Early July, 1972

After all the work and anticipation of four months, David and Emily's wedding day finally arrived.

The Maxwells' back lawn was beautifully set up for the wedding. White chairs were arranged for the guests in two wide rows. A deep red carpet was laid out between the rows that led from the Maxwells' patio to the arbour.

The trellis at the entrance to the arbour was now in full bloom with climbing red roses. The pine hedges behind the trellis had been carefully trimmed. It was all so beautiful! David choked up a little as he waited  for the ceremony to begin. The girl that he had loved his whole life was going to be his bride!

The aisle was lined by David's fellow uniformed police
officers, complete with ceremonial swords. David and Kyle were also  wearing their dress uniforms.

David stood at the trellis with Kyle as his best man, and Stuart as the groomsman. The Maxwells' upright piano had been carried out to the patio. Estelle played it as Judy's five year old niece scattered rose petals from a basket as she walked down the carpet. She was followed by Stuart's seven year old nephew, who carried out his role as ring bearer.

Joanie walked down the aisle in a long silk floral gown with fuchsia satin underlay. The empire bodice was made of ecru lace, as were the long sleeves.  She was the maid of honour.Judy followed in the same pattern of dress, but with an emerald underlay. She was the bridesmaid

When Estelle played the wedding March, all eyes  went to the patio, where Emily began her journey down the carpet to meet the love of her life. Her father Barry  escorted her down the aisle.

Emily  wore her grandmother's antique wedding dress. Her mom had worn it when she married her dad, and Joanie would wear it when she married Stuart. It was over a hundred years old! Luckily, the Maxwell women all seemed to conform to the same body type.

It was made entirely of handmade lace with white silk underlay. The bodice had a scoop neck, and lace sleeves. the full skirt trailed behind her in a long train. The veil was made of matching white lace.

Emily literally trembled with the effort to hold back the tears. So did every other woman  that watched this beautiful young woman walk down the aisle.

When she reached the trellis, Barry gave her hand to David. This was one of the defining moments of David's life. After the vows were made, and the 'I do's' said, David and Emily kissed for so long, and so passionately, that the minister had to clear his throat to get them to stop!

They walked down the aisle together as husband and wife, under a tent of crossed swords that were held above them. They had now entered the next stage of their young lives - as a married couple.

After the ceremony, everyone gathered behind the couple to walk across the road to David's back yard where the reception was being held in a huge wedding tent.

As David and Emily walked in front, Estelle walked directly behind them with Mark in a wheel chair. Although he could still walk, he used a wheel chair whenever he had to travel more than a few feet at a time. Kyle had offered to push Mark, but Estelle wouldn't let him.

The guests milled about, as they found their places at the tables under the tent. David took over from Estelle and wheeled his dad to a table right below the head table. Colleen and Barry would also be seated there.

Emily hugged and kissed David's parents. She crouched on her toes in front of Mark, to talk to her new in-laws.

"Thank you so much for helping us get everything together in just four months, Mrs. Larson."

"It was the greatest pleasure for me. I have no daughter to get
ready for her wedding. A son just has to get dressed and show up on time! You are our daughter now,  Emily. We would really like it if
you would call us mama Estelle and papa Mark."

 With a sigh of relief, Emily hugs Estelle.

"I was wondering what to call you now. I've always called you Mr.and Mrs. Larson out of great respect.""Well, we're both so happy to welcome you to the family. You are now a Larson!"

David took a couple of chairs and placed them in front of his parents. He helped Emily arrange the skirt of the antique dress. Mark leaned forward slightly.

"The house you're renting is only three blocks away. You don't mind living so close to us? Nothing was ever said, but I know that David wants to stay near home for my sake."

"I don't mind at all. I like being so close to home." Emily told him earnestly.

Mark held Emily's hands as he spoke from the heart.

"You know that we are David's biological grandparents, and we
adopted him at birth. I'm almost 78 years old. I've had a good life. My health is failing, and I know I probably won't last another five years."

At this, David got up to stood behind Mark's wheelchair. He hugged  his father's shoulders and kissed the top of his head. Tears of joy and sorrow coursed down his face. Mark turned his head to speak to his wife.

" When I go to my final rest, I don't want you to grieve too long. You're seven years younger, and healthy, my dear. There will be grandchildren for you to love and take joy in. Don't be too sad too long for my sake. I will love you forever wherever I end up, so allow yourself to be happy."

By this time, everyone except Mark wept openly. Mark patted Emily's hand.

"Now go enjoy your wedding day, you two. I'm just fine here. Estelle is the best nurse in Canada in my eyes, so don't worry about me. Go... go!"

Mark shooed them away with both hands. Emily smiled through her tears as she rose from the chair. David kissed his mom's forehead, then reached over and took Emily's hand. Barry and Colleen joined Mark and Estelle as David led his bride to the head table.

The End

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