Saturday, July 9, 2016

OUR WEDDING STORY SPECIAL FEATURE: Keep On the Sunny Side...ALWAYS On The Sunny Side....

The Perfect Dress, (for me) Where It Came From?
Okay, it is most difficult to not keep talking about our wonderful wedding story. So I decided once I found some more special wedding photos just now, to add on a Special Feature. My Dad has a family of nine children. He is the third oldest and his brother, my uncle Ed, is the oldest. All are boys except my Aunty, who is in the previous article photos. She made my wedding dress out my sister's wedding dress. You see, I didn't get to tell all of these great unique details in the other articles! So now is the time. Yes, my sister, who had a
beautiful wedding dress made by our Dad's only sister, in the 80's, showed up at my apartment one day and handed me her wedding dress. Can't remember if she even knew that may plan was to not even worry about wearing any wedding dresses. (Just click here to see who they are in Our Wedding Story the Finale)
My plan was to wear something nice. But now, my sister basically donated her wedding dress to me. Now if you knew my sister, you would know that I would never fit into any of her clothing. My body is on the much more generous size. But because it was the 1980s when her dress was made with care by our aunty, there was a lot of taffeta fabric that could be repurposed to create a brand new dress! And the coolest thing of all, our same Aunty would make the dress. So I drew a simple picture of the dress I thought would work for my body and as one who sits for a living.
As you can see, my dress was beautiful. Wanting to make the most of every inch of fabric, my Aunty handed me a bag of tiny white beads. I felt so bad when I realized that she had removed, every single bead that she had originally hand sewn on the front of my sister's dress bodice! My Aunty made the dress even fit perfectly around the very obvious scoliosis parts of my body. I have a large bulge on my right side in the back. It is the outer part of the "S" part of my spinal curvature. It is about an 80 degree curve that forces my right rib cage to push out. The other side is pushed in. And she was the first one who gave me the idea of custom made dresses for us who use wheels for legs, because she made a special cut out area where I sit. The very kind of dresses I have been making for myself now, for years. It makes many things a lot easier for me. If you do not have the strength to push up your fanny up off the seat of your chair, to pull down a dress or even pull up pants for that matter (perhaps I will go into more detail on accessible dresses in the future :o), this design makes going to the bathroom and dressing so much easier as well!
So I wanted to share the wonderful blessing of my dress and how it came to be.
Keep On the Sunny Side...ALWAYS On The Sunny Side....
My Dad and four of his seven brothers love singing and playing instruments together. Not saying the don't all love doing that, but these particular ones would play as a group at times. I remember many times, where the family, my Grandpa H playing the fiddle, my uncles and my Aunty who made my dress, would be singing and playing, mostly guitars. What great memories for me to be blessed with.
My Favourite Uncle Ed playing the mandolin at our wedding!
My Dad himself, has written hundreds of country style songs, so that tells you how much music means to him and his family. My Mom also enjoys singing with him and has also sung in special groups. as for myself, I always loved singing in my room to the music, at the top of my lungs! And at summer camp where no one knew me, I would sing on talent nights. Oh yes, my dear friend Sue played the guitar for me once, so I could sing a song at church....
Anyhow, I want to share this in honour of my dear Uncle Ed who left us all far too soon, a handful of years after our wedding. He was one of the biggest music and book lovers that I have ever met. He even was building his own mandolin before he passed on. That was just a mere part of his beautiful carpentry skills. From him I learned what an autoharp was, because he had one. It is a cool stringed instrument. Google it. He often made me smile because of his quick wit and sincere words. His youngest daughter (her photos are also in the previous Wedding story article) was closer than a sister to me, my whole life. In fact, people called us Two Peas In A Pod. So no matter how far we lived away from each other, I always had an extra special connection with my cousin and her family. At one point when I was  in grade seven and eight or so, we got to live in a trailer court they owned, while my Dad built our home.
Craig and I love Blue Grass music. So it only made sense to have some of that special music at our wedding ceremony. Aside from my uncle's beautiful granddaughter singing while I came down the aisle, we asked my dad and the group of his brothers, plus their friend, to sing "Keep On The Sunny Side" during the license signing.
( For privacy reason, I am not naming all of the people in our wedding pictures because I don't have permission to do so. Incase you are wondering why, I haven't named names)

