Yesterday in the town of Villepreux near Versailles was maybe a once-in-a-lifetime event: Nephew Christopher Holman and Rebecca Parsy were married (I suspect a once in a lifetime event) and the location of the wedding and the events afterward were over the top on the "cool" scale. Probably the coolest wedding I have ever been to.
The ceremony was in both French and English with about 300 people attending, from 21 countries, and a Catholic priest who was obviously having fun. And, a gospel singing group to mix it up. And, in a 15th century church.
My pledge to deliver a toast in BOTH English and French got a stamding ovation! Shows that a bad accent is overcome by the attempt to speak French in France.
"Chris, depuis l'époque où que tu étais petit, je t'ai vu développer la capacité d'avancer dans ta vie et accomplir ce que tu voulais faire. Tu as accompli beaucoup de belles choses au cours de tes 30 ans.
Je vois dans ta relation avec Rebecca ta capacité, et maintenant celle de Rebecca, à progresser ensemble dans l'amour et le bonheur.
Je vous félicite aujourd'hui, et je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès dans votre parcours."
One completely unanticipated event during a reading - a prayer was offered for those family members who had recently departed, and included "Chris' aunt Karen". That hit me like a lightning bolt and there I was in row 1 barely able to hold it together.
The effect of that is still rippling today. I didn't think I had that much suppressed grief left. And during the incredible events of the night - chicly dressed French women both young and old, an incredible multi course sit down French dinner, paired with very good red, white wines and champagne, dancing until very late (early), I kept mixing the joy of the occasion for Chris and Rebecca with thinking that this was Karen's kind of event - food, clothing, style, friends, fun.
I guess that is part of the discovery in the great walkabout.
Off to the Versailles palace today, Sunday, then off to Istanbul tomorrow.