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Story ID:8260
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Fultonham New York USA
Person:The Bride & Groom
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It was the day my step-granddaughter, the youngest of three, was to get married at four in the afternoon. A beautiful day weather wise had been in the prayers of many. Alas, that morning the sky was dark and thunderstorms pervaded the area. The bride, mother of the bride (my step- daughter), oldest sister of the bride and her daughter, age 10 and flower girl, and next older sister of the bride all went to my neighbor, a hair dresser, to get their hair done for the wedding. There were too many to all be there at once so they went in shifts.

At the beauty salon is a machine for making coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The flower girl had just picked up a cup of hot chocolate from the machine and was holding it in her hand. It was scalding hot. Her mother was behind her with back to her and did not see her. She suddenly took a step backward, bumping in to her daughter. The scalding chocolate went all over the little girl's chest. She was rushed to the emergency room where she was treated for second and third degree burn's Her little chest was covered with them. She was treated, bandaged and given medication for pain and released.

Prayers were heard after all as an hour before the wedding was to start, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the sky turned light blue with high white puffy clouds. I planned to arrive at the church for the wedding as close to starting time as possible so that the wedding would start as soon as I arrived. The front two rows on the bride side had shorter pews leaving a space on the aisle large enough for my wheelchair. I was going to sit beside my daughter without having to leave the wheelchair and move in to the pew. When I arrived at the church I discovered there were two sets of concrete stairs that had to be navigated to get in to the church. I had never noticed them before and when the wedding was being planned, no one ever thought about those stairs. Had I arrived twenty minutes early, I could have managed the stairs and my son-in-law could have carried the wheel chair up the stairs, but I did not arrive until everyone was inside the church. I sat at the bottom of the first flight of stairs and waited, unable to see the ceremony.

When the bride came out of the church she went straight to me, learned what had happened and then asked me to come to Bouck's Island with the wedding party for picture taking. I had previously explained to her that I would be going from the wedding to the nursing home to visit my wife and would not be at the reception. She graciously understood and accepted that.

The bride and groom had borrowed for the wedding from the groom's grandfather, a beautifully restored 1928 Packard antique car. I followed it to Bouck's Island. As soon as all were there from the wedding party and the parents and grand parents of bride and groom they all went to a location over 100 feet away, down a steep grassy bank and on the lawn closer to the banks of the river. It was a beautiful location for pictures. The pictures were taken while those not in the pictures stood and watched, except for me. I waited above on the black top driveway in my wheelchair. The grassy bank was much too steep to navigate in a wheelchair. When all the photos were taken, much to my surprise, the photographer together with the bride and groom headed straight for me. The bride to my left and the groom to my right, and had a couple of pictures taken with me. I was honored that they wanted a picture with me, and greatly pleased.

When the wedding was over, all the guests headed for the reception which was to be held a dozen or more miles away at the home of the groom's parents on a mountain road called Gates Hill. As soon as the picture taking was completed, I headed for the nursing home while everyone else headed for Gates Hill and the reception. All but the bride and groom were driving modern cars and drove the speed limit. Driving the antique car, the young newly weds proceeded at a much slower pace. It was necessary to drive north on Route 30 a few miles to the village of Middleburgh and cross the bridge into the village. There they turned east on Route 145 and proceeded through the village. Once leaving the village they had to drive a few miles to Gates Hill Road, and proceed south to the home where the reception was. Please understand that we are dealing with a sparsely populated area. Routes 30 and 145 are state highways and have traffic on them. Gates Hill Road is a mountain road with a few farms. Traffic on that road is infrequent. Somewhere between Middleburgh and the location of the reception, the old car ran out of gas. The occupants were dressed in wedding gown and tuxedo. It is unknown how the gas to continue was finally obtained but the bride and groom did not arrive at their reception until about nine P.M., after dark.

The younger brother of the flower girl, age 6 was the ring bearer for the wedding. He looked so great in his tux. He is just fine amongst his cousins and friends he is used to, but generally shy around adults and strangers. My daughter noticed as the party wore on, that he danced like never before. He had unlimited energy. He was also unusually outgoing and friendly with the adults and strangers. He seemed to be feeling very much at home. Most unusual for him. A little after dark my daughter noticed her grandson seemed to be missing. She immediately became worried and began searching for him. The lawn was surrounded by a hedgerow beyond the reach of the lights. It was there that she found him alone and sobbing.

