I cried today more than I have in 20 years:
On the way to the wedding, Sergio was getting nervous. Isn’t it strange all the stories we make up? Is she going to be there? What if the car breaks down? Etc. In hopes of distracting him, I asked him to share some fond memories of Zita and getting to know her. His first story was about how Zita’s job when he first met her was selling beer on the beach at night as a means of putting herself through school. Zita was paying her own way through med school, working nights on the beach. She decided to stop because she didn’t think it was something Sergio would approve of. Sergio was touched, it really meant a lot to him. I was emotional already with the upcoming wedding, but this was too much, I started to have to hide my tears and suppress my cry. (Those of you who know me know that I don’t cry so I must have been tired or something.)
He also mentioned how he had asked Zita four times to go out with him and each time she had refused, but how she had continued to find ways to hang out with him so that the relationship continued. It was so difficult for Sergio to figure out whether she liked him or not. (She did. 🙂 He also talked about the time earlier that year when Zita’s father had died, and she was getting kicked out of the house. Sergio stepped in and took her to stay with family in Nacala, Mozambique while he helped finish construction on a small property that Zita’s father had left for her. Once they were dating Sergio also started to contribute to Zita’s school fees. Sergio’s own story is a rags to riches story (see upcoming blog post), and Zita’s marrying Sergio seems like a Cinderella story of its own. My emotions were building, and this wasn’t good. I was supposed to be supporting Sergio.
As Sergio started to walk down the aisle for the wedding, we were both crying. I looked away. Next Zita drove up and I helped her out of the car. She looked gorgeous (of course). I took her arm and we stood waiting for everyone to be settled. She too had tears of joy in her eyes and I squeezed her arms multiple times to encourage her. Finally, the music started to play, and we began to walk down the aisle. It was beautiful.
After handing Zita over to Sergio I stepped into the background. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long as I was requested to come forward and sit upfront. The advantage of this was that I got some of the best pictures. The wedding lasted about 1.5 hours and included both a Christian portion and the official state portion. Afterward, were more pictures and the wedding reception. We left the reception at around 9 PM and I drove both the bride and groom through their village honking our horn with the stream of cars behind us. We went to Zita’s house where everyone got out and sang songs. Awesome. The same happened when we finally reached Sergio’s house. The couple emerged from the car and the wedding party greeted them in song. Wow!!
At the end of the evening, I drove the photographer home and proceeded back to Sergio’s house to pick up the bride and groom to go celebrate with Zita’s family. However, just as I approached the house Sergio called and (wisely) told me that they were tired and they didn’t need to go back to Zita’s family. I turned around and made the 30+-minute drive sans GPS, maps, and on dirt roads at night back to where I was going to stay. I finally made it and was ecstatic that I found it. My only consolation in not making it was that the worst case would be sleeping on the beach – which would have been just as good.