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It Takes a Team

By Belinda

Saturday, December 17 and the dawn sky was awash with pink. It has been unbelievably mild in Ontario this winter, but a light sprinkling of snow added fresh beauty to the day.

It was the perfect day for Brenda and Kevin's wedding.

I had an early appointment in Barrie for a manicure, hair wash and blow dry. In a plastic bag on the seat beside me in the car was one red shoe to be matched to my nail polish!

Susan had given me a Christmas CD a few days earlier: Peaceful Christmas I hadn't listened to it yet as I had been finishing an amazing Christmas audio story, A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg, but as I drove up the highway, the sky now a cloudless blue; I popped the CD in. The car filled with the strains of the Carol of the Bells with steel drums, and I listened and peace filled the car.

Spring, who was doing my nails, arrived at the same moment I did and we went into a room at the back of the small salon. I took out my shoe and chose the closest match, a polish with the name Ruby Deer.

As Spring took charge of my sadly neglected nails and buffed, soaked and trimmed them into shape, we talked, as I imagine only women in salons talk. I'm sure that manicurists and hair stylists could put therapists out of business if they had a mind to.

Eventually Jamie, my hair stylist, came looking for me. Her appointments were backing up! She washed my hair, blow dried it and styled it. Jamie makes me look as good as is possible and I have followed her to more salons than I can count!

Finally I was done and ready to pay. As I rummaged in my bag, Spring said, "I should have cashed you out before I did your nails." But I had a feeling that there would be no "cashing out." I had switched bags that morning but also remembered getting my wallet out the night before. Wherever it was, it was not in my bag.

I felt terrible but Jamie said to go home and call in a credit card number. I thanked them but decided to just go back and get the cash. I had lots of time since I didn't have to leave with Brenda until 3.00 and it was so peaceful in my car with that Christmas music that I took it as a gift to spend an extra hour in the car going back and forth.

I knew that Paul would be ready and dressed in his suit and tie well ahead of time. For Paul "on time" is half an hour ahead of time. His nervous energy would have him pacing. I had probably driven him crazy too, with my pie and soup making of the night before. The peaceful bubble of my car was a haven! :)

I picked up my wallet and camera so that I could record my "beautiful beauty team" as part of the memory of that day. Here they are: Spring is on the left.

From the salon I went to Bradford to drop off the Fannie Flagg audio CD at the library as I knew someone else was waiting for it, then I went to Shopper's Drug Mart.

"What are you doing here?" cried out Kim in the make up department, a friend of Brenda's.
"I need eye drops to get rid of the red in my eyes!" I said, laughing. I bought a bottle of Visine Triple Action eye drops, figuring they should do the trick.

Finally it was time to head home and get changed. I had an hour to get ready. As I walked in, Paul was leaving with Tippy and Tori to pick up two young friends; twins who live on the Holland Marsh and who were going to the wedding with them. He was picking up the flowers too, from their mother, the florist.

An hour later I drove to Stouffville with Brenda, her dress carefully packed into the back of her car.

She pulled up into a narrow driveway, leading to a side door of the golf and country club. We got her and the dress into the room where her maid of honour, her best friend, Jenn, was waiting to help her change. I got into the car to park it. As I backed out into the parking lot, I craned my head looking back over my shoulder in one direction, and heard a sickening crunch of metal meeting brick wall from the other side. My stomach lurched. I sheepishly got out and checked the damage. An expensive lesson in paying attention to both sides when backing up, but no one was hurt and cars can be repaired.

Upstairs Reverend Bruce Roffey was already mingling and chatting with the gathering crowd of Brenda and Kevin's friends. I had once baked him his favourite pie, a concoction made with sour cream, raisins and egg custard. He was missing a family Christmas function to officiate at this wedding, but he would hear none of my thanks. "We love Brenda," he said.

I had already read the service on the way to the wedding and it was beautiful. The scriptures chosen were Psalm 121 and Ruth 1:16-17

Psalm 121
King James Version (KJV)
1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. 6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. 8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Ruth 1:16-17 English Standard Version (ESV)
16But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.(A) Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.(B) May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you."

Jane Archer (left in this photo) and Barb Hustler are two retired Salvation Army officers who attend our cell group. Jane is a chaplain with the Toronto Police. She prayed this beautiful "hand blessing over Kevin and Brenda's hands:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.  
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.  
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.  
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.  
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. 
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. 
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. 
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. 
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

It took a team! Mostly we were aware of the many friends who were praying for us and the hands of God that carried us.


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