Monday, November 23, 2009

Love And Marriage

It was a far cry from the way Ilkka and I got married, that's for sure. Last Saturday evening, our twenty-two year old daughter, Anna Mirjam Talvi, was betrothed to Andrew Michael Blick after a courtship of over three years. Anna and Andrew hosted a beautiful, non-traditional ceremony at the Roeder Mansion in Bellingham with a small circle of dear friends and family in attendance. As Anna made her way down the staircase into the gathering, there was an audible gasp from the audience. To my eyes, there's never been a more magnificent bride. If my mother were still alive, she would have kvelled at the sight of her grand-daughter. Perhaps Anna has a sixth sense. Her grandmother had visited in a dream, and appeared to her brimming with joy and excitement for the sacred event.

Native American prayers and Jewish meditations of Kabbalistic origin helped to create an illuminating, spiritual experience. The ceremony was further enhanced by the musical poetry of violinists Rose McIntosh and Alyssa Fridenmaker. A dessert reception followed with a charming and captivationg toast by the father of the bride, who, I might add, appeared radiant. Seated by our side during the ceremony was our dear friend, retired Seattle Symphony violinist, Karen Bonnevie. Karen hosted the baby shower before Anna's birth back in 1987, and has watched over our family all these years. She is also Anna's chosen Godmother.

Our girls, Anna and Sarah, have always enjoyed hearing the tale of our own unconventional wedding,  especially since our reception consisted of a trip to Carnation's, the ice-cream parlor. Ilkka, rather than popping the question, made a proclamation that we would be married when I turned twenty-five. And so, after a grueling recording session in Los Angeles (our wedding was set for eight o'clock in the evening, but due to over-time, we didn't make our appearance until after ten) we tied the knot. Our event was witnessed by four people: the pastor, my late mother Fran Kransberg, and Ilkka's two daughters from his first marriage. I still remember the taut smile on my mother's face; the look of anxious resignation at the thought of losing her fourth daughter, the baby. She herself had been married for thirty seven years before being jilted by my father. I suppose my mom had lost faith in marriage for a while, and trust in the male species. But a few years later, when she laid eyes on Anna, she shook her head and said, "It's meant to be." 

Pastori Lehti, a friend to the Finnish community, performed our service with soft spoken dignity. He warned that marriage "for better or worse" is not so difficult when times are good. But when life throws a curve for the worse, he said, that's another matter. This is when marriages tend to fall apart. Devotion, emotional maturity, and inner strength are ingredients for a solid marriage; wisdom which has been embedded into my heart forever. And in turn, I'd like to pass this recipe along to my Anna and Andrew. May their lives be filled with joy, blessings, and devotion to one another at all times.
in photos: Anna Talvi & Andrew Blick
Karen Bonnevie & Ilkka Talvi
Sonja, Ilkka and Marjorie Talvi, Donald Lehti & Fran Kransberg

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