The King and Queen of Hearts

It was not pretty to watch my sister’s marriage collapse as her husband, Clay, failed to hold on to any job for very long, racked up a few debts, promised to be a better man and never did get around to it. After five years, it took a lot of courage for Jeanne to finally confront him with the news that she no longer loved him and wanted a divorce.

He spun away like a top out of control, leaving Jeanne with debts that dated back to before they’d even met. We later learned that Clay took up living with a single mom, whom he impregnated with twins, and then left. “Love ’em and leave ’em pregnant” was a pattern Clay had established twice before meeting Jeanne. Although it had always been Jeanne’s biggest dream to have a child, she was happy to have evaded Clay’s “downward spiral.”

Thank goodness for a local San Diego improvisational comedy troupe, to which Jeanne belonged. Being with her friends at practice and on-stage helped to alleviate the kind of anxieties a person experiences after the demise of a marriage, even a bad one. All the world knows that laughter is indeed the best medicine!

One of her improv buddies, Andy, had a special fondness for Jeanne, and after the appropriate “grieving period” following Jeanne’s divorce, Andy began sending her flowers and love poems. It was already apparent that they shared similar interests. After a few bona fide dates, they learned that they had many things in common, including a love for children, art, the movies, good food and fine wine…

And then one day we family members received a wedding invitation on rolled parchment to announce that Jeanne and Andy were planning a Masquerade Wedding.

Family and friends all got into the masquerade spirit, some of whom attended in elaborate costumes. Even the minister, a long-time friend of Jeanne and Andy, wore a wizard hat and robe. Of course, the bride and groom were not to be outdone by anyone in attendance, and appeared in their royal attire as King and Queen of Hearts. Jeanne had hand-sewn dozens of sparkly hearts onto her gown, and looked happier than I’d ever seen her.

They say that when one door closes, you need only to look, to find another door that will lead you on the path of your desire. In this case, Jeanne stepped out of the gloom room and into a world of laughter where she is living happily ever after with her King of Hearts and their two little princes.