Monday, May 2, 2011

Three times is the Charm... I DO!

Ever heard of a Rose Ceremony? And NO I’m not talking about the Rose Ceremony at The Bachelor… What about a Hand Fastening Ceremony? No??? Me neither, well until I met our new minister that is!

Being sick sometimes means you meet new people… I know sounds a bit strange but let me tell you how that goes.

My mom and dad had to go to Cleveland to renew their passport. At the Dutch Embassy the met a very sweet gentleman named Arnie. My mom and dad started chatting with Arnie about dairy farming, and ended up talking about me. You have to remember this was in 2008 and emotions of me being sick and undergoing chemo were at the tip's of everybody’s tongues.


Arnie told my mom and dad that he had a dear friend, Mr. John Regan and John was a cancer survivor himself and helping others when or wherever needed. He told them, “If I needed somebody to talk to, I should just call his friend John”. Well, not long after I decided to give this Mr. John a call. And it was great! Not great because the subject (cancer is NOT a funny subject) of our discussions where so good but because I could relate and he was a very VERY positive and good humored man. I had never seen John, never met him or even knew where he lived, but 'it' and the talking to him felt good.

Soon after we got done with all the chemo in 2009 I asked John, who happened to be a minister, if he would mind coming up to Indiana and marry Bastiaan and me for REAL this time in a little church in front of our family and friends. Luckily he said yes.

A couple of months into planning this wedding John asked me what kind of ceremony we wanted. “We didn’t know, just a nice one would be fine with us”… John suggested two things; a rose ceremony or a hand fastening ceremony??? In the mean time our relationship (John’s and mine) evolved from calling on the phone to writing emails and when I read “Rose Ceremony” I did a double take and thought “OH NO! Anything else then whatever it is that reminds me of the SLIMY BACHOLOR (and yes i watched EVERY week...) from TV!!!” So we decided to go with the Hand Fastening Ceremony…


My next email to John was: “And what is the hand fastening thing exactly, do I need to bring a piece of rope?” (yes pretty blunt...)
His answer: “This is a slightly different type of wedding ceremony which is called hand fasting and it is of ancient Celtic origin and it is where we in the USA got the expression "Tying the knot" from, to mean someone is getting married. I have a beautiful white and gold-trim piece of rope specifically designed for use in this ceremony. I drape it over the hands of the bride and groom as you make your vows, then TIE THE KNOT. It is loose enough so you slip your hands out after the vows and I hand it to the best man or maid of honor.”

I think he kinda knew that I had this strange idea in my head about hand fastening after reading all those disturbing Stephen King novels…

I talked to Bastiaan about it, and he thought it would be just fine.

Between October 2009 and May 2010 we had sent new invitations, made a new guest list (because all the great new people we had met running in and out hospitals and operating a large dairy), dusted off my wedding gown that had been moved back and forth between our house and my mom’s house for two years in order for Bastiaan not to see it, did major remodeling to make sure all our friends would have a place to sleep…. Well, I just wanted a new bathroom but I had to give Bastiaan a good excuse… and planned the wedding of our dreams.

On May 15th of 2010 Bastiaan and I stood in front of Mr. John (who we met for the very first time in the flesh that day) and he wed us. The ceremony was beyond beautiful. The little church was full of loved ones, flowers and laughter. The Hand Fastening Ceremony was new to almost 95% of all the people that were there, so very interesting and humbling for most of us. There was some crying, some laughing some praying and some "just being happy". You could feel it in the air...


Just like how I got my horse this wedding was a gift from above.

If you ever where a little girl… trust me… this was the wedding you had wished for. After surviving this awful disease, after loving each other was made into a very hard thing to do, moving to a different continent, doing something you have never done before (dairying), we stood in front all our family and friends and felt as one.

Our first time getting married was good, because Bastiaan and I already knew we belonged together.
The second time getting married was tough, because Bastiaan and I were tested to no end in our love, our strength and our determination.
Our third time was perfect, because we overcame and had all the people who we love with us to celebrate.

