Recently we held my son’s wedding at our house. After months of planning, we were finally ready. The tent was up, the tables were set, the decorations were in place, and the rehearsal had gone beautifully.
We knew there was a possibility of rain in the forecast but the first hour and a half went perfectly – the procession, the service, the beginnings of the buffet.
Then the skies opened.
Within about 20 minutes there was a fast-flowing stream running through the tent from one end to the other, creating a muddy mess. Then the lightning started and the thunder was crashing right above us, turning the tent poles into lightning rods.
We quickly ushered all 60 guests into our living room (with its off-white carpet) and did the speeches there while people finished their food. It turned out to be so lovely and intimate (and much quieter than it was outside!).
Then the power went out. The kids wound up cutting their cake on the kitchen table by the light of our cell phones, with the guests crowded all around.
It was fabulous.
No amount of bad weather or impromptu changes could dampen the spirits or the love that flowed between the bride and groom and the guests.
Here are some of the truths I realized that day, which are similar to the ones cancer has taught me:
Have a Plan B in place in advance
We had cleared all the clutter out of the living room just in case we wound up in there because of the weather. In a similar vein, I always like to know what my oncologist has in mind for future treatment if the medication I’m on stops working.
Roll with it
We can’t control the weather or what happens to us, but we can choose the story we tell about it, whether it has to do with an event or our health.
It could almost always be worse.
Keep a sense of humor
If possible, laugh at the circumstances and be grateful for whatever you can. It’s almost always possible.
Rely on professionals
Whenever possible, hire good people – caterers who don’t mind cleaning up in the rain, a good doctor – you can rely on to do their absolute best for you.
Rely on friends
Everybody pitched in to bring wedding things indoors and to clean up the day after. They lightened the load just like my friends who have been my chemo buddies.
It can be a crazy world, but with the right attitude and the right people, it can all be okay, too.