My husband has been a knight in our parish Knights of Columbus for a year or so now and has never actually been able to make a meeting. The 3rd Tuesday of the month, the evening of the meetings, is normally his day to work out in the gulf. He leaves at 4:00 am and doesn't return until about 7:00 pm. Yesterday, due to rainy weather, his schedule changed.
He made it home early enough to make his first KC meeting. Knowing that he really wanted to get to this particular meeting because marriages were going to be blessed, I had all the kids bathed and ready to go when he arrived. But just as we were about to leave, he said, "Hey, I think the wives are supposed to bring a dessert." Are you kidding me? I pulled out the KC newsletter and skimmed over it. I read that we needed to bring can goods for the local food pantry. "Whew! I can do that!" I thought.
But just before folding the newsletter and putting it back on the counter, I spotted the part that stated that the ladies should bring a dessert. Great! I ran to the pantry to gather can goods and to check to see if there was any fruit cocktail or anything that I could desperately throw together as a dessert. There wasn't anything that I could fix in less than an hour, and I only had 5 minutes! Ugh. Our first meeting, and I would be that wife that comes with nothing. And that's when the "mood" snuck in!
We loaded up the kids and took off only to noticed that no one had loaded the bag of can goods. Now we were going to arrive at our first meeting empty handed! Knowing that I was not happy, he suggested that we stop by the grocery store on the way and buy a dessert of some kind and some more canned goods. Fine. Now, I'll be "that wife that brings store-bought dessert." Ugh, again!
I rushed into the store and found a Rocky Road bundt cake. Better than nothing, but I still wasn't very happy with the situation. I got back in the car and my husband asked, "Did you buy some more can goods to bring?" What? I was only thinking about having to show up with a store-bought cake and had not thought about the can goods. Mood NOT getting better.
It was too late to run back in, so we took off. We drove up at the hall at the same time as one of our parish priests. I then remembered why my husband wanted to make THIS particular meeting. Marriages were being blessed, and he wanted ours blessed. My mood started to lighten up. We entered, and I quickly sent our daughter to hide the store-bought bundt cake amongst all the delicious looking homemade desserts. She reported that there were some store-bought cookies on the table and that made me feel a little better!
Our kids quickly pointed out that there were no other kids present. Panic! Were we suppose to bring the kids? I should have read that newsletter more carefully! I felt like everyone was watching us as we took our seats for the opening rosary. This first meeting wasn't starting out so well for us. Eventually, a friend of ours showed up with two of his kids. I relaxed a little more.
The rosary began, and peace began flowing through me as I listened to the men lead each decade. There's something about men praying aloud that makes my heart happy. Real men pray and lead rosaries. After the rosary, we shared a meal and dessert. Our good friend even cut a piece of our store-bought cake. I'm pretty sure it was to make me feel better about it since that was the only piece missing at the end of the evening. Guess what we are having for snack all week?
After dessert, it was time for the blessing of the marriages. My husband reached across the table and grabbed my hand to hold. My heart melted like it was the first time he'd held it. Then Father asked if we would like to renew our vows. Wow, that's much better than just a blessing. He called our son, the ever so faithful altar server, to hold his book in the front. After the readings, each couple there stood, faced each other, and joined hands. Father began.
Husbands went first. As mine looked into my eyes and repeated what Father was saying, I saw something in his eyes that made my eyes start to well up with tears. I remember tearing up at these very same words almost 16 years ago, but this time I knew what they actually meant and knew that he meant every word. Then it was my turn. Before I began, I looked away for a moment and saw our kids "witnessing" this very special moment. The smiles on their faces....
As I repeated the vows to him, I had to fight to hold back the tears, and my words sputtered out...."For Richer or Poorer, For Better or Worse, In Sickness and In Health, All the Days of My Life...." These words meant so much more to me this time around. We had lived through them all already. We had been through times when we barely had money for food, times when it didn't seem that anything could be worse, times when illness had added enormous stress to our daily lives. I knew that there would be more times like these ahead, but looking into his eyes, I knew without a doubt that he will be there by my side "For Better or Worse Until Death Do Us Part."
Our 10 year old said it perfectly when we got back into the car, "I think God changed your schedule, Dad, so that you two could do that tonight." Thank you, God, for rainy weather and schedule changes.