It was a good day.



And no! This is not the end! The love story continues… I sure hope you'd stick with me!

And I just want to say thank you all for so many lovely, encouraging, humor full, sweet, fantastic, empowering and just absolutely WONDERFUL comments! For everybody who has read my blog in the last two months, if I would see you in person I would give you a huge kiss and hug and say THANK YOU for bringing me so much joy!

45 comments:

texwisgirl said...

your beautiful story and photos just gave me chills. truly you 2 have been thru so much already but have found a love so deep and rich. God bless you both!

i'm very glad i have 'met' you thru blogging. you have a great story to tell...

Samantha said...

LOVE this! Your love for your husband (and your life) really comes through in your posts..makes me smile every time :)

Sandra said...

the more i read the more i got tears in my eyes and i don't even know you. this is one of the most wonderful stories ever. your dress is beautiful and i have never seen a wedding picture with a horse and it is my most favorite wedding picture ever. thanks for sharing your story and to me it is better than any fairy tale wedding I have ever seen. I am thinking this would make a great movie. God's blessing on you and your husband and i wish you many many years of happiness.

Andrea said...

Leontien, imagine my surprise when I actually found someone I knew while just blog hopping! Well, kinda knew. :o) My husband, Rob, comes out at works at the dairy occasionally. What a great story.

Andrea said...

I mean to type AND works at the dairy. Sorry for the typo!

Nicole said...

That's cute!!! I never heard of the rose ceremony or hand fastening ceremony before. They sound very interesting.

LindaG said...

What a great story. Lots of pictures and smiles.
God bless. ♥

Sharon said...

Beautiful, I was near to tears, what a perfect way to tie the knot - I never knew what it meant before either. Lovely Bride and Groom and a great wedding gift, to boot!

Congratulations! So which anniversary do you celebrate?

About Muriel said...

100 times better than the royal wedding:)Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds perfect. You made a gorgeous bride!

Hanneke said...

Hi,
again tears on my keyboard, with every story you tell i miss you more and more. I'm so very happy that we can hug very soon.
kisses from your little sister

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

You looked gorgeous and happy:) And I just love the little church you were married in!

It's me said...

O wat een heerlijk geniet verhaal weer !!...wij zijn ook in een heel klein kerkje getrouwd !!...liefs fijne week van mij...xxx...

Naomi said...

Congrats!!! New follower from Happy Monday Blog Hop. Thanks for linking up!!!

Dreaming said...

You have been through so much - and this lovely wedding is such a great way to celebrate your union and your triumph over the disease. I've never heard of the hand-typing ceremony, so it was fun to learn something new.
Congrats - and may you have many, many more years of loyalty and love!

Out on the prairie said...

What a nice continuing story. I have met a few people who have been married 3 times , but not to the same person.

Jane @ Going Jane said...

Awww...how sweet! Glad you had such a fabulous day! :)

Kim said...

May God bless you with a lifetime of love together. Thank you for sharing.

The Coupon Sista said...

What a lovely story! (And pics)

Thanks for the follow during the Miso Glamorous Monday blog hop.

Take care!

floweringmama said...

Leontien,
If you haven't written a book, you should. Not only is your story breathtaking and beautiful, but you truly have a gift with how you tell your story.

The hand tying ceremony sounds so romantic.

Jeanie said...

A beautiful story and a beautiful wedding. I love the little church.

Nancy said...

I'm so happy for you that it all came together just the way you hadn't planned! :)

Wishing you many more blissful years together.

farmer said...

you both look wonderful. Loving your stories.

Eight years and counting said...

Your post truly moved me. I'm so touched by the love that you share, and I believe that you were destined to find John.
I am battling Cancer now, and I know how important it is to have support in your life.
Good luck.
I found your blog through the hop, and I'm a new follower!
Stefanie
http://weddedblisster.blogspot.com/

Lana said...

