Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anniversary Post II

Today is the day!  July 27th - our 9th Anniversary!  I'm just a wee bit giddy!

For Wednesday's Woman this week, I want to reflect back on someone who had a part in our wedding, the pianist, Mrs. Whitten.

Mrs. Whitten was my middle school music teacher.  She did a great job!  I always looked forward to going to music class in fifth and sixth grades.  I only saw Mrs. Whitten in the hall after that because I had Advanced Art and couldn't also take music.  I was only in Adv. Art because Mrs. Whitten didn't choose me for chorus.  I hold nothing against her for this - she has good ears.

I did see Mrs. Whitten's beautiful home quite often though because I passed by it many days of my life as she lived very near where I grew up.  On occasion, I would see her with her husband (the high school art teacher) and twin daughters.  I knew her only from a distance until my senior year of high school when one of her daughers was in colorguard with me.  That's the colorguard in the marching band, not the ROTC.  It was then that Mrs. Whitten began riding on the school bus to competitions with us as a chaperone, but mainly, it was so she could French braid our hair.

Let me chase a rabbit for a minute.  I love braiding my three girls' hair.  Not just anyone can put their hand in your hair.  It's a deeply personal space up there on the top of your head.  It feels good to have someone brush your hair.  I like to do special things with my girls' hair because it is their crowning glory as little women, it's a way to give them something special that doesn't cost any money, and most importantly, it's a way I can spend time with them and connect.  I envision them as preteens opening up and talking with me as I do their hair. 

It was just that type of thing that would happen for me with Mrs. Whitten.  She and I talked as she braided my hair.  It was just before my senior year of high school that I met my future husband.  She listened to me gush about my new found love and saw me as I gave a sign language "I love you" to him when he came to our competitions.  I don't think she thought it was silly, at least she didn't let me feel as if that's what she thought.

The two years following high school graduation, I worked as the colorguard instructor for my alma mater.  This afforded me many more opportunities to spend time on the bus with Mrs. Whitten.  I talked with Mrs. Whitten about the classes I took and the still present boyfriend.  It was during that time that Mrs. Whitten shared some with me about her dating experience with Mr. Whitten, her college sweetheart.  I soaked it in.  I don't remember how long they had been married at that time, but not too many marriages make it that long anymore.  I appreciated hearing this Christian woman share with me how she and her husband had made it.

Flash forward another eighteen months or so, and I needed a pianist for my wedding.  We were kind of between pianists at my church at the time, my roommate was a music performance major who was also an international student and was going to be out of the country at the time of the wedding, so I was feeling stuck.  I drove by Mrs. Whitten's house as I so often did and felt as if God had given me the answer to my problem.  I called Mrs. Whitten and asked if she'd be willing to play for us.  She was willing, but her fee was a little beyond the budget my parents had allocated for a pianist.  I called Mrs. Whitten back to tell her I'd have to find someone else, and she told me she'd do it anyway. If memory serves me right, my parents did come up with her fee after all was said and done, but the offer was unbelievable.

The music was beautiful, and it was a major part of some of my memories of the day.  I remember being nervous as I heard "Canon in D" being played fby Mrs. Whitten for the bridal party to come down the aisle.  I rocked back and forth to the beat waiting for her to begin playing "Trumpet Voluntary" for my dad and me.  I remember the recessional, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" sounding just like my heart felt, exuberant.  

Mrs. Whitten gave me a great gift that day and on all the days that she spent time braiding my hair and listening and talking with me.  She was a wonderful Titus 2 Woman to me!   

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