Cathy Turner

Cathy Turner

Hey y’all we had a pandemic wedding! A pandemic wedding is supposed to mean no guests, no decorations, no caterers, no music and no grand celebrations, but our son’s wedding was lacking none of these. It was a blast! It was beautiful, and it abounded in love, laughter, and life.

Our son, Garrett, is a performer who lives in NYC. As soon as his stage went black on March 12th, he and his fiancée, Bonita, hopped a plane and came home to Alabama. They had originally set an August wedding date, but for a variety of reasons, three weeks into their stay with us they announced that they were going to cancel their August wedding and get married here on April 25th. They just wanted to get married! Normal was out and now was in – three weeks to go!

We created their new normal – a family forever. She sent for her already purchased wedding gown – a body-wrapped, sleeveless dress with chiffon flowing full from the legs downward. She ordered a veil and sparkly silver 4 inch heels! My sisters and I bought my son a mighty fine, Lazio, small-checked, blue 3-pieced suit from Garrett’s two siblings attended. Our son-in-law officiated. Ruby, our granddaughter, was the wandering flower girl. We all dressed in blue, white and champagne from our closets. We were pretty and we came down the aisle to Al Green’s “God Blessed Our Love.” We each waved at the people who were watching on Zoom. We felt them. The bride came in to “Why I Love You” by Major. The ceremony was funny and sweet. She vowed to never make him like cheese or Frank’s Hot Sauce. He said, “I am quickened by your love/And I believe in our love/It is God-breathed.”

I made the wedding cakes, red velvet, of course. One with nuts. One without. During the ceremony, they stood before an arbor with two sprays from Kaleidoscope. These flowers were centerpieces for the cake table and the sit-down dinner table that I dressed with gold rimmed china and gold stemmed glasses. It was pretty too. My church sister-friends dropped off the meal. Delish. Blessed. And after there was toasting, cake-cutting and a playlist for dancing. The nine of us had the most wonderful time – first dance, mother-son dance to Boyz II Men’s “Mama”, line dancing, Soul Train line – free from it all, full of love and delight. There was a tribute to Bonita’s father, who she lost a week before she came to us. “My Girl” by the Temptations. Sobs…our son. Hug him – hug her. Group hug. Spontaneous family dance surrounding her. We got you. Together. You got us. Love wins and life begins.  

Our son wrote on his wedding day during this pandemic, “Thousands of people are dying. Thousands and thousands of people are dying. And Bonita and I are getting married. And there aren’t enough graves for everyone. And the morgues are overrun. And Bonita and I are getting married. And death rises up to claim another soul too early. It shuts down the streets and lurks in plain sight and looms heavy on our hearts. So today, this marriage, this bond, this union is the opposition. Today, our declaration of love is a resistance against death. I see what’s happening across our nation, and I don’t feel like I should feel this happy. But I am. We are besieged by demise, but when I look in Bonita’s eyes, I am flooded with irrepressible joy. It is the joy of LIFE. The joy of creation. Creating ourselves anew as two become one; creating a new family to nurture and grow.”

Go ahead son, be the resistance. Create your family and replenish the earth with love, laughter and life. Forever.

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