Greg: In February 2020, we were a thousand miles apart. I was at my new job in Richmond, Virginia, and Liz was working as a chef on a cruise
ship sailing the Mighty Mississip'. I had bought an engagement ring and planned to pop the question come Eastertide... This was the last month of normal
before the virus hit. When the work from home order came, I drove 18 hours back to Louisiana to work there.
Liz: When the cruise ship management told us we were shutting down, I was euphoric that I would get to see my family and Greg.
Greg: Because of the virus, we got engaged months earlier than we otherwise could have. The first day we saw each other was March 19, the Feast of St.
Joseph. If you're going to propose on a day in Lent, there's really only one good choice.
Liz: Planning the wedding was difficult; finding a reception venue, nearly impossible. The family you always knew you'd be planning a wedding with, weren’t
there because they were quarantining. Inviting people to showers was exacerbated by fights over how stringent precautions had to be. The focus shifted
from our wedding to the virus, which was more important for many people. Dozens of people cancelled within the month of the wedding, which hurt a great
deal. Our reception was at high-risk of being cancelled all the way up to the wedding day itself, which added to the existing stress of the situation.
The walk up to our wedding day was somewhere between Valhalla and Mount Doom. I was filled with so much doubt that something else horrible would stop the
wedding. But my parents were there, prepared for anything, even if it meant holding our wedding reception at their house. It was a wonderful comfort
to me that we could maintain the spiritual development of our marriage. God put the blinders on so that we could focus on what mattered most despite
the doom-and-gloom tumbling down around us. Everything fell into place. The Holy Spirit was there.
Greg: Our wedding was wonderful and the most joyous occasion of my life, because I decided it would be. Yes, the majority of my family did not come. Yes,
the reception was a third of the size that my bride wanted it to be. And as the stress built up, I just had to say, over and over and over, "We choose
to be joyful." My wife was a princess in her wedding dress, my groomsmen were goofy bachelors, my mom was there to dance with me, and my dad was there
to tell me, "Well done." My God was in the Eucharist and he smiled down on me like I've never known Him to do so before. The adage goes "No matter
what you take from me, you can't take away my dignity." I propose a modification: "No matter what you take from me, you can't take away my joy."
In retrospect, getting married was the only good thing about 2020. But it was so much greater than all of the bad, that our cup is still overflowing with