|Weddings and Light Years||11/8/2019
|The first event of October honored the 30th wedding anniversary of our good friends, Barb and Joe, in style. They hosted a memorable party that began at their beautiful home, where we joined sixteen other guests for cocktails. The smashing couple descended the stairs, with Joe in his white tux jacket and Barb rocking in a blue-sequined mini. They soon led the way to the limo bus that whisked us downtown to The Marble Room, where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner in a private dining room in this historic former bank building. For entertainment, friends had assembled a lovely video composed of footage from their 30 years together, and I serenaded them with “After All These Years”, what else? Soon it was time to re-board the bus, and pursue the party over after-dinner drinks and sparkling --and silly-- conversation at their home. Some of the gang even opted to relax in their hot tub! It was a great, late night! We didn’t arrive home until 2:30 am!
But the really BIG event in October for our family occurred on October 12th, when our youngest son married his lovely bride! This was the second Cochran wedding for 2019. You may remember that our eldest married his Number 1 gal on March 16th, in Palm Springs, CA. Our youngest’s wedding took place right here, on homeground.
Weddings can take over your life, with planning, function details and all the preparations, as those who have been there know all too well. That being said, it was all worth it!
For starters, my husband and I hosted the rehearsal dinner for 40, at our home. We were hoping for nice weather, so that we could use our patio, equipped with heaters, as well as the interior of our home. We were blessed with a beautiful day! I cut flowers from our hydrangea bushes and used them as centerpieces for several tables set up inside and out.
Dinner was catered by a favorite and fabulous restaurant, J Pistone, buffet style, which was so conducive to mixing and mingling among family and friends in from Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Denver and Charlotte. My 94-year-old mother fully enjoyed the evening from her wheelchair, with the precious help of our dear friend and physical therapist, Kristen, who transported Mom so carefully from her nursing home to the party. It was a lovely evening in every way and a great warm-up for the events to follow…
The wedding took place the next afternoon at St. Dominic Catholic Church. I have a long history with this beautiful church: I was baptized, received my first communion and was confirmed there, and attended the adjoining grammar school, grades 1 through 8. My boys followed the same path, except that they also attended kindergarten there, a class added after my schooling days. The wedding celebrant, Father Thomas Fanta, has known Zach since the year he was first assigned to the church as pastor, when our little guyy was nine years old. Now a friend of the family, dear Father Tom made the ceremony extra special.. At the bride's request, I sang the Ave Maria when they placed flowers at the altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was an honor for me to do so and I was very happy to comply.
It was another gorgeous day (thankfully, the forecasted rain had come early, during the night!) and the bubbles we blew to the young newlyweds as they exited the church reflected all the colors of the rainbow, with the sun shining warmly on this first day of their married life.
Between the nuptials and the reception, my sister hosted a small party for our out-of-town family and guests, gracefully bridging the two-hour gap. It provided the perfect opportunity for Mom to spend more time with her nephews and their wives and with her grandchildren, before returning to her nursing home. She had managed two days of exertion and excitement remarkably well, but even she agreed it would have been too much for her to attend the evening reception downtown.
The wonderful penthouse reception on top of the Skylight Financial Building offered beautiful views of the sun setting over Lake Erie and the lights of downtown Cleveland. Dinner was lovely, highlighted by our eldest son’s perfect best man speech, which was heartfelt and funny and moving. After the speeches, the cutting of the cake and the bridal dance, it was time for my dance with my baby. The tears flowed as soon as the DJ started playing Rascal Flats’ “My Wish For You”. Just like every mother, what I want most for my child is his happiness. Dancing with my grown-up son, on this very important day, accompanied by the inspiring lyrics of the song we chose together, definitely struck an emotional chord.
But once the dance was over I was back again, all my wishes and blessings said. For the next few hours everybody was on the dance floor! Such a fun group! I believe everyone would agree that it was a fabulous celebration!
The next morning, with 20 guests coming for breakfast, I was up at the crack of dawn. Admittedly exhausted from the days leading up to the wedding with all the emotions attached, I was determined to rise to the occasion. We don’t see our out-of-town families and friends often enough, and we wanted to spend as much time as they could spare together before their return trips home. And I loved gathering everyone at our house one last time.
My sister (and culinary wonder) brought over the fixings for lunch and dinner to keep the fires burning and allow us make the most of our remaining time together. We were sorry to see each group off, but so grateful for the beautiful weekend we had shared. It would have been even more perfect had my sister and her family been able to make it from France. But they were definitely with us in spirit!
The wedding weekend over, it was time to breathe deeply, in and out, and move on to what was ahead. So, here we go! First I recorded a podcast with Jim, talking up our Christmas tour that will commence in December. And Abe and I rehearsed for our New Year’s Eve shows at Nighttown.
Then our friend Kristy and I celebrated my sister, Wendy, and her birthday over dinner at LockKeeper’s, followed by a string of dinners out. Ed and I dined with George, Wanda, Margie and Mike at The Marble Room, with Ed’s high school friends, Bill and Shirley at LockKeeper’s, and enjoyed a lovely meal with friends, Mike, Alison, Michael and Grace at The Twisted Fig, in Canton.
On the last Saturday of the month, Ed and I admired our dear friend Kristy’s three-month old granddaughter at a meet-the-baby party hosted by friends, Chris and Mike, in Kirtland. From there, we drove 35 minutes to a scrumptious pig roast at Katy and Gary’s fabulous home in Bay Village. A very full Saturday!
But hey, I’m still practicing yoga and Pilates to unwind and rekindle, and I visit my mom in her new home three or four times a week. When we asked her if THE wedding weekend had been too much for her, she quipped, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! We’ll be talking about it forever!!”
And we probably will!
Until next time, best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving! Wherever has this speed-of-light year gone??