a lie, there was no proof to this vicious gossip, there were never any questions posed to me if I had seen any of that kind of behavior. No one ever tried to get to know Emery any better, they just believed the lie they were being told. My parents never once talked to me about it, asked Emery about it, they just said nothing. When I became engaged and showed my family the beautiful watch Emery had purchased for me as an engagement gift, (because of religious conviction of not wearing jewelry I was given a watch in place of a ring, watches are functional) my mother never said one word, nor did anyone else in the family. There was no excitement for me, not even a quiet talk asking if I was sure of what I was doing. So instead of planning the wedding of my dreams, we planned to elope. I was so sick the day of my wedding, not from the flu like I told people, but from a heart torn in two. The man of my dreams, with the gentlest of hearts, a godly man, and then my family whom I loved so much, but who never would even speak to this man I chose because of what one person, so close to me had been saying. Ugly gossip with no truth at all to it. The night I got married I called my parents to tell them and my father cried. He believed the ugly lies, without any foundation at all. My wedding was painful for those reasons. In time of course my family came around and saw that what had been said was all lies. And here I sit, 30 years later, not holding any anger towards this loved one that said such untruths, but I still hurt from it. I don't have wedding pictures. I don't have happy memories of the most important day in my life. You see, the power of words, good and bad, can carry on for decades. Those ugly words said so long ago, hurt today in how they stole from me the beauty of that white dress I dreamed of...and of flowers and vows made in the front of our church. I see my girls look at their wedding pictures and get such pleasure from them and the memories of their special day. Steven and Priscilla too. I miss having pictures of my wedding on the wall or in an album. How I wish my mother had shared in the joy of planning my wedding like I did with my girls. Honestly, I tear up just thinking of what I missed because of words said with no foundation to them.
Please think of what you are saying to another. Please, seek truth above all else in what you speak. And please know that words can carry pain or joy with them for an entire life time.
I know that my life is blessed and that a wedding would not have made it better, but it sure would be nice to have good and happy memories of the most important day of my life.
I have long since forgiven the person so close to me that told my parents such lies, but there will never be wedding pictures.

"A careless word may kindle strife,
A cruel word may wreck a life,
A timely word may lessen stress,
A loving word may heal and bless."
-- Author Unknown


Iowa Gal said...

Oh Patty it makes me feel sad to think that you don't have good memories of that day. Have you and Emery ever thought of renewing your vows and have your kids and grandkids there. Get a pretty dress and have that handsome man get all gussied up and make some more memories. A friend of mine has gone through the very same thing and for their 25th they renewed theirs. Both of her daughters were bridesmaids and the son was the best man. We were lucky enough to witness it and it was beautiful Just a thought...........JAN P,S. Her parents have not talked to her to this day. Such a waste.

Judi in Pa said...

I really loved this post. Nice. Just wanted you to know that your stocking package is mailed. Be on the look out for it and let me know when you receive it. And please take care.
Your stocking partner-

Jan said...

A wedding is just one day but a marriage is forever.
Our wedding was what it was but our marriage has surpassed all my expectations!

Dana and Daisy said...

Hi Patty. I'm sorry for your heartache at a time that was supposed to be filled with joy.
There must be comfort in knowing that Emery has been a good and loving man to you and your children and grandchildren.

when Steve and I got married, we opted not to hire a photographer. We have a few random snapshots, but no wedding pictures like you think of. we intended to have a wedding portrait made together like they used to do (in the olden days) but we never got around to it. I think that we'll pick a special anniversary and do it then, maybe tenth. We just celebrated our 6th!

Thank you for sharing your personal story.

Glenda, saved by grace said...

You are so right words can destroy. The bible is very plain on why we should bite our tongues. I'm sorry that your special day was not captured and that your parents were so closeminded. They (I'm sure) thought they were protecting you and doing the right thing. I second Iowa gal's suggestion to renew your vows and make the memories that you want!
God bless you and Happy anniversary.
Glenda ♥

debi said...

I wish for you all that is good on this special day. Your blog is the place I come for so many reasons. After getting some life altering news last night I was looking for some words of wisdom this morning. I thank you Patty.

Kim said...

Hi Patty-
I've read your blog for about a year but this is the first time I've commented. (I regularly pray for Mei-Ling.) I sympathize with you on the the unfortunate circumstances that happened 30 years ago. Some good came out of it if others have and will learn how evil the tongue can be. I really like Iowa Gal's idea of renewing your vows. Wouldn't it be great?

Kim said...

Hi Patty-
I've been reading your blog for about a year but this is the first time I've commented. (I pray regularly for Mei-Ling.) I sympathize with you for the unfortunate circumstances that happened 30 years ago. Some good came out of it if others have and will learn how evil the tongue can be. I really like Iowa Gal's idea of renewing your vows. Wouldn't it be great?

Marci said...

The Bible has so much to say about our tongue. The power of life and death is in our tongue. It is compared to a small spark that can burn down an entire forest. I am sorry that you don't have the memories, but maybe someone will read what you wrote today and watch their words and not cause pain to someone else. Happy Anniversary!! #30 or #31?

Morning's Minion said...

