So... this is it. We've arrived to the 'end'. I hope you guys have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.
“Can you cheat a bit my way Sarah?” The photographer asked as she held her dress in place Nessa hooking the tiny buttons at the back. The photographers they hired were a bit intrusive but they were lovely and had the best pictures around when it came to capturing the real moments of a wedding. Like now as Sarah was buttoned into her dress by her childhood best friend with Mal trying to scrub red lollypop off of Ruby’s face in the background. Grandpa Henri had given it to her when she went down to visit the guys. They were affectionately known to the girls as the CanadaGrands though they were slowly starting to refer to Kris’s parents as Grandpa and Grandma just as they did Sarah’s G-Dad.
“Ok everyone who isn’t in the bridal party needs to clear out. Mrs. Letang it’s time for you to line up. Kris is about ready to walk you into your seat.” the wedding planner said as she held her clip board. Checking her watch.
“Um I know this is a bit unusual but I need to talk to Kris.” Sarah said biting her bottom lip.
“Don’t chew off your lip stick.” The wedding planner said glancing up from her schedule.
“Sarah if you run I’ll fucking kill you.” Mal said as she rested a hand on her hip leaning in close trying not to swear in front of the little girls. “These shoes are killer and it’s all for you.” Mal reminded her friend.
“I’m not going to run I just need to talk to him… so clear out. All of you.” she said even looking over to the little girl who in a matter of days would be her official foster daughters.
“I’ll get him and add a song to the organist.” the planner said with a sigh.
With everyone cleared out Sarah fidgeted trying not to touch her hair or anything really. She felt like a Barbie all dressed up in plastic. She never felt so beautiful in all her life but it was an unnatural beauty that felt stiff and fake. It wasn’t the kind of beauty she felt just days before laying in bed with Kris and old misshapen gray tank top and a pair of her least attractive panties. She had been sleeping enjoying their last late morning till the wedding when the feeling of Kris’s fingers slowly moving up her side his fingers bunching the fabric of the top. He had whispered the kindest of words though none of them came to her the memories of his touch the golden color of his skin and the flashes of sunlight and it’s warmth streaming in through the window making the whole memory an overwhelming feeling of being loved and comfortable and almost intolerably happy with his lips on her skin as she remembered seeing the sun glitter off the dust particles that settled in the sun breams.
A knock on the door came and then the familiar voice bringing her back to reality. “Sarah, it’s me. Are you ok?” his voice was so full of concern it just about broke her heart.
She went to the door pressing her cheek to it. She sighed closing her eyes. “Kris, it’s all happening.” she said just loud enough for her words to pass through the door as a whisper on the other side.
“Yes it is Sarah, in…” he paused to check his watch “Three minuets.” he replied. “Please tell me everything is ok?” he asked a desperation in his voice on the other side of the door.
“Someday you’re going to break my heart.” she lamented. “Promise you’re going to let me die first so that doesn’t happen?” she asked stroking the door imagining that was where his face was on he other side.
“Sarah what is this?” he asked confused. “Is this the plot to Up? I will not put balloons on our house I promise.”
“No Kris, just… I can’t imagine life without you now.”
“You can die first Sarah. I promise.” he said from his side of the door. “Just don’t cry everyone will kill me if your make-up gets messed up. Mal is especially cranky and I think she might actually kill someone given the chance.”
“Excuse me do I need to add another song?” Sarah heard the wedding planner ask.
“No, I’m ok.” She said from her side of the door. “I’ll see you at the end of the aisle Kris. I love you.”
“I’m all in Sarah. I’ll see you at the end of the aisle.”
“I’m all in too. It’s all or nothing at this point and life without you would be my nothing.” she said more for herself than for anyone else.
It was easy to hear Kris being ushered away as the familiar faint knock of her G-Dad. “Sarah it’s just me are you ready?” she heard the familiar ask.
She opened the door nodding. “Yeah G-Dad I’m ready. I asked for Kris to come back not because I was worried but because I missed him.”
“I know you two are hardly ever apart unless it’s for his games. It reminds me of Myself and your Grandmother. I loved her with all my heart and couldn‘t stand to be apart from her. When your Mother…” he paused looking up with tears in his eyes. “When your Mother failed you and your Brother it broke our hearts. We made a pact to take you both in and do better.“ he put his hands on her arms looking her over. “I think even though your Brother has had a few bumps in the road we finally got it right.”
“Oh G-Dad…” she said hugging him close but he shushed her before she could continue.
“You look beautiful darling. I’m so happy you found someone who makes you as happy as your Grandmother made me.”
