Rute and Andy's special day
35 runners ran have an amazing time in Norwich.
- Friday, 15th of May 2020
- Led by Katy
Sometimes it’s hard to do justice in writing up something that has been so special for our GoodGym family…. Where do we begin and where do we end?
On Thursday evening our GG WhatsApp group had a message from Andy to say that he and his partner Rute would be getting married the following day at the hospital after getting special permission given Rute’s rapidly deteriorating health. Wow! How on earth do you digest and respond to such lovely but sad news? With true GoodGym family love of course, with messages of congratulations and support pouring in. They went to bed knowing they were loved and that we were there for them whenever they needed us.
I woke up the next morning to see a missed call from Andy. When I called him back he described himself as being like a headless chicken running round trying to get everything sorted – a hospital bed and oxygen needed to be delivered that day to their house, he needed to get things to the hospital that the bride needed to get ready and of course he needed to get himself sorted too. He’d just found out that the wedding may be at 11am so what should he do first?! After telling him to take some deep breaths and maybe write a list, I said I would head over – I had made a bouquet and a buttonhole arrangement from the garden to drop round anyway so I quickly got dressed, packed up my breakfast and set off. On arrival Andy was looking bemused and admitted that little progress had been made as his phone hadn’t stopped ringing! We agreed that, with social distancing being maintained, I would come in and help as far as I could. We made a list, deciding that having a cuppa should be a priority (no kettle but that’s another long story in itself), moved some furniture ready for the arrival of the bed and Andy had a shower. All the while Andy was dealing with video and phone calls from a whole host of important people, not least Rute who was issuing instructions about what furniture should be moved and what she wanted him to bring with him. The hospital explained that the ceremony would now be in the afternoon as there needed to be some