What a beautiful story! And I love that it is just the beginning of a wonderful life you will have. Where there is love, there is always hope and possibility! Be always at least as happy as you are right now!

HUGS!!!

Larkrise garden girl said...

Leontien, I love hearing a great love story! After watching Kate and Will tie the knot and the millions spent on their beautiful wedding. I love your wedding stories the best! Your dress and you looked beautiful.What a great wedding to remember 3 times! You married your prince and you are a princess! Cheri

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

So very sweet, isn't it wonderful how God directs our lives?

Can do mom said...

Such a beautiful love story! Don't know how you found my blog, but I'm glad you did. :) I'm a former farm girl. We don't have livestock now but live on 20 acres we bought from my mom. I can look out my kitchen window and see my brother-in-law's cattle on the hill and my sister's horses in their pasture. We've got three dogs and that's enough for me.

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I'm a cancer survivor, too, but my diagnosis came after I'd been married nine years. Ovarian cancer only 10 weeks after our third child, a son, had been born. I'm so grateful God blessed us with three children because I went into surgery expecting a large cyst to be removed and woke up with a radical hysterectomy! Eleven years later I have beaten the odds and am in great health. To God be the glory!

I pray that you will be given many years of good health as well. It is such a gift, is it not?

:)

lou said...

Oh I'm so glad to hear that the story is not ending! I look forward to reading more!

I LOVE that you have a picture with your horse on your wedding day!!! That is awesome! Sadly, I don't think that will be possible for me. Heck, I'll be happy if I can pull this thing together in time!

Thanks again for sharing all three of your "I do's" on here! It is a truly amazing story. I love reading it and so hope to actually get to meet you some day IRL!

Patrice said...

I love this story! Your interview will be on my blog tomorrow morning. You might want to write a post so your readers can go over and see it.There's a button for Barn Chicks who Blog on my sidebar if you want to use it. I hope you like it! :)

Clipped Wings said...

Just read all three of your wedding posts. Wonderful story. That you two weathered the storm together and are still together, tells one a lot about your love and devotion for each other. Beautiful wedding photo. You are a very lovely person, inside and out.

Bob Bushell said...

Good photos.

Arti said...

This is really moving! It feels so nice to see you in full bloom - happy, cheerful and smiling - This is one positive story that will surely inspire many round the globe...You have done a wonderful thing by writing about your experiences so beautifully :)
God bless you... Have a lovely day :)

Joe said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. My best friend is a dairy farmer so I'm looking forward to following your blog.

Jill said...

What a wonderful ceremony! Just beautiful! You are an inspiration. Your horse looks like a black version of mine. Very very pretty.

Anna said...

So wonderful! You look gorgeous but most of all in total bliss.

bon bon said...

leontien, what a perfect ending, to all the ceremonies; and beginning, of your life together! it's such a joy to read your unique perspective on life!

wishing you many, many beautiful days ahead!

Liz @ Two Maids a Milking said...

It was a beautiful day and one that I will never forget!!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

What a beautiful love story! I think the hand tying ceremony is very touching. You are an inspiration. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm looking forward to reading more of your story.

A piece of news said...

What a lovely story. Your gown is very pretty and the little church is so quaint. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories. Thanks for telling us these stories.

Megan said...

Love a happy ending!

Yankee Texan said...

I just awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award because I love reading your blog. You can find the details here

Trisha said...

So beautiful!! I was waiting for your 3rd story & it was worth the wait!!

Dawson Cattle Company said...

Yay! I love this story...And you are soo beautiful. Thank you for sharing with all of us. It made me cry and it was tears of happiness for you and all your family. Keep up the great story...

Toni aka irishlas said...

What a lovely and touching story. Thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your life. You inspire others with your strength.

My husband and I also incorporated handfasting into our ceremony. Our daughter made the handfasting cord and bond us. Such a special day.