Yesterday I performed what was probably the most emotional wedding I have ever done.
Rebecca and Haydn are Australians and they’ve been together for 6 years. Haydn travels extensively doing mine exploration. Most recently his job took him to Cameroon where he was managing a project. He became ill with what would later be diagnosed as pneumonia. He was taken to a local hospital and rapidly got worse. He spent 5 days with his temperature at 42 degrees in appalling conditions in the hospital. Finally he was emergency airlifted to South Africa on the verge of death. Rebecca flew in from Australia to meet him in South Africa. Within a few days of proper treatment he improved markedly and was getting better daily.
They had been intending to get married for some time and decided that now is the time. Rebecca called me and asked if I would marry them at the hospital.
When I arrived and saw Haydn it was clear that he had been through a rough time and although improved, he was only partly on the road to recovery. Both he and Rebecca are quiet and unassuming but after some short conversation it was clear to me that they are also both strong and good people.
After completing the paperwork two nurses were called in to act as witnesses. Haydn got out of bed and walked a little unsteadily to a chair nearby.
I kept the ceremony short and simple. I handed Rebecca’s ring to Haydn and asked him to repeat after me… “with this symbol of my love….” Several weeks of pent up emotion suddenly rushed to the surface and he could not contain himself and he burst into sobbing tears. Rebecca immediately followed suit. It was a moment of profound emotion that is very difficult to describe. The joy of being alive and able to share this with one another. It took a long while for him to get all the words out but he did and a few short minutes later they were married.
I truly wish both of them all of the best. They have already overcome a major challenge and I hope it gets easier from here.