It was scheduled for July 24th in New York City.
Guests would come early and spend the night before catching a Broadway show or watching the Yankees play the Red Sox. The ceremony would be held on the shores of the East River on a cool summer evening.
And then the pandemic arrived and changed everything.
The reception has been put off for at least a year, but not the wedding ceremony. That will happen today, with only eight in attendance.
Abby and Adam have been here for two weeks, self-quarantining in our Lake Placid home. Their isolation together is behind them, and a simple ceremony on the shores of Mirror Lake will start nine hours from now. Their close friend will conduct the ceremony, which the three have planned while spending time together in the house where the wedding will be held.
Writing this, I remember my grandfather, a veteran of the first World War who survived the last flu pandemic, eventually married and honeymooned in the Adirondacks, like Abby and Adam will do now. I wrote about that wedding, and the advice he gave to his children, here.
I also recall the closing passage from Love in the Time of Cholera, when Fermina and Florentino, finally married, end up on a river boat carrying passengers infected with cholera. They fly a quarantine flag, perhaps like the one pictured above, and are prohibited from docking at their destination. When asked by the captain what should be done, Florentino responds “Let us keep going, going, going, back to La Dorada.”
This is how the novel ends:
When I finished that novel I never imagined that in my lifetime another pandemic would kill hundreds of thousands like when my grandfather was a little younger than Abby and Adam are now.
But it’s happening again and, like the Captain forced to return to La Dorada, we have no choice but to try to make the best of it.
Which is why my daughter marries the love of her life today and why my wish for her and Adam is that the journey they start today will keep going, going, going and that their life together will have no limits.