I gasped, clutching my chest, my eyes as big as saucers. No, I take that back, make it dinner plates! "Paul!" I said. He was loving it, laughing his head off as Pastor Keyes just looked over the top of his glasses and gave a crooked little grin.
To my great relief, Paul hurriedly explained himself. He clarified that he does in fact take dirty pictures.......he works for Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control and televises sewer lines. I don't understand everything pertaining to Paul's work, suffice it to say that he views sewers through a camera lens. For what purpose? I have no clue. I have no desire to be anywhere near a sewer, much less video tape it........anyway, that is what Paul does and has done for the last ten years.
To my great relief Pastor seemed to fully understand and accept Paul's explanation, and I was breathing again. We chit chatted about a few other items of concern to Pastor, including Haley. Of all three of my children Haley is the most like her father and was also the closest to him. She took his death EXTREMELY hard and her nature is such that she internalizes her pain. It is difficult to coerce her to open up about Tim's death. I knew that the move from Modesto to American Canyon once Paul and I were married would be very traumatic for her. Pastor and SIs. Keyes were greatly concerned, as I was, and Pastor took the time to give me some Godly counsel on the situation.
And then, finally, the answer to our question came. Pastor Keyes gave his blessing for us to marry! I wanted to jump up and down in glee! Wanted to kiss him right on the lips! It was over! And it had just begun!
Friends were waiting for us at a restaurant to celebrate my forty fourth birthday, and now, we also had our engagement to celebrate! What a wonderful and memorable evening it was!
And so, we began to plan our wedding. There were so many things we wanted to do, honeymoon spots we wanted to visit, but alas, our pocket books would not allow it. The Dollar Store became my friend during those days as I hand crafted my bouquet and the other floral arrangements that would be used in the ceremony. It was not ideal, but I had a lot of fun doing it. If I had it my way, we would have just eloped, but there was family to think of, and Paul wanted our wedding to feel like a fresh start, the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one. So, I agreed.
But I did NOT want to wait until May! That seemed an eternity! I called Paul and suggested that we GET MARRIED NOW!.........