“Intimately Walking Down the Aisle” – by Catherine Gainey

Well, this Cat let the “cat out of the bag”! Jason and I “secretly” got married on August 11th, 2018. We had been approached by our pastor with the idea, back in June, but did not actually decide to pick a date and make it happen until mid-July. We decided that what was most important to us was (1) That at the end of the wedding day we would be married, – and that was more important than having a big wedding.  -And (2) That our four boys would really understand that we were making this commitment to them just as much as we were making it to each other.

The planning was minimal, it essentially involved ensuring that our parents, Jason’s grandmothers, and Jim’s parents were free that day, I went shopping at Kohl’s for outfits for Jason and the boys, my mom and I stressed over finding a dress for me, but I ended up wearing one that I ordered from Amazon that cost only $35 and fit perfectly when it arrived four days before the wedding! I decided one week before the wedding that I wanted to hire a photographer to capture our day. I’m so glad I made that choice instead of keeping things completely low key.
After Jason had proposed earlier this year, I had asked Jim’s dad to walk me down the aisle with my dad, and he had said “Yes”. While I had attempted to stay calm and collected, I started crying when my mom, Jason’s mom and Jim’s mom walked into my dressing room and saw me in my wedding dress. I can’t express enough how much the support from Jim’s family means to me, and that they chose to be part of this day for me and the kids. They truly are incredible people and I think Jim is very proud of them. We have no manual for how to live without Jim but I’d say we are doing our best job.
My walk down the aisle with my father-in-law on one side and my daddy on the other was all I hoped it would be as I stared at Jason at the alter with tears in his eyes and tears in mine.
I had warned the pastor and Jason ahead of time that when we got to the vows where I would have to repeat “in sickness and in health”, I would most likely lose it. I was hoping that I would be able to clear my mind of the thoughts of my husbands: the one I lost and the one I was standing with; -and their health – and the possibility of them dying; …but I couldn’t. I had to stop. The tears were coming non-stop and I could not speak. I had to catch my breath as fast as I could and look back into Jason’s eyes to reassure him that while everything in me hopes that we never have to go through what I went through with Jim, I would absolutely be with him if that happened to “us”.
We exchanged traditional vows with each other, and we also wrote our own vows to our four boys. Jason promised Shamus and Finn that he would try to share with them all of things that he and Jim did together as friends, and would tell them all of his stories about Jim. This is just one of the things that I love about this man.
While we are really looking forward to a big wedding and celebration with many family and friends next summer, it was refreshing to have our marriage start in a no-pressure, intimate way. We stripped it down to what matters the most: our love for each other, our boys and our commitment to this life together. 💞