You may already know the bittersweet, inspirational love story that brought my big brother (I’m the youngest, ya know), Paul, and Jane Miller together. Cancer stole both their happy marriages to the tune of 81 combined years, so in a backhanded way, evil cancer inadvertently became matchmaker.
Already acquainted, a mutual support system swiftly morphed into a lifetime commitment, and before the family knew it, we were in the Cassie’s Orchard Room observing sacred nuptials. Since Pastor Mark and I met, he’s referred to me as “the inappropriate brother,” and with his penchant of encouraging it with unbridled laughter, I call him, “the inappropriate preacher.”
After the somewhat whimsical ceremony, I yelled out, “This is the most inappropriate wedding ceremony I’ve ever attended.” For the most part, it was two families of teetotalers, but hair was let down and frivolity reigned. During sips of wine toasts and everyone but me ordering dinner, I approached Mark and asked, “We don’t have to hang around for the consummation do we? I have bowling league in a half-hour.”
I scolded Mark for inadvertently omitting a vital part of any wedding vow: “If anyone has any objection … speak now or forever hold your peace.” He seemed unrepentant for costing me my planned interjection of, “I just think she could have done a lot better.”
The Bloughs traditionally are inexperienced, awkward huggers while Jane and her electric sister Laura would win the gold in an Olympic hugging event. So with the huggers swarming the hug-challenged, it must have looked like first-responders reviving smoke-inhalation victims.
The oldest Blough bro, Jess and his wife Marti, missed the hug-fest since, after 51 years, they’re still honeymooning in New Mexico for the winter. It was a fun, immediate-family affair — quite poignant considering the jagged stepping stones that led up to it.
I rushed out of there with only 10 minutes before the first frame and en route, I blindly reached for my phone. It felt oddly large in proportion to my hand, so I hit the dome light, which revealed a foreign phone with a screensaver photo of Mark’s smiling wife, Deb Price.
My own phone had gone dead, so I had no way to alert the clueless revelers someone was out of range. I later used another bowler’s phone and the Cassie’s hostess promised to pass on my message and apology to whomever it might concern.
Late in game two, after missing an easy spare, I was met near the ball return by Mr. Price. Snatching his phone, the inappropriate preacher pronounced sentence for my crime. I’m sure Mark knows his Bible, but I seriously doubt an accidental phone theft warrants eternal damnation.
In a related note, I’m thrilled to have my maiden colonoscopy behind me. I’m not sure what went on back there and I don’t need to know. Since I was asleep, I’m not privy to what went where, or what kind of private jokes were made amongst medical staff. I was, however, wide awake for the previous 24 hours, a disproportionate portion of it spent on the toilet while moaning, “How much is enough, for God’s sake?!!”
So all in all, it was a jam-packed week. With the wedding one night, Ducolax purging the next, and the proceeding back door intrusion, I didn’t know if I was coming or going. As for Mr. and Mrs. Paul Blough, it has all the ingredients of a “till death do thee part” union. Here’s praying that doesn’t occur until I’m too old and senile to realize it.
Shelia was a wonderful, irreplaceable sister-in-law I miss dearly, but Jane came along to fill the void like no one we could have imagined. I didn’t know her husband Rich, but I absolutely know Shelia would glowingly approve — giving her unconditional blessings for carrying on the Tupperware tradition for the dysfunctional, inappropriate, little brother.