My Dad and two of his brothers singing and playing!
Come On Every One, Join In!
Here is where our wedding becomes even more unique than most people are familiar with. In fact it is the only time  I have ever seen this happen at a wedding! Thrilled to have our family singing and playing for us, my dear exuberant, not shy I might add, husband Craig, after he is done doing his part signing - turns to the wedding guests in the church and says joyfully, "Come on everyone, Join in!"  Craig has a very robust voice and he can sing and talk loudly. It was more like a sing a long than a wedding moment. Yes, I was a wee bit embarrassed. It wasn't something I had ever been a part of before. My embarrassment was silly. Because of my husband, we got to have a super memorable moment that I think some others might have thought special as well. So there he was, like a choir leader. This choir leader's voice you could hear! ...."Keep On the sunny side, ....always on the sunny side....keep soon the sunny side of life....t will brighten up your day. Take a listen to these folks singing it here if you have no idea how it goes. I think you can see why it would stir up such happiness in my husband!

Here they all are, playing and singing while we sign the license and all that fun stuff...
All In The Family...
For Craig and I blood isn't necessarily thicker than water. For us, friends can be adopted in our hearts, making them as loved as any family members. For me, because I grew up with two families, my loving biological family and at the residence where I lived (institution), as well at  a young age I sent away for a couple of weeks a year for my favourite summer camp for children with disabilities...all of these factors and more causes my heart to easily feel as much love for friends as I do family
Northwood Camp - an Easter seals camp for children living with physical disabilities. I am second from the front left. This was the cabin of our girls and the counsellors. I loved looking forward to two weeks of summer camp every year since I was about seven.
members. It makes life all that more special. On that note, I want to share some more extra special parts that made our wedding more than just a special day.
I hire my own Personal Care Attendants and even though they are hired to help me do things like getting in and out of bed, and all kinds of daily living tasks, many of them become long time friends. On our wedding day, my wonderful girls blessed me in big ways. One who had no longer worked for me but stayed a friend, was apprenticing to be a photographer. She took all the photos you see as a wedding gift, developing included. This was before the digital camera age! We weren't planning on hiring any photographer so what an added surprise that was.
Then another one of my dear PCAs who became a friend, loaned us her video camera and actually recorded our wedding for us! A hard copy of a wonderful memory! As well because our luncheon was not catered, another great natured PCA of mine, helped out with food prep in the kitchen that day. It was my mom and friends who prepared the yummy food, perigees and cabbage rolls of course. As well as my Aunty who  made my dress, also helped out by making the wedding cake and a meat dish! And then....my sister. Well, I told you all about her sweet gesture of giving me her dress. She also was given something like a measly fifty buck and she decorated using my favourite thing, blue glass and other details to decorate. She also helped with other tasks like the handmade wedding invitations.
One of my dear friends, a wonderful musician and writer, blessed us by playing the piano when there were no blue grass singing family members! And like I mentioned earlier, my closest cousin's (the other pea in my pod) daughter, sang while I came down the aisle, while a friend of their family played the guitar. Again, all so extra special!
As well as singing, giving me away, my Dad helped me out the morning of tie up the roses I had stored overnight in my extra cold spare room. Couldn't have gotten ready in time if he didn't help me out. I also had to make the three buttoners. Like I said, getting married for 11am, was a bad idea because it meant far more hurriedness than I had originally anticipated. But thanks to my Dad, he made it a bit easier by doing something simple.
To make it easier and as wheelchair accessible as possible we borrowed the two churches that were next to each other. The one with the luncheon was the church where I first met Craig years earlier when he came to visit. It was important that we had the church with the kitchen, restored and cleaned back to perfection. Thanks to more of our dear friends and family, we had people like Craig's brother Eric, doing dishes. According to Craig, Eric wasn't a big dish washing guy. As well I remember my uncle Ed's wife, my Aunt of course helping out as well as my cousins, immediate family and friends. Washing, drying and cleaning...all of it happened because of so many wonderful loving friends and family. Thank you to everyone. Thank You God!
Hope you enjoyed my ramblings about our special day!
...Jan, I Miss Her Dearly
Jan is beautiful isn't she?
And then there was my super close sister in Christ, Jan. She went to Heaven ten years ago after battling cancer. She helped me with words of wisdom about marriage along with helping me prepare wedding favours. God blessed my life with another person I adopted in my heart to be closer than any family member.

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