Wedding Story: The Bride, her Tooth and runaway Ring

A memory from many years ago. A note to 21 years celebration of stronger love

Every girl has her own dream. Though not like most girls, I also had a dream, that someday, I could get married, to a man, close to my expectation. The journey was not as easy as I thought. But finally, I met the man of my dream. An Ambonese guy who made me laugh all the time and can easily accept my addiction to food. We prepared our wedding in full excitement.

The story began here. The wedding invitations have been delivered to every single invitee. I went to work. It was a usual Saturday morning, a week before my wedding. 7 February 1998. When I arrived at the office, one colleague asked me to have breakfast at Soto Blok M, near the office. Following my addiction to food, though I had my breakfast less than an hour before, I took the invitation with gusto.

I was hoping lightly, back to my desk to take my purse. When I almost reached the door, I slipped. What happened next was vague. I didn’t know what happened. What I knew only, I saw something popped out of my mouth. A few moments later I found out, it was a part of my front tooth. A three-quarter of it.

After a moment of hysterical episode, a few calls to my mom, my future husband and a dentist, I went home. A bride to be, lost her three-quarter of her front tooth, with a smile of Pippi Long-Stocking, a week before the wedding. My mom was crying. My future husband could not hold his laughter. My sisters stood in shock.

Well, there would be no wedding call-off. So we did every single thing to fix my tooth within a week. Voila! I was ready to get married on time.

The big day came. My tooth was back to its place and looked quite pretty. No problem. At least I didn’t have to go to the Church with the look of Pippi Long stocking. I was well prepared to go to the Church and received the blessing for my marriage. The holy matrimony process went smoothly and sweetly. I even could say my marriage promise without a break. I remembered every single word. It was perfect. Then we were ready to exchange rings. My man did his part smoothly. Nothing would go wrong with me, right? Well, you can hope for the best. But sometimes, you must prepare for the worst too. When I took the ring from the Pastor’s hand, it slipped off my fingers, fell down and rolled. A big laughter burst from the congregation. What the?? It took few seconds, in panic mood to find the ring. I was lucky, it didn’t go too far. It only went under my skirt. My husband, who has the heart of an ocean, smiled and gave me the look of “it’s OK, I knew this gonna happened. I was well prepared for this” Blushing, along with chuckled friends and my grinning Priest, we continued and finished the whole process till the end.

When I look back, I am truly very grateful. My tooth and my ring incidents were few of the unforgettable embarrassing stories to tell, but they were also part of the moments to remember. A funny story as a reminder to myself, how blessed I am to have a man, who love me with his whole heart, as my life partner for the last 21 years.

Semarang: Rajutan Kenangan Masa Remaja

Pengkotbah 3:1: Untuk segala sesuatu ada masanya, untuk apapun di bawah langit ada waktunya

30 tahun yang lalu, meninggalkan Semarang, kota tempatku menghabiskan 5 tahun masa remajaku, membuatku kehilangan jalinan pertemanan yang sudah dibuat selama bertahun-tahun. Nama dan wajah menjadi samar dan akhirnya hilang sama sekali dari ingatan, seiring dengan berlalunya sang waktu. Hanya beberapa nama dan wajah yang melekat dalam benak.

Perjalanan hidup memang aneh. Ditemukan kembali merupakan satu mantra ajaib. Sebagian teman sekolahku dulu di Kebon Dalem, mendadak kembali dalam hidup dewasaku. Menyenangkan? Pasti. Namun 30 tahun bukan waktu yang pendek. Waktu mengubah seseorang. Aku berubah, begitu juga teman-temanku. Aku tak bisa mengingat banyak cerita dari tiap-tiap teman. Namun dalam beberapa bulan, aku memahami. Perubahan-perubahan itu memberiku pengalaman baru. Ada teman yang dulu rasanya tak banyak bicara denganku, sekarang bisa berbagi cerita. Dulu tak kenal, sekarang menjadi teman baik.

Semarang, 26 Desember 2016, menjadi salah satu momen penting dalam rajutan kenangan masa remajaku. Memeluk erat, Ay Fang, Puspa, Julia, Lindani, Natalia, Bhe-bhe, Inge, Yenly, Yurike, Linarti. Kemudian duduk dalam diam memperhatikan teman-teman SD dan SMPku yang lain, Benny, Chatarina, Hendi, Bing Djwan – sang pemilik tempat kami berkumpul – membuatku merasa pulang ke rumah. Dalam ketenanganku, aku bisa menuliskan cerita baru dalam hatiku.

