My sister-in-law, Sherryl, posted a note on FB about the 38 happy years she’s had with my brother Pepe. That put a smile on my face. Thirty eight years of marriage is the gift God gave me; then my husband went to his heavenly home. I hope Pepe and Sherryl can enjoy many more years together.
This is going to be a tale about their fairy-tale wedding. I have scanned the pictures I found in my files and I will tell the story very much from the perspective of my girls, who were favored to be the flower girls. For my oldest daughter, Eva-Marie, who now is in heaven, it was an incredible experience. She lived on it for a long time. Every night she would listen to the recording of the wedding and she would dream about one day getting married in the United States, with what she called a “luxury” pastor.
Let me set the stage. At the time we were living in Peru, working as missionaries. Due to some changes we were going through in our plans for the future and some misunderstandings from the churches that supported us, my husband had what we at times refer to as “nervous breakdown.” We needed to leave the mission field for some time and go to Sweden.
HOW WOULD WE GET TO THE WEDDING?
Sherryl had invited our girls, Eva-Marie and Carina, to be flower girls at the wedding. How exciting was that! But how would we make it all work? We would not have time to get packed-up and be on our way to Sweden, so it would have to be an extra trip. But the Lord helped us work it out. I need to say that we were very low on finances, so and extra trip for the wedding was not in question.
My parents, who also were missionaries in Peru, were going to spend some time in Sweden. They would go to the wedding, in Chicago and then continue on to Sweden. Their gracious offer was to take the girls and let them spend the summer with them. Bengt and I would then pack our things and get matters settled with the work we were doing. I would go to the wedding and then come back; Bengt would stay. But how would we pay for the ticket?
Some friends of ours were adopting a boy from Huancayo and needed someone to take him to Sweden. The arrangement was made that I take him to Chicago on my way to the wedding and then my parents take him from there. Sounds perfect! But, what a job it was!
A TRIP WITH A TODDLER AND TWO LITTLE GIRLS
This was a one-year old boy who had gone through a lot of trauma in his young life. I didn’t know him because he had been living with a foster-mother, so I was one more person in his young and pain-filled life.
My daughter Eva-Marie had her own challenges because of her cystic fibrosis. My other daughter, Carina, was a shy little girl and would not leave her mother’s side for anything in the world. She clung to me and developed some jealousy because I had to devote so much time to this little boy.
We got on the plane and were going to fly all night. How I and all the other passengers survived that night I don’t know; but we did. The little guy would not stop crying! In Miami we had to do transfer to a domestic flight that would take us to Chicago. To get from one flight to another was an adventure. I had the toddler, I had the clinging girl (Carina, age 5), and I had my first-born Eva-Marie (7), who was all fired-up because of the up-coming wedding. I would put the boy down, walk a short distance, leave the hand-luggage with Eva-Marie, walk back to get the boy; do the same thing over again, all the while my Carina wouldn’t leave my side. I wish somebody would have come along and offered some help, but no such thing.
When we arrived in Chicago I was so exhausted I just sat our things down when we got out of the plane, and waited for my brother that was going to meet me. I waited, and I waited and I waited! If you have been on a plane you know that you have to walk quite a distance after you leave the plane until you reach the outside area, where you can meet your party. I guess I wasn’t thinking straight.
Out there, in the concourse, my brother was walking back and forth wondering what had happened to his sister. He finally went to the information center and had them page me. Luckily I heard the page! I had to do the same procedure as in Miami, of walking short distances and moving my little “party” along. When I finally reached the concourse my brother was just about to leave. What would I have done if he had left me there?
MORE CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
That was one big adventure overcome! The next one came at place where we were going to stay. Bless his heart, the gentleman who received us in his home! My nerves were already at the breaking point. Then I had to try to keep three little children from causing trouble. The first thing he said to me was that he hoped the children didn’t wet their beds. He should have just known! Eva-Marie did more than that. The cystic fibrosis did not only affect her lungs; her stomach was out of control. Lets just leave it at this and say that I was a wreck.
Somebody saw this situation and my state of mind and had mercy on me. Her name is Lizzy. Not in a million years can I thank her enough for taking us in to live at her place. They did not have a big place, just an apartment, but a big heart. The gentleman I was staying with also had a big heart, but he was over the years of dealing with little children. Remember, the little boy had big issues!
Not only did my Eva-Marie get a taste of a fairy-tale wedding, but she also found out about baby showers. She did not only want to marry a “luxury” pastor but also have her babies in the United States so she could have a baby shower. So many new and interesting things she was discovering. You see, we came from a totally different culture!
THE WEDDING OF A LIFE-TIME
It was not only for my girls that the wedding was a fairy-tale. It was just as much so for me. The flowers, the colors, the decorations… the dress! I was given a beautiful dress to wear. We all felt like princesses. And my girls were so excited about their dresses.
As I said, I was also excited about my dress. I didn’t care that somebody else had used it before. For me it was a new dress. Mom and Dad and I were so happy.
For my Dad it was very interesting because he officiated together with the pastor of the church, Reverend Robert Anderson. It could have been two “Anderson” reverends. Dad was Anderson until his youth; then he changed his name to Anderås. It’s pretty common in Sweden to change your name.
My brother Lasse, with the girl in yellow, also got to be in the wedding. And my girls had front-row seating. You can see their heads below.
Here are Mr. and Mrs. Lood, proud parents of the bride. I have so much thankfulness in my heart towards them because they were very hospitable to us when we would visit Chicago.
God established the family, a union between a man and a woman. This beautiful couple obeyed the command to be fruitful. Every year Sherryl sends me a Christmas card with the family and how they are growing. This one is from last Christmas.
By this Christmas the card will have one more little one. As I’m writing this I take a peek at FB, and what do I find? Yesterday, on Pepe and Sherryl’s 38th Anniversary, God blessed them with a new grandchild.
The Fairy-tale Saga continues…