By turning my ring John had made representing the eclipses into the engagement ring, we did not have to worry about finding another ring. We told each child one t a time, listening to or seeing their reactions when we were able to do this in person. Savannah had the biggest reaction, for she burst into tears. I said, “Savannah, are you okay? Do you not want us to get married now? You have wanted this for years, but have you changed your mind?” Between tears, she said, “No, I am so happy.” I think she did not believe we would ever get married. All four of our children were delighted. But I do believe they were each shocked that we were finally going to marry! It had been five and one-half years of dating with a six-month “stepping back” thrown into this courtship.
John asked me how I felt about us living in his house? Would it bother me? Did I want to live in his house when we married? Of course, I did. There was no doubt in my mind since it was a carbon copy of my grandparents’ home. That house was taken apart and removed from its land years before John and I met. We discussed our feelings surrounding this house and even decided to have a family wedding here. We also discussed how we might freshen up what would be our home. Deciding we would like to redo five of the downstairs rooms before the wedding. By doing all of the work ourselves, we could save money on that. Some of the expensive changes we hoped to do could be done later. At that time, we were both having to watch the money situation. We both worked at our careers during the week, but weekends consisted of us working on the house and continuing our spiritual walk when there were activities. By March 18, we achieved our home goal. It felt happy, cozy, and welcoming for our guests.
This wedding was a family event. Before the wedding, Savannah sat John down and had a talk with him in the downstairs room while I was dressing upstairs. She asked him if he was sure that he really wanted to get married to me and explained that he did not need to do this if he was doing it for her. John made certain she knew that he loved me and wanted to get married. Joe Shumate, my cousin, was the District Judge of Garvin County in the past. Alma Wilson, my mother’s best friend in high school, was now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Alma made the arrangements for Joe to come out of retirement for a day so that he could marry us. She was sad because it was a family wedding and she was not attending, but happy she could help.
By the way, it was a hot day. Our air conditioner went out. It got sweltering in the living room and the foyer where we were getting married and where everyone gathered. I have a personal friend, Gloria Star, who shared the best time to marry during that day. Gloria has written more than twenty books on astrology. We became good friends when we both lived in Norman. John and I both think lots of her and asked her the best time. And, I am writing this twenty-six years later! My son walked me down the long hall towards John, who was waiting for me. Chris Blake, a nephew, played the piano in the foyer. Boston sang. Dawn read a poem. Savannah said a few words. Joe guided us through the ceremony. Every person there was related to us. I wore a beautiful borrowed pink dress that belonged to my cousin, Judy. John had on his best suit. Afterward, we all went to Ragna’s house for a celebration dinner. There were tables set up all over the house with white tablecloths on every table. My new sister-in-law, Sandie Blake, had made a beautiful floral table arrangement for each table. This truly was an amazing family ceremony.
When relatives completed making all of the toasts, the food was gone, and the visiting was over; no one was leaving. John and I decided to leave first, and our children could follow. All four came back to our house. Johnny had to go back to Norman, but the other three spent the night with us. We sat up and talked late into the night. It was so much fun. The next morning we rose. After breakfast, we quickly dressed, for all of us were going together in our van to a funeral. The funeral was for one of John’s relatives, and not one of us knew him… but John. However, we all thought this was part of a family event, a part of our honeymoon. Now that was funny. Then we all went to Tio’s for lunch and had a great time. It was a fun honeymoon and the best either of us had experienced. There was so much love!
The following week, I moved the few things I intended to bring to Pauls Valley. I had been given a dream to bring my computer, my telephone (that was before cell phones), and clothes. That was it, and that was what I brought. I left everything else. I planned to keep my apartment for a while to see how we lived together around the clock. I continued to go back and forth during the days to sell nutritional products or to make presentations.
One month later, on April 19th, we had a blessing ceremony at the land where we had all of our ceremonies. Abe Conklin, an Osage Native American, did the blessing, and everyone attending shared in it. There was drumming and singing. Abe asked that everyone make a circle for the blessing and gave a small cup to each person. He then poured a small amount of water he brought with him into each cup while sharing that he saved this water for a long time for a special occasion. This sacred water we all held came from Fools Crow’s well and was given to Abe by Fools Crow himself. Today was the day to share it for this blessing. Many friends we made on our spiritual path were present, as well as some family members. There was a purification ceremony, a feast, and camping that night. We all stayed up late and sat around the fire talking. Then Nancy told John and me that it was time to go to bed because the children wanted us to get into our tipi and get ready for bed so they could chivalry us. They did so.
On our one-year anniversary, John said, “Susanne, you have only stayed in your apartment one night since we married and we have not stayed there at all. Don’t you think you can cut that monthly expense now?” I knew it would cut my sales when I moved, but I also knew it was time that I did this. So John and I headed to Norman and proceeded to give away everything in my apartment. I had some great furniture, an excellent tv, etc. It was fun doing this “give away.” “Give aways” have been a part of our life ever since we married.
LESSON: We do not have to spend a fortune on a wedding. We can have a grand time with a smaller wedding, although it is challenging not to invite many you want to have with you on that special day. We spent almost nothing and had a great wedding, one that was especially good for our marriage with children. The blessing ceremony solved the problem of not inviting and sharing our wedding day with others. They were invited to this blessing ceremony. I felt so much better on the wonderful days of our wedding and then our blessing ceremony. This feeling was not the same feeling I had when my parents’ spent money they did not have on my first wedding, a big wedding. All weddings are sacred and every marriage takes place for a reason.
GIFTS: We included our children and that made it so good!
To this day, we are a family with many different opinions. Families have different faiths and are diverse politically, and have different thoughts about each of us’s paths, but we do have “love” for each other!
Healings for us and for our children have taken place, and we have watched miracles occur for all of us!