“Thank’s G-Dad.” she said holding tight to him.
“The maids are a go, we need you.” the planner said standing in the doorway. She led them through the church giving them just a few more moments to speak.
“I’m sad your Grandmother could see you like this. She would marvel at what a beautiful woman you are and how amazing it is I didn’t screw that up without her.”
“G-Dad you could never screw it up. You were the best Dad a girl could ask for. I’m happy you can finally have a chance to be a real Grandpa now. The girls already love you.”
“I want nothing more than to be the best Grandfather ever for them.” he said taking her arm as they had practiced the day before as the rest of the girls headed down the aisle being cued by the planner.
The music changed and they took a deep breath in unison. “You ready?” he asked the doors holding till he gave the nod.
“Yeah. I love him G-Dad I love him completely. I can’t imagine life without him.” she said looking through the stained glass window in the door to where Kris was standing the view of him in fractured colors of yellow, red and blue.
Archie gave the nod for the doors to be opened and Sarah saw him immediately crisp and clear highlighted by the run streaming in from the skylights. It was just like the other morning the summer golden glow of him surrounded by the sparkles of dust in the sun.
It was a long aisle but she was completely locked on Kris from the second he came into view. He looked down at his feet for a second lifting his head pushing his hair back just in time for their eyes to meet. Her eyes welled immediately overcome with happiness. She loved him with all her being. She had put him through the ringer and he had taken it all over the last nearly two years. There he was perfect and waiting for her. She could feel the motions happening around her. She kissed her G-Dad’s cheek as he handed her over to Kris the two of them embracing Father of the Bride and Son-in-law before the ceremony continued.
They had chosen to go with traditional vows the ceremony being split between French and English so everyone in attendance felt accepted and a part of their family. The crowed was non-existent to Kris and Sarah though as the focused on one another and the tradition of the ceremony. They had done the pre-counseling that was expected of them by the church and plenty of counseling for the fostering of the girls. They were ready for this, ready for forever. The ceremony was done without a mass to spare the children and their friends.
When the end came Sarah could see out of the corner of her eye the little girls being nudged to attention and Ruby being poked awake. It was the part of the ceremony everyone waited for the kiss. Sarah and Kris met in a kiss that was so them sweet with his arms sliding around her back hers resting at his shoulders. One sweet kiss was followed by two shorter ones as the couple had trouble parting even if it was only for the final blessings and prayer. They walked through the recessional stopping at the back of the church for one last kiss his arms wrapping around her lifting her from the ground for everyone to see as their smiles lit up the church even more than the streams of setting sun pouring through the beautiful windows. Everyone in attendance saw, everyone snapped pictures, everyone knew that this was one of the most romantic weddings that they had ever seen.
“So hello everyone.” a familiar voice said over the microphone. “I’m sure you all know who I am.”
“Potash goes the distance.” Pascal yelled from where he sat with his family. The room erupted in laughter as Potash gave his special Duper sigh.
“Funny but Pascal this isn’t about you. This is about the lovely couple. As Kris and Sarah know Kris’s day with the cup is in a week and a half once they get back from their honeymoon. With that said some special arrangements have been made and we have a special guest.” The doors to the reception hall opened and the shiny cup was paraded in being set up next to the wedding cake. “Sarah you joked about eating wedding cake out of the cup and we did a little research. As it turns out there has been all kinds of cake in the cup including birthday cake and there have been cups made to look like the cup but in our research no one has eaten wedding cake out of the cup. So our dear friend Lord Stanley is here to oblige.”
Sarah was all laughs as was Kris over the whole thing.
“It’s to much.” Kris said his arm around Sarah.
“Not my doing, it totally them.” she said motioning to the tables of team mates with the piles of nearly empty plates around them as they had gone through the buffet as well as the traditional cookie table that was a western Pennsylvania tradition.
“Kris and Sarah can you come down here please.” Potash continued. “and the girls, I’m sure photos are required.” Sarah nodded as the new family was ushered over to the cup for photos and the cake cutting.
The photos were taken and the cake cut and wheeled away along with the cup as champagne was brought out in preparation for the toasts. Speaking would be Nessa, Mal and Max. The three lined up on the little stage where the DJ was set up with Nessa going first.
