Catching the bouquet and finding love I will never forget the time I caught a bouquet at a wedding. The competition was fierce with many of the other girls who were cheerleaders in school. I spent many gym classes with some of them. I waited in anticipation for the bride to toss the bouquet. I saw the flowers flying in the air and reached out. To my surprise I caught the bouquet!
My Learning Disability affects my eye had coordination making playing sports, dancing, driving and other physical activities difficult. The bride was so excited and jumped up and down as she hugged me. The joy of this moment was squelched when my ex did not attempt to catch the garter, during the garter toss. Instead, an older child caught and felt that a picture of us together would be more appropriate.
My ex also would not dance with me at this event. He said I was a horrible dancer. He took ballroom dance lessons and expected me to dance like a pro. I could not fit his structure in with what he was looking for in a partner. We were having issues before the event, and both wanted different things in a relationship. The main issue was that he could not accept a partner that had a disability. He told me when we broke up shortly afterwards, that I think you could drive if you really wanted to, and I have been tired of taking you places. Despite catching the bouquet, I was not the next one to be married.
I spent a great deal of time at weddings and other events alone. It cut deeply when others would ask when you are getting married, and I was not seeing anyone. I seemed to get all the people that I did not want to date. Some people were not interested in dating a person with a disability and others just were not the right person for me. I was accused of being too picky and people told me that I would spend my life alone.
I did not spend all my time sitting at home crying and waiting to live my life. During the single years I worked on myself. I went on trips, worked, went back to school, and volunteered. I also encountered another string of duds, causing me to surrender being single to God. I prayed that God would send me the right person and would not bring anyone else in my life until it was the one for me.
Praying that prayer was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I did not know if I would meet someone or not, but I knew that I could find happiness and fulfillment single or with someone. If you’re not happy single, then you are not going to be happy in a relationship. I also found that people without disabilities struggled in relationships. Many people who were popular in school and looked like they had everything together ended up divorced or in bad relationships.
Managing relationships can be tricky. Our society gives the structure of finding the right person, getting engaged, and married in a certain timeline. For many people, that way works for them, but for others the journey may take longer. My prayer was answered, and I met my now husband unexpectedly. I was volunteering at an art center, and he was playing guitar that night. We found that we had mutual friends, interests and were even at previous places at the same time! We will be married for nine years this June. I could not ask for a better husband or dancing partner. He loves, encourages, and supports me. He also accepts my disability and loves me for who I am.
I now can see that the years I spent single showed me how to enjoy and invest in my life and the lives of others. I am thankful that the relationships did not work out and wish them nothing but the best. We simply were not meant to be together and would not have been happy together. Catching the bouquet did not lead me on a short trip to the altar. Instead, it carried me through a longer journey to meeting my husband, which was worth it in the end.