Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Awesome Love Story Part II

So after 28 or so odd years and a short engagement, it was finally Dan and Karen's wedding day.  They had an afternoon wedding planned; ceremony at the Catholic church in the small town where they both grew up, reception and toasting in the old, beautiful junior high - now converted to a sunlight-filled community center.

Todd and I arrived at the reception, having missed the ceremony because of a napping baby, and when the best man stood up to speak, he wasn't wearing any shoes.  Nor was he wearing the requisite orange tie.  Something was amiss.  He apologized for not being around earlier, made some mention of a hospital, and continued with his toast.  Todd and I had no idea what was going on - seeing as we hadn't been at the ceremony, we were in the dark.  As, apparently, were most of the other people in the room.  We got the story much later that evening from the bride and groom who stopped downtown to show off their regalia before heading out to begin the honeymoon.

Flash back several hours:  the bride, petite in white, and the groom in a tailored suit and fall-inspired orange tie, were getting dressed for the ceremony, asking all the while, "Where is the best man?"  The best man who had flown in from Pennsylvania to stand up at their wedding.  The best man who had been entrusted with the rings because he was the most trustworthy among the wedding party members.  The best man who was, at the moment, MIA.

As the moments ticked on toward go-time for the ceremony, people started to fret.  Seriously, where could he be?  He didn't get too drunk last night.  He's here from out of town.  He has the rings.  He's TRUSTWORTHY.  It didn't add up.

As the time drew nigh to take some pre-ceremony pictures, panic set in.  And then came the call.  The best man had been in an accident.  Only really, accident is an understatement.

Apparently this guy is diabetic.  VERY diabetic.  And he ate breakfast that morning and took his insulin, but between jetlag and pre-wedding distraction, he gave himself the wrong dose.  As he drove down the highway that morning toward the church, he started weaving.  And then he swiped the side of a semi. Several times.  He was having a diabetic seizure.

The driver of the semi pulled of and called the police, reporting an erratic driver.  Apparently the best man (I never caught his name) realized something wasn't right, and tried to pull off the road, only to pass out at that moment.  The car - a rental no less - went over a fence and - you got it - into a pond.  And it was sinking.  Quickly.

The paramedics and police arrived as the water level was breaching the windows.  They struggled to pull him out.  They couldn't get the doors open, and he to break windows and cut him out of the seatbelt.  They did, however, manage, and as the car sank they gave him a sugar bolus.  He came too, and immediately said, "I'M SUPPOSED TO BE IN A WEDDING RIGHT NOW!"  And then he said "THE RINGS ARE IN THE CAR.  THE CAR THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE."

As they sped him off to the hospital, a tow truck was called, and through a relay of public workers, the rings were found.  The car was pulled from the pond, and at first the responders said the rings weren't there.  But the tenacious best man sent them back.  YES.  THEY ARE IN THE CONSOLE.  Remember that Dan's mom had passed away just over a year ago?  The ring he was to wear?  His father's.  They kinda wanted *that* ring.

So they went back, dug through the soaked rental car again, and through a relay of helpers from tow drivers to firemen to paramedics to police, they got those rings to the church. ON TIME.

While the best man didn't make the ceremony, he did MAKE IT.  Five more minutes, people, and there would have been no best man.  Probably no ceremony.  Just a lot of grief and misplaced guilt on the day that was supposed to be Dan and Karen's happiest.  But! But!  That didn't happen! They saved him!  With minutes to spare, the friend was saved and the wedding went on, and he arrived, shoeless, to the reception to roast his friend Dan.

People, this wedding was meant to be.  Dan's life just a few years ago was in jeopardy, but he lived.  Karen had been single, never married, waiting for the right guy.  At age 37, she found him - at his own mother's funeral.  Not even a sinking car and a diabetic best man could stop them from finally exchanging those rings.

Here's to you, Karen and Dan.  Here's to what is meant to be, and to a beautiful future for you - with no more near misses.  You made it.

Photo by Trina Baker of Gallery32


Eliza said...

What a cool story, Megan. It's right out of a sad/happy movie.

amyglester said...


Gallery32 said...

That is so insane! We were at the wedding 20 minutes early and had no idea. WOW! Destiny.

Busymom509 said...

Megan, what a nice write-up!! I was sitting on the edge of my seat as I was reading it, and I was even at the wedding, fully aware of what was happening. You see, Dano is my little brother, and come hell or high water, literally, he was going to be married on that day as planned. And, if not for that pesky low blood sugar, the best man would have been in attendance at the alter during the ceremony, fully dressed and rings in hand. Between the efforts of the police, ambulance, tow truck driver, ER doctor and nurses, and patient, the day was saved. I hand delivered my father's wedding ring along with Karens from the tow yard to the acting best man, my other younger brother, pond-soaked box and all! Then my daughter made a flying trip to Wal-Mart with sizes in hand, for the traditional black pants, white shirt, black socks, boxers, etc, to get our best man to the church in time. Keep in mind all of this happened in the HOUR before the wedding. The nurses scrambled, the doctor hurried, trying to get the best man released in time, but it wasn't to be. That pesky blood sugar just wasn't high enough to safely release him. But that gave him time to eat, shower, dress, and make it to the reception in time to toast, and roast, the groom, my brother Dano!! It was a beautiful day, a beautiful wedding and a beautiful love story, and we all couldn't be any happier for Dan and Karen!! Thank you so much for the story. Kelly (Dano's favorite sister)

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