~Karen's Story ~
After spending ONE WHOLE MONTH in Europe during our engagement, the day of our wedding finally arrived! I woke up bright and early that morning, ready to be sealed to Jared for time and all eternity. My mom and I made it to the Bountiful Temple a few minutes early, so we were able to let everything soak in. However, as the minutes ticked by, I became a little anxious... Jared (who is notorious for being early to everything) was 5 minutes late... 10 minutes late... 15 minutes late...! I finally called him to make sure everything was alright. He answered in a very monotone voice (and my automatic reaction was that I was being stood up on my wedding day!), and he broke the news that he had been throwing up since 5 a.m. Not what I wanted to hear on our wedding day, but at least he was coming!
Jared finally got to the temple (after throwing up in the parking lot), and it was finally time. The temple workers kept trying to calm Jared, telling him not to be nervous (thankfully he wasn't throwing up because he was nervous to marry me). The sealing was so beautiful, and we couldn't have asked for anything more! The most important event in our lives had gone wonderfully; truly a miracle from our Heavenly Father.
Once we stepped out of the temple, however, Jared's condition went downhill. We got a few pictures with his true smile, but after that he just had to fake it. The poor guy had to be wheeled around the temple grounds in a wheelchair, some lovely temple flowers got thrown up on, and he was practically incapacitated by the time the luncheon rolled around.
Jared spent our luncheon on a sofa sipping Coke, and I got to sit with an empty chair next to me as I ate. He still got to participate to some extent though, so it turned out well. We felt so loved by our family and friends, and although Jared was sick, we were so happy to be a married!
After the guests had all gone, my cousin (a R.N.) and her husband (an E.M.T) started to work on their patient. They gave him anti-vomiting medication as well as an I.V., which caused Jared to pass out cold. We were quite a sight; after 6 hours of marriage, I was holding up my unconscious, hunched-over husband in my wedding dress. We marched out of our luncheon with an I.V. stuck in Jared's arm and with me holding the I.V. bag. True love! After buckling him into our very decorated car, I drove us both into the sunset!
All jokes aside, our wedding day was amazing and loved every minute of it! Jared was a trooper and I am so very thankful that he is my husband!
During our engagement, I often pondered if our wedding day would ever come with Karen gone to Europe for a month! I had my list of things to do for the wedding but it was so hard to be without Karen.
On August 11, the night before our wedding day, I spent the late hours of the day trying to pack my stuff for our honeymoon and afterward. Eleven become midnight and midnight became one. I wasn't making much progress since I was finding many childhood treasures distracting me while sorting through my stuff. I eventually made it to the couch (I was living in my family room at the time...complicated story) at 2 am. I would just wake up early the next morning and finish my packing, as I had done so many other times with homework in college. However, those plans would unexpectedly change.
I woke up feeling very ill and glanced at the clock. It was 5 am. Surely, this was just a nightmare. I desperately tried to wake myself up from the dream. Moments later, I realized my worst nightmare had come to life! I really was very sick on my wedding day! I tried to go back to sleep, hoping it would all just go away. However, when the sickness didn't leave, I called for help. My Father and my Brother-in-Law gave me a Priesthood blessing and immediately after, I knelt to pray. I prayed very fervently that I would at least be healed for our ceremony. Finally, I toughed out the pain, took a shower and readied myself to go to the temple. My dad finished packing my things and we jumped in the car to head to the temple.
The car ride was not helping, every bump causing more discomfort and pain. Karen called on the way and I mustered up the best voice I had to tell her I was sick. I probably worried her to death! Once at the temple, I paused for more...relief. As I walked into the temple late, I saw many family members and tried to look happy that they were there. Honestly, I was just glad I made it to the temple. The temple workers were as helpful as they could be, offering me a bag and asking Karen all the necessary questions.
When I entered the men's dressing room, I started feeling a little better. As Karen and I entered the Celestial room before our ceremony all dressed in white, I felt at peace in a way that is indescribable. Next to me was my beautiful spouse-to-be. We sat on the couch and tried to imagine what the experience of being sealed would be like. I wondered how long my sickness would stay away.
Our sealing went on without a hitch and the experience was amazing. I felt so peaceful and not sick! How grateful I was that a miracle had occurred. To my dismay, those sick feelings came back as we begun taking pictures and soon I was being wheeled around in a wheelchair and mustering up the strength to fake a smile just long enough for each pose. The beautiful day and the hot sun were taking their toll on me as well. I guess my faith wasn't strong enough to be healed completely, just for the ceremony as I had prayed for.
I remember my Father-in-Law helping me into the Wight House in Bountiful where I spent the Luncheon asleep on a couch, upstairs from the party. The next thing I knew, my old college roommates were helping me downstairs to the party. I was a mess and by then, my suit coat, bow tie, and vest were off. The owner of the Wight House gave me some pop to give me some fluids.
After the luncheon, Karen's cousin (a R.N.) offered to give me an IV and I thought it was probably in my best interests considering I hadn't eaten all day. However, my Vasovagal response (a medical condition that is manifested through fainting and fatigue) and the combination of a hot day with no nourishment put me under for the IV. I completely fainted after an exhausting day! However, Karen was so gracious to carry my IV bag as we left the Wight House to begin our honeymoon and eternity together. Can you believe that? Karen and I still marvel that all these events happened in one day and they happened to us!