From the Vault: Unconditional Love

Before planning my own wedding, I had no idea of the details and decisions we would need to make. A wedding dress and veil, rings, registries, invitations, musicians, and…cake napkins? We didn’t have a lot of time or money to work with. We had to sacrifice some of the things we wanted to save money.

One of the things we saved money on was our wedding cake. There were two people we knew who did wedding cakes as a side business and neither of them could make ours. One suggested we make our own cake. So we decided to. Since it was a February wedding and close to Valentine’s Day, we went with a heart-shaped cake.

Or rather, several of them. Different flavors included chocolate, carrot cake and cherry chip cake. We, meaning my fiancé Pat and I, mixed up the batter and baked the heart-shaped cakes in my mom’s kitchen. We coated the baked cakes with an icing glaze to keep them moist.

My sister iced and decorated the cake and added some sugared hearts that a friend helped her make. A friend gave us a musical figurine that we used as a cake topper. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty, and uniquely ours.

We had way too much cake left over. I think we were eating it for weeks. We put the top layer in the freezer for our one-year anniversary, but we didn’t eat it when that day came. The thought of eating one-year-old cake, even though it had been preserved by freezing it, didn’t appeal to us.

We didn’t just have cake left over. We also ended up with about 50 unused cake napkins. We packed them away and planned to take them out on our 25th anniversary , when we would have family and friends gather to celebrate.

However, we didn’t make it to our 25th anniversary. Not because we fell out of love, but because a tragic work accident took Pat’s life after just 20 years of marriage.

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the Love Chapter. It is incorporated into many wedding ceremonies. I don’t remember if it was read at ours, because my head was in the clouds that day.

…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

These verses speak of unconditional love. Pat loved me unconditionally. He was my rock, my biggest supporter, provider and protector. I miss him, but God is healing my grief. I’m learning to stand on my own two feet, with the love and support of family and friends.

Our “Happy Ever After” was cut short, but I’m grateful for the twenty years we had together.

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