Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How the Coach Won My Heart - Part Ten

This has been one CRAZY week here at the troops.
Before it gets even more out of hand (which it is certain to), I wanted to take just a minute to post this. The next part of our story, "How the Coach Won My Heart".

If you don't know what I'm talking about (and yes, it's been a LONG time since I posted a chapter), you can catch up with us, here, before you read on.

Tomorrow, the Coach and I celebrate our 15th anniversary. Hardly seems possible. Well, except that Son #1 just turned 14 (just saying that makes me feel old!).

I can honestly say, that I love my Coach more today than I did not only 15 years ago - but even more than I loved him one year ago. I have never once had enough time with him. I'm always wishing for more. He's my best friend. Our marriage is full of JOY.

We are going to get some much needed time together this weekend. But in honor of our special day, tomorrow. . .

So the Coach, he had pneumonia, I was suffering with a sinus infection and the wedding? Just a few days away.

We finished up our pre-marital counseling (which gave us many good discussion topics!) and the last few preparations before family started arriving.

My best friend flew in from Florida, just in time. I was starting to lose it.

At my "Girls" party that sisters-in-law and friends hosted, I broke down in tears.

The Coach wasn't feeling well at all. No one wants to get married while they are deathly ill. I knew it was frustrating for him. And sad for both of us.
The girls were sweet and encouraging. Life is still REAL, even when we are trying to plan the "perfect" moments. Although the wedding is a wonderful moment, it isn't what life is all about.

Truth is, as wonderful as it all had been, there had been lots of "real", too. It's a big adjustment to go from being dependent on a wonderful, generous Father, to trusting a fine looking young man with a teaching salary that I barely knew. Leaving my home for really the first time, ever, to live with a guy that I loved, yet hadn't learned to fully trust, yet.

It was a lot to deal with.

But I knew.

I knew God had led us. I knew He wouldn't stop. And I had peace.

Peace that came from knowing we had our parent's blessing. Knowing God brought us together. Knowing the Lord would take care of the "details" and we were ready to give Him the glory. Although I hadn't really learned to trust the Coach, yet. I knew I could. I'd seen his heart.

The day before our wedding, my best friend's mother hosted a beautiful bridal luncheon for us. At the downtown, top-of-the-tallest-building club, that I had wanted to have the reception at. It was lovely. Topiaries made with white roses decorated the long table. We had such a small wedding party that she included all of the sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, grandmothers, aunts. . . the people that were such a part of my life, or soon would be.

That night we gathered for our rehearsal, enjoying the thought that we were soon to say "good-bye" for the last time. The last evening we'd go home to different places. It had been one of the hardest things about our courtship. With so little time together, we seemed to always be saying good-bye. I couldn't wait to say good-bye to everyone ELSE and leave WITH the Coach!

At our rehearsal dinner, my granddad spoke precious words to us about me. He had been such a part of my daily life. Little did we know then, that we would have the blessing of being his next door neighbors for over 9 years while 6 of our children were born!

The Coach's oldest brother spoke about him. About his determination to do right. His love for the Lord. His commitment to his family. All so true, as I already knew.

I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be able to sleep that night. And I was sick. So my best friend, who was staying at my parent's with me, gave me NyQuil. For the first time in several days, I slept like a rock! Only to wake up at 5:00! Excited!
She and I headed out for one last "girls" breakfast together at our favorite coffee shop. When we got back to the house, it was time to start getting ready! My family was there (parents, brother) and my maid of honor/best friend and her mother. We laughed and laughed and sang to sweet music and laughed some more. Precious time.

When it was time to head to the church for pictures, my daddy and I climbed into a white stretch limo (the Coach and I had decided to leave the reception in my car - which we were taking on our honeymoon, so we had to fit a limo in somewhere!). On the way there, he asked me once again, if I was "sure". He said it was not too late, if I had any reservations at all about marrying the Coach.

At the time, that conversation seemed odd to me. After all, we were ON OUR WAY to the wedding! But years later, as a mother myself, having watched countless friends go through heartache and even divorce, I realize that he was telling me it wasn't enough for HIM to be sure. I was the one marrying the Coach. I needed to know. KNOW. Because this would be it. The Coach and I had already promised each other we would not ever leave or divorce one another. Only death could separate us. So we needed to be sure. And I was.

We had decided to have pictures done separately before the wedding, so that we could spend less time after, so the time at church was filled with last minute preparations and pictures with family and friends. I love those pictures. Our last pictures before we were married.

The Lord had provided one of the Coach's friends from college, a gifted pianist, along with a student of the Coach's (an amazing violinist) to play the prelude music. As I stood there in the back of the church . . . waiting. . . I listened to them play "It is Well With my Soul" - at our request (and the only music in the wedding that wasn't Christmas music!). It seemed to fit.

Sometimes, life is really good. Sometimes in life there is sorrow. But always we are "well" in the hands of our loving Savior. It was beautiful.

Fortunately the Coach had made it to the doctor AGAIN the morning of our wedding. When I look at pictures, he seems awfully stoic to me. I'm sure it's just the high doses of antibiotics and steroids. But whatever it was, he made it through.

The church was decorated with lighted trees and poinsettia plants. Beautiful white flowers sat on either side of the steps to the platform. My maid of honor and the Coach's little sister (Junior Bridesmaid) wore black velvet. The guys (the Coach's youngest brother was his best man) wore traditional black tuxes. I carried a white bouquet. The girls carried red roses.

What an amazing, beautiful day it was. My dad began the ceremony with a bit of our story (a lot of what I've shared with you). The Coach's dad led us in our vows to God and one another, and pronounced us "The Coach and Mrs. Troop". Followed by our very first kiss.

We enjoyed a beautiful reception (that was a complete blur!) in a room decorated by sweet friends, with delicious food that more sweet friends and family had made. More pictures, more visiting and congratulating. And we were on our way.

And yes, there IS more to come. . .


Magnolia Mama said...

What a beautiful story that you and the Coach have! I so look forward to reading you little installments. Mrs. Troop, you are truly blessed, My friend :)

Zimms Zoo said...

It is about time!!! I was going to kidnap you and make you write more. What a sweet story.

Maybe someday I will write mine.

I can't wait to read the next installment. You know this is the only reason I keep coming back.

Disney's World said...

Such a pretty time of year to get married....we were married on the 20th. Happy Anniversary to you both!!

Judy said...

Been waiting a long time, and so glad you made it to the altar! Your story is beautiful.

Leah Belle said...

beautiful story! beautiful picture! can't wait to read more (and maybe see more pictures?!) have a wonderful anniversary!

Lori said...

Awwww... I love your stories and your pictures!!!

Anonymous said...

What an emotional roller coaster those days were! So glad to see another part of the story unfold! Have a wonderful Anniversary!

Corrie said...

I wish I could have been at your wedding. :-)

It's been 3 years plus 1 day since Peter and I started courting. What a fun time of year for anniversaries!