My Own Slice of Life as a Greek
I met a boy with brown eyes and dark hair and when he smiled at me I couldn’t help but smile back. We dated for four years before he proposed. I knew from the day I met him that we had a future together. It never felt rushed or forced. I was never waiting on a ring or second guessing if we would be together. I knew things would happen when they were supposed to and I was patient with the process.
We spent a lot of time together just talking about everything. Topics like his family, his religion, his culture, and his traditions came up often. I could always sense his passion and appreciation for these topics. He spoke with much emotion and really recognized the value of his Greek upbringing. After he proposed he asked me to join him at his church one Sunday. I readily accepted knowing that he was preparing me for what was to come as the bride of a Greek boy. I began to attend church regularly with him and we sat together in the back of the church and he would whisper explanations to me and tell me what the priest was doing and why he was doing it.
We started taking classes with the priest so that I could become familiar with the Greek Orthodox religion. I soon learned that I would have a Chrismation in order to “become” Greek Orthodox. I remember sitting in the priest’s office with my stomach in knots and my heart pounding and my head flooding with millions of questions. I remember crying before the next meeting with the priest because I felt so scared and overwhelmed. I knew marrying this man was the exact right decision for me but this process seemed more difficult than I had expected. I worried about not being able to sit in church next to my parents and sisters anymore because I would be at this church instead. I thought about how most of the service was done in Greek and how little I would take away if I didn’t know what they were saying. I thought about my own relationship with God and if he approved such a switch. After many long talks and more tears, I knelt before my family and his at the altar of our church. I wore a dress and drank the communion and that Greek boy stood by my side and held my hand.
More troubles came preparing for the wedding. I learned how the vows were different than what I was used to and there would be no “I do” at my wedding. Sounds like simple little things but these minor changes seemed to add up. My wedding would no longer match the wedding I saw in my day dreams or look like my sister’s wedding or sound like my best friend’s wedding. Mine was so different.
A few months later, I walked down a long, beautiful aisle holding on to my dad’s arm. I met my gorgeous Greek boy at the end and he put his arm around my waist and smiled a tearful smile at me that I will never forget. I knew that he was happy to see me but I also felt an appreciation for making it through the processes that led us to be standing there together. That Greek boy kept his arm around my waist and whispered the vows that I was used to hearing as the priest read the other vows aloud. We walked around the altar three times, hand in hand, and connected by crowns of flowers on our heads. He made my wedding day better than any dream I had ever had.
When we stand in that church, in the back now because we need a quick escape in case a baby is crying or a toddler is yelling, I think about his arm around my waist, the tears in our eyes, the secret vows, and the beautiful Greek family and Greek life we have together and I smile into his loving brown eyes.