Dewi kepang teman mungilku yang namanya tak pernah hilang dari ingatan. Bisa memeluknya kembali, menghabiskan banyak waktu bersamanya, membuatku berharap kami bisa terus berteman.

Rehwen, yang kini sering kuganggu dengan memanggilnya “Wendra”. Sosok yang nyaris tak kukenali ketika masa sekolah. Sekarang menjadi sosok menyenangkan untuk berbagi cerita.

Ita Nuryanti. Sang Pemasok pil koplak Aku tak pernah mengenalnya dimasa sekolah dulu. Bahkan tak pernah tahu kalau dia ada. Entah kenapa, saat ini, dengan segala keanehannya, Ita menjadi salah satu teman terdekatku.

Ay Fang. Perempuan tomboy berwajah unik, yang masih tomboy dan berwajah unik sampai aku bertemu kembali dengannya. Melihatnya, bisa memeluknya, memberiku kesenangan tersendiri.

Linda Bhe-bhe, perempuan cantik, teman lama yang tak kusangka akan melakukan hal aneh yang membuatku tak akan pernah mau melupakan dirinya. Sewa becak. Becak lengkap dengan abangnya, demi mengulang kebersamaan naik becak di masa lalu.

Agustinus. Yang dari dulu kupanggil “dekik”. Tak pernah menyangka akan bisa melihatnya lagi. Tapi sekarang dia “Titan dekik”. Dulu kukira, lesung di pipinya akibat tertusuk paku. Ternyata memang dekik sejak lahir. Hehe..

Hendi Hariadi. Tukang ngeyel. Aku tak bisa mengingatnya sama sekali. Tapi dia teman yang menyenangkan. Dan aku bersyukur bisa mengenalnya.

Stephanie Xugie. Perempuan kreatif yang entah bagaimana caranya, akhirnya ada dalam lingkaran pertemananku. Aneh, tapi aku bersyukur bisa mengenalnya.

Arif Eko. Tak ada ingatan sama sekali tentang dia. Tapi sekarang, dia teman kreatifku.

Harry Budiono. yang kupanggil “Kian Dong” pemasok kopiku. Sama seperti Arif, tak ada ingatan sama sekali tentang dia. Tapi Kian Dong, sekarang juga teman baik. Bahkan Lenny istrinya, ditambahkan dalam lingkaran pertemananku. Menyenangkan.

Puspa, aku baru tahu kalau matanya yang membesar ketika sedang bersemangat bercerita. Suatu saat, harusnya aku bisa mengunjunginya di Makassar.

Natalia, Julia, Lindani, Linarti. Teman-teman yang baru kuingat setelah melihat foto masa sekolah. Aku senang bisa melihat mereka kembali.

Francisca Novy, teman mungilku yang lain, yang kutemui di Temanggung 2 hari kemudian. Berat rasanya meninggalkan Novy di parkiran kantornya, aku berharap, bisa bertemu dengannya lagi..

Lilis Widjaja. Tak banyak ingatanku tentang dia semasa SMP. Namun berkunjung ke rumahnya, memberiku kebahagiaan yang meluap.

Aku tak akan melupakan bahwa Tuhan juga sudah mempertemukanku dengan Kangmas Soerono Handoyo, cece Djay Yien dan salah satu teman terbaikku Ariveany Inanugraha.

Dipertemukan kembali dengan Andy Gunawan, rasanya aku tak pernah bisa bicara dengannya waktu SMP dulu. Tapi dimasa dewasaku, aku bisa berteman baik dengannya. Dengan Siswadhi Pranoto. Dia beda dari yang kuingat. Tapi dia tetap sosok teman yang menyenangkan. Aku bersyukur bisa bertemu lagi dengannya.

Tuhan mempertemukan ku juga dengan Sylvia Joyce. Datang jauh dari Medan ke Jakarta dan menyediakan waktu untuk bertemu denganku. Perempuan bertekad baja yang menjadi teman berbagi pengalaman.

Tuhan bahkan mengantarkan aku pergi ke negeri orang dan bisa bertemu dengan Vivien Subadha. Perempuan manis yang dulu membuatku kesal. Obyek perhatian pria muda yang kutaksir semasa SMP. Masa lalu. Vivien memiliki hati yang melayani. Berada bersama keluarganya selama beberapa hari, memberi kenangan yang sulit dilupakan.

Hingga saat aku menulis blog ini, aku masih berharap bisa bertemu Sylvia Danoe, sang gudang informasi. aku sempat berpikir dia intel, saking banyaknya info yang dia punya. Sentanto, teman lama yang pertama kali menemukanku di facebook. Juga seorang teman yang wajahnya masih kuingat Robby Mulyadi.

