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  • John Carey - Celebrant

"Nicki" steals the show on their wedding day!

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Can you imagine the emotional rollercoaster of combining a bucket list and your wedding planning? Sunday's wedding brought me face to face with both!

Here he is riding to his own wedding!!
Riding a Harley Davidson whenever well enough is one of Col's bucket list activities.

I met Kayleen and Colin a few years back at Kayleen's daughters wedding in Murgon, and since then have "remotely" observed the expansion of their family and have been the beneficiary of several referrals.

Late last year I received a phone call from Kayleen asking if I could assist her and Col with their plans to marry before Col passed away from complications arising from cancer treatment. Without a blink, I said "yes, whatever it takes, I'll be there to help you with this special step!"

The first visit to their home reminded me that this beautiful couple provided one of society's unseen, but important contributions; caring for injured or displaced wildlife! I knew that sharing in this moment was going to be an afternoon of free flowing tears, joy, admiration, pride and celebration!

It was at their home I first met Nicki, who was first named "St Nic", because it was thought he/she was a young male Koala joey found wandering on Christmas Day last year near Inverlaw.

Thanks to #AustraliaZoo for choosing this special couple to nurture what turned out to be a young female joey, who more than lives her name, Nicki! Familiar with releasing wildlife to their world, it was clear Col and Kayleen were pro's at bonding with creatures great and small.

In and out of hospital for several months, Col pre-determined he would be still with us on 21 February 2021, and there was no need to bring brought the wedding forward!

I love Col and Kayleen! What they live with everyday is something I don't fortunately have to factor into my days! Their outlook on life grounds me and reminds me that a life lived by what is most important to an individual, and a couple, is a life well lived.

Each time I drove out their driveway, those reminders a listening heart should hear, heard, "there is a season to weep; a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.....All of us shall go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."

Sunday was not the day for those thoughts, but a celebration that destiny had for them to be together, until the end of their earthly days.

Meeting Nicki and seeing the devotion, love and dependence she has on Col and Kayleen reminded me that for each of us, there are seasons in life to give and receive and usually those seasons are intertwined.

For Col and Kayleen, Nicki was giving in abundance to them, even though she was receiving care until she reaches an ideal weight where she can begin her next step, being returned to her natural environment - the wild!

Check out the photos of her trust in their care!

What do you say at ceremony where most guests are crying out of happiness with an overlay of an unknown end for two special people who value each other deeply?

Befitting the best of their generous and selfless humanity towards the most vulnerable creatures on the planet, it was the best experience sharing with their friends, relatives, venue hosts, caterers and neighbours to make this moment, THE BEST!

I will share a reading by EE Cummings (c) that in so many ways plays their story back to them:

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)

I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

To everyone who reads this blog, be a Nicki and find a Nicki!

We are all in this life for a season.

Forever be that person that leaves a gift that only makes sense to a bucket list, where life is not measured just by the days you spend together, but by what you write on each other's heart and leave for your children's children.

That's what Col and Kayleen have left with me.

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