Being a military spouse, I love to share the stories of my “badges of honor”. They’re not the same badges you would imagine for philanthropy, group organization and so on. No. These badges are what craziness I survived because of the Army. For example; tornados in Alabama, tsunami warnings in Hawaii and lake effect snow storms in New York.
Now, I have one more to add to the my collection, southern spring torrential downpour in Florida.
On the morning of Hailie and Daniel’s wedding, I made the (wise) decision to leave an extra 30 minutes early. 45 minutes after I left, I was slammed by what is called a “toad strangler” downpour. Pulling from my cache of driving in extreme weather conditions, I immediately reduced my speed to 40…30 and even that wasn’t good enough to stop hydroplaning, so 25 and leaned forward to get a better view of the poor job my windshield wipers were doing at full speed. I drove for 45 minutes like this as trees were swaying back and forth, branches came crashing down and I was praying one wouldn’t hit my car- not because I was afraid of the damage but so I wouldn’t have to stop and then be late for the wedding.
After a lighting strike split a tree in half a football field away from me and many repetitions of “Jesus, take the wheel” – a little flustered and overwhelmed, I walked up to Hailie to announce my arrival and introduce myself. Right away, I was pulled into Hailie’s laid back personality and joy for becoming Daniel’s Mrs in a short couple of hours. My tension melted away, their day progressed without a single hitch and vendors were whispering how lucky they felt to have such a selfless, down to earth couple to work for.
I truly felt myself being very grateful. Grateful to have made it through the storm. Grateful to have such amazing people to work for. And lastly, honored to watch a marriage begin between two truly in love people.