Pertemuan kembali dengan teman-teman dari masa sekolahku, pasti bukan kebetulan. Setiap teman adalah kepingan puzzle. Ada kepingan yang cocok untuk melengkapi puzzle kehidupanku. Ada kepingan yang kupikir cocok namun ternyata milik puzzle kehidupan orang lain. Namun, melalui setiap kepingan itu, Tuhan memberiku kesempatan menjalani proses menjadi lebih dewasa dan mengingat kembali panggilan pelayananku. Untuk setiap kepingan puzzle yang hadir, aku menaikkan syukurku.

Amsal 17:17, Seorang sahabat menaruh kasih setiap waktu, dan menjadi seorang saudara dalam kesukaran.

Aku meninggalkan tahun 2016 dan memasuki tahun 2017 dengan satu doa… setiap kepingan puzzle yang tepat mengisi puzzle kehidupanku, akan tetap berada di tempatnya sampai perjalanan hidupku berakhir.

Simple Life Note: 24 hours – Father

This is a simple note about one unforgettable moment of life beauty. A note from a man who became a 24 hours – father. A note from my husband. Translated into English on his permission.

Glen S Tanihatoe, October 2004

This note began when an expected great news arrived, three months after the beautiful moment of holy matrimony, the day we sealed our love with eternal promise to love and cherish till death do us part.

My wife got pregnant. I was preparing myself to become a father. A great responsibility given from the Creator. I remembered vividly, the baby grew perfectly. During the pregnancy period, we experienced no complication. When the pregnancy getting older, I sometimes saw the baby kicking and move circling the belly. We went to one senior obstetrician and follow the regular check-ups completely for 9 months. We, and the big family members joined this happiness with one wish, a safe birth process.

On 14 December 1998, my wife felt the birth signs. The long-waited day has come. We went to the hospital, arrived at 4 pm and ready for further examination. Finally, after the painful hours my wife has been through, the baby was ready to see the world for the first time.

Life is sometimes unexpected. For one short moment, we were rejoiced but only in one blink of an eye, everything has changed. I heard the nurse shout, “The fetal membrane is dark green!” “Call the doctor, now!” It was chaotic. When the doctor arrived, he helped the delivery process as quick as he can. He found out that the baby need more assistance. He must vacuumed the head, to help the baby out of the womb.

I heard my baby cried. A cry from one little born baby. Our little angel. The perfect gift from God to our family. One important and full of meaning moment. A father. I felt jubilant.
But only few minutes after that, my world, again, turned upside down. Our baby had complication. The hospital is not well-equipped. We must go to bigger hospital. I was totally confused. Less than one hour, I have to left my wife alone, my baby was inside the incubator with oxygen aid and within 45 minutes transferred to bigger-well-equipped hospital. What would happen to him? What would happen to us?

The following hours felt like nightmare. I struggled to understand what exactly happened. His lungs fully covered by sticky fetal membrane. He cannot breathe. The doctors must found other way to make him breathe. Immediate actions have to be taken, including slicing his scalp to find blood vessel, to stream the pure oxygen. All the actions made me cry. He’s not even 24 hours old, he just too small to experience all the painful process. I wish, I can do something to obviate the pain from him.

Nothing, as a father, that I can do to help him. I only stood in front of the NICU room, starred at my baby with devastating feeling. I saw his feeble heartbeat and one single breath, with all medical equipment around him, to support his life. “Dear God, I surrender now. Please give him strength. To You only I pray.” I fell a strong urge to scream but I have no longer strength to do so. That time, I even felt that my pray only reached the hospital’s ceiling.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die.”

I sat silently. I tried my best and pray for him. I had heard his first cry. I had seen his tiny angelic baby face, felt his first breathe, and heard his first heartbeat. I had caressed his chick and his soft hands. He was my son and I was his father.

I know that the Creator has the authority. He can give but He can also take. The next day, on December 15, 1998. He took my son back to HIS arm. I called my wife, 24 hours after the birth and told her, “Our son has gone.” I remembered she said, “Bung, God knows the best. Praise the Lord.”

Life is short. “They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” We never knew, when the time is come. When I remembered HIS goodness in our life, I was relieved. I have done my part, my responsibility as a father, though it was only for 24 hours.

4 months after one of the greatest unforgettable moment in our marriage life, God granted us another chance to have a baby. 18 January 2000, a baby boy was born. We both knew, he was not a substitute to our first, Hizkia Barrack. He was the chance for us, through the experience of losing one child, to become a stronger and wiser parents.