Oct 26, 2009

The Longest Day

Saturday literally felt like the longest day of my life.

Started with a 5am wake-up, since it takes me awhile to shower and get ready. We (Jared, my brother Zach and I) got to the airport around 7, and since we didn't have any bags to check we just walked right in, through security and hit our gate. First flight took off at 8am to Phoenix. Had a layover in Phoenix for an hour, then second flight to San Diego. We went through the long process of renting a car, then we headed to the beach where the wedding was to take place. We were about a half hour early, but we spent some time staring at the water and enjoying the warm weather.

The wedding was... all right. We were involved in the wedding a little more than I wanted to be. I really just wanted to arrive, meet everyone and sit on the back row. That way if I was having a hard time (which I did) then it could be in private and everyone and their dog wouldn't see. But I also wanted to just go with the flow and not make a big stink about it. We all sat in the front row with the rest of the family, we wore our flowers marking us as part of the wedding party and did our best.

I did fine for most of the ceremony. One of the strangest things for me (and if you are not LDS, you may not understand the next little bit), is that here is this man who taught me one way to live my life: get married in the temple to a priesthood holder, attend all your church meetings, stay faithful, live the gospel, obey the commandments... and that same man is now not living that way. He's getting married on a beach to a woman who although is a great lady, is not LDS and the ceremony was performed by a Baptist preacher (who was also a really nice man). The spirit was just not there and that made me really sad. I looked over at my wonderful husband who was such a great sport in coming with me, and my heart filled with so much love because I knew that I was going to be with this man for eternity. My heart just breaks for people who miss out on the wondeful blessings of having an eternal family. I hope I don't sound like a total judgmental freak right now, because that's not my intention. I guess I just noticed the glaring difference between this wedding ceremony on the beach, and my own wedding ceremony in the temple.

I didn't really listen to the ceremony or what the preacher was saying. I'm sure he said some really nice things, I just didn't listen. I was thinking about my hair and how messy it was from being wind and sand blown on a beach. I was thinking about how hungry I was. I was thinking about the warm weather and how much I hate the cold weather. I was also thinking about how my arms, neck and face were going to be a nice shade of red by the time this was over because I forgot sunscreen. Then I started thinking about my dad and that I hope he's happy. I hope he's found what he's looking for. He seemed genuinely, honestly happy to see us. There was no pressure from him, no punishment or mean words for the choice of not having anything to do with him for the last year. I just felt like my dad loved me and was happy to see me. Then I started thinking about my mom and I hope that someday she can be happy again. I hope that someday she can let this all go and find someone to love her and that makes her happy.

When I tuned in again to the ceremony, it was over and the preacher announced "Let me introduce you to the new Mr. and Mrs. David J Hayes" and.... I lost it. And of course, I'm sitting in the very front where everyone can see me, so I'm tryin really hard to contain the crying so no one will notice. Then Zach gave me a big hug and he lost it. So here we are, standing up at the front of this wedding crying our hearts out. I can't speak for Zach, but I was crying because the closure I've needed finally arrived. My parents marriage is over and my family as I knew it will never be the same. I was crying because I missed my dad, and I was finally ready to let the disappointments and hurt feelings go. I'm finally ready to forgive, forget and move on.

After our little "episode", we went and gave our congrats to the couple and had some lunch. We took a few pics, and then the three of us went on our merry way. We were there for a total of 1.5 hrs. It was perfect for us, and any longer would have been tough. Although, we did miss the cake which I'm really upset about! It looked really good. Our first flight on the way home was through San Francisco, where we had another hour layover. Then we hopped onto a puddle jumper with the coolest flight attendant ever, and were home and in our own beds by 10:30 that night.

I did get really sunburned and I was completely exhausted yesterday but the trip was worth it. The goals that I had going down there were accomplished. That's all that matters.


Regina said...

This post made me cry! It hasn't been long and it is a lot to deal with, so I am sure I would have had more than one "little episode". It sounds like you did really well. I just loved your mom when she was the YW pres, and our laurel teacher. I am sure she will be happy!

Dan and Nicole said...

This literally brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad that you went and got the things accomplished that you wanted.

randivon said...

You are amazing Caitlin. I am not sure that I could have done what you just did. But way to be... and to even get the closure you need is even more amazing. I love you guys! (Even if you have long since moved away and we do not get to see you any more.) :-)

Jalei & Lane said...

I think you handled things really well. I'm sure your dad was so happy you were there.

Monty and Kristin said...

I'm glad you were able to make it. I loved your insight into a temple wedding vs. a non-temple wedding. I'm glad you found closure. Thanks for your post. I love your honestly and the way you write. It's so real. I now feel like I was at your dad's wedding. Glad you made it home safe and accomplished the task like you said. I know you being there meant a lot to your dad.

Michelle said...

Ok, I wanted to say everything Kristen did so I will just leave it be. :) So proud of you!!!