She asked her grandson why he was crying. He replied that his head hurt and his stomach didn't feel good. She became suspicious as there were alcoholic beverages at the party. She asked if he had had anything to drink. He said yes, he had some coke. She asked him to show her his coke. He took her to the table where he had set it down. On the table side by side were two drinks in red paper cups. They looked the same. One was almost empty. She sipped that one and it didn't taste right. She asked her brother-in- law to taste it. He told her it was coke with whiskey in it. She then tasted the full cup that had not been touched. It was pure coke. Then she understood. He had gotten a coke and set it down. Someone else had a coke with whiskey in it and sat it down beside his coke. He not realizing, had been drinking out of the wrong cup all evening and was drunk.

The bride's next oldest sister had her infant toddler with her. At home, they have a dog and the dog and toddler spend a lot of time together. There were other little children there as well. The groom's father had obtained a Labrador Retriever a month before. It had never shown any belligerence and was mingling with the crowd of people. Suddenly the dog approached a group of small children. The toddler amongst them. The dog knocked the toddler to the ground and began pawing the child's face. The frightened child screamed in fear. The brides oldest sister ran to the dog, picked him up bodily and flung him away from the child. Aside from her fear and a number of scratches on her face, the child was unharmed. It is believed the dog singled out the child because it smelled her family dog on her.

My daughter and her husband arrived home from the reception at two in the morning. The house had been broken into while they were gone. The doors and windows had been locked except for one window that the air conditioner was mounted in. The top half of the window was where the intruder decided to attempt his entry. The window was found removed from the frame and laying on the floor inside. The air conditioner was dangling half in and half out of the window frame. Her husband having drank to much at the reception was not much help. She had to search the home to make sure the intruder was gone. She called her oldest daughter on the phone and kept her on the phone to call 911 if anything happened to her while she searched. Only after she was sure the intruder was gone did she get off the phone with her daughter. A search of the home the next day assured them nothing had been taken. They believed the window falling inside on the floor probably made enough noise to scare the intruder away before he had time to take anything.

The next day a sobered up husband left for work as usual. That afternoon when he arrived home from work, he got out of his truck and collapsed to the ground. My daughter and his daughter had to help him to the house. He was doubled up with severe chest pain and shortness of breath. A call to 911 brought an ambulance that took him to the emergency room. There a number of tests were performed and he was kept in the hospital. Test results indicated there had not been an actual heart attack but he was informed he was at risk for one. He was released from the hospital and told to lose weight, not to go to work for the rest of the week, and to take a walk every couple of hours. It was suggested he return to the doctor for more tests in a week or so. They told him his being so overweight greatly contributed to what had happened. My daughter suggested his overdoing it with the drinking at the wedding reception probably contributed too. I suspect she is right in her assumption.

For all of these things to have happened to one family surrounding the wedding, there can be no denying that Murphy's Law was hard at work.

For those who are wondering, our pretty little flower girl is healing very well. As long as she does not pick at any of the blisters she should be free of scars. Her younger brother woke the next day about six hours later than he usually does, no worse for his experience. My daughters husband seems to be recovering nicely. He has had a good scare so will probably be careful about his weight for a while at least. As for the newly weds, they went to Virginia Beach for a honeymoon. It was a honeymoon with a slightly different twist. Once before, she had gone on a trip to the Carolinas and was terribly homesick. She did not want to be homesick on her honeymoon so she invited her next older sister with her husband and child to accompany them on their honeymoon. The invitation was accepted and the last I heard, they were all having a wonderful time on the beach.

I sincerely hope and pray that Murphy's Law will practice elsewhere for the remainder of this couple's marriage. They are a great couple and deserve a happy life together. Three days before they married, my wife and I celebrated 54 years of marriage. It is my prayer that they too will have that many years and more together, in love, happiness, good health and prosperity.

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