“When Sarah arrived in Wheeling. Where we’re from. As if you couldn’t spot the West Virginians a mile away…”she said pointing down to her own bare feet and then to Sarah who kindly lifted the table cloth and then her dress showing off her own feet which sat comfortably on the floor her shoes to the side. “I am sure I like many of you had the same feelings about our dear Sarah. I hated her guts.” everyone has a chuckle as Nessa continued. “She was and is prettier than me, could run faster and all the boys liked her.” Nessa took a breath smiling. “No one was ever right for her though. There was no match out there for her. No one could get past the surface. When I met Kris for the first time I knew he was different. He had this air of patience about him. So please Kris continue to be patient with my best friend and Sarah don’t ever make him wait to long. He may be willing to wait forever but he’s a good one and shouldn’t have to. To the happy couple.” Nessa said passing the mic to Mal.
“Sarah told me I couldn’t swear… well she told Max and I both we couldn’t swear.” she said glancing to her left at him. “So don’t.” she reminded him pointing a finger at him. “Anyways. Though of you who know me which is a lot of you I expect know by now that I am a pain in the…” she paused “butt. Sarah has put up with my being a pain in the butt for a long time and for that I am eternally thankful. I’m just as thankful to her for introducing me to Kris who then introduced me to Max and you know love and all that stuff blah, blah, blah…” she teased putting her hand on Max’s shoulder. “Really though I don’t think I have ever known two people more suited for one another than these two. They are strong and lovely each on their own but together they are even stronger and if possible more lovely. I mean look at them they are like Barbie and Quebec Ken.” she joked getting a chuckle out of everyone. “This isn’t a dream wedding like Barbie always had though. This is the real deal. This is two people promising to love one another till the end of time. I don’t know any people more capable of holding true tot his promise more than these two. To love and being more than a dream wedding.” Mal said passing the mic to Max her hand on leaving his shoulder.
Max spoke in French content to speak to the Montreal friends and family. He was sure the translation would be passed along between many of the bilingual attendees. “When I met Sarah I couldn’t believe how hot she was. Sorry Tanger but it’s true your wife is sexy. I’m glad many of the little ones don’t speak French yet.” he added with a chuckle. “Anyways, as we all know Sarah isn’t just hot she is sweet and caring and well she’s just Sarah. I know she was a lot of other peoples Sarah before she became the teams Sarah but she is our Sarah now too just like he is out Tanger. We are pretty notorious for making fun of Kris all the time but it is honestly because he is just so good natured about it. So good natured we never thought it was possible to find someone who could match up to him. Kris is quiet, serious when he needs to be, focused on the important things, strong, gracious and passionate. Sarah is all of these things too. These are all of the things a marriage needs to stay strong and I have never met two people with such individual abundance of these. I know together you will have even more focus on what is important, graciousness, quiet when you must, passion for the cold nights and strength for when you each find the other in need. I love you both dearly and have all the believe that love is central to your union. I look forward to making another toast in fifty years at your anniversary.” Max cleared his throat switching back to English. “To the loving couple Mr. and Mrs. Letang.”
Everyone at the stage and in the audience raised their glasses along with Kris and Sarah, though she had tears in her eyes due to the lovely words of their friends. With sips of champagne drunk the melodic tinkles of forks, spoons and knives against the crystal glasses could be heard through the room calling the couple to kiss. Just as the Stanley cup with a piece of wedding cake in the bowl was being wheeled back out in front of the couple at the head table they met in a kiss.
Sarah leaned back against resting comfortably against him as they sat in the sand sunglasses on their faces, skin tanned golden. It was the last day of their honeymoon and it was to be spent on the beach enjoying the sun, water and one another.
“I’m going to give you tan lines.” she joked though had no intention of moving away from him. It was hot but the fresh sea air managed to keep things comfortable even in such close proximity.
“I don’t care.” he replied dropping a kiss on the back of her neck. “I think we should be here next year as well. Bring the girls. I saw other families.”
“Yes, only less wine.” she teased. They had done quite a few wine tours and had stumbled home a number of nights after experiencing the night life of coastal Southern France.
“Are you ready to go home and be a Mother? Most get months to ready themselves for the task.” he said continuing to nuzzle her skin as the sun slowly began to drop in the sky, the other beach bums around them packing up to head home for a rest before dinner.
“I am. I think being a Mother is what I was made to be.” she mused breathing in smell of lavender and the sea mixing together in an intoxicating way that it only can in Provence. “Are you ready to be a Dad?” she asked turning her head to place a lazy kiss on his slightly stubbled chin.
“I am.” he said firmly. “I love our family.”
“Me too.” Sarah said with a sigh looking out over the water as the bright yellow sun started to cast orange beams across it.
“It will be an adventure.” he responded taking a deep breath holding it in his lungs to savor the unique quality of the air.
“Isn’t it always?” Sarah said with a happy smile the pinks of the sunset starting to shine as the encroaching night bared down upon them.
“With you yes.”