Dear Patty,
I can relate to that kind of pain. When our daughter and son-in-law had their first child, they weren't married--had been living together for about two years. My husband and I felt that we had the choice of "preaching" and disapproving, maybe alienating our daughter-- or of being patient with a situation that wasn't how we felt things should be done.
I was present the night my grand daugher was born--trying to calm the expectant father and assure my daughter that she would survive the experience. I stopped the next morning to let my parents know that their first g-grandchild had safely arrived and was a beautiful baby girl. My dad simply turned away. My mother, typically, made a caustic and dis-approving remark. A child out of wedlock just didn't fit her idea of religion and propriety. My daughter and son-in-law married 6 months later in a simple ceremony at our home. My parents were present, but expressed no joy or good wishes for the occasion. Our daughter's relationship with her grandmother deteriorated from that point and was never resolved before my Mother's death a year ago. The hurt and the feeling of rejection remains for us.
Our concerns that a child or grandchild is taking a wrong path can be very valid. It takes a lot of grace [which doesn't come of ourselves!] to express concern that doesn't criticize or alienate.
I think the suggestion for a special occasion renewal of your vows might be something to look forward to--though surely not one you want to carry out while recovering from pleurisy and a cold.
Your marriage is one to inspire others. Happy Anniversay!

Jeanne said...

Oh, Patty, such a heavy load of sadness to carry for such a long time.
TODAY is a good day. Happy anniversayr!
Jeanne :)

Tatersmama said...

Happy Anniversary!
Now all you need to do is post a photo of your lucky hubsnad and yourself... 30 years on.
(although I do love the hand holding photo)

Why not plan on renewing your vows? With all your loved ones present, it would be a lovely thing to do.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Patty, I am sorry that you and Emery missed some of the special joy of your wedding day - though I am sure you must have other good memories of it. And I am so glad that things were resolved with your parents. I am not judging them, but I believe the experience must have given you a special insight into what you and Emery did not want to do, ways you did not want to act. All of us make mistakes. I have no idea why the person who said those false things about Emery said them, nor whether they understood that they were false and what the effect would be. I'm glad you have forgiven them. Every life has sufferring and disappointments it it, and I can only think they are for lessons for us. You don't waste your lessons, I think. I hope you continue to feel better and better and enjoy your "rest"! Happy anniversary to you.

Aunt Jenny said...

Very wise words Patty!!
I am sorry you didn't get the wedding of your dreams. I didn't either..but it is a good thing we both have children..enjoying their weddings is a comfort for sure. I have a couple boys I wish would get married soon!!!
Happy anniversary!!!

Almost empty nester said...

God Bless you both on this special day. The photos would have been nice, having your parents there to celebrate would have been nice, but the three needed to make this day the most special were in attendance "you, Emery, and God".

And all three are still together.
Happy Anniversary

... Paige said...

This is very sad. You know you can still wear that white dress there is such a thing as renewing of vows. Something to think about.

mary said...

Happy 30th anniversary! We will celebrate our 30th next month. I had the church wedding, but the day was extremely stressful for me. I turned to Randy immediately after our wedding and told him that I couldn't remember a single moment of it. (I still can't). Then several years later all of our wedding pictures disappeared during a move. How thankful I am that I have memories galore of the past 30 years - all of them good. Enjoy your day with sweet Emery. I am thankful that you are feeling a little better :)

novascotiagal said...

We had a lovely wedding, but the photographer had something going wrong, and all the photos are blurry. So much for careful planning. Luckily other people took snapshots, and were kind enough to send them to us when they found out what happened. Still, it was just one day, and 17 years later it's the marriage itself that has been so much more profound.
I'd put in a vote for renewing your vows and making a party of it. You didn't get it the first time, do it now. It will be lovely, and your children would be so happy for you. And take lots of photos!

~Bren~ said...

Happy Anniversary Patty and Emery. I love the picture at the top of this post and also the one on your sidebar. I also did not have a wedding...I always say I did not have a lavish wedding, but I have a lavish marriage! We will celebrate 30 years in July.

Kim said...

The happiest day of your life is each morning you wake up with Emery. What's past is past and can't be changed. God brought you two together and no one not family or others can rip you two apart. God bless and many happy returns of the day for both of you

Julian said...

thankyou for sharing with us Patty. That is so sad. Im glad you married him anyways, and he turned out to be a prince instead of a toad. I agree with Iowa Gal. I think you should go ahead and have your wedding, and pictures. You wont regret it!

La Tea Dah said...

Happy anniversary, Emery and Patricia. The first thirty were wonderful. May the next thirty years be even better!


Foxy5 said...

Oh, how sad. BUT What a perfect reason to renew your vows and throw a little shingdig... white dress and all! It doesn't have to be huge (but it can) and you can have your dress and photographer, and your children and grandchildren all there. In some ways it could be even more special than if you have one 30 years ago.
Maybe that could be something to look forward to for next years anniversary?

Either way, Happy Anniversary! Glad the family realized what a special husband you have.

Melanie said...

Wow! This was so profound. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am so glad you are planning the wedding of your dreams for next year. Do your parents talk to you now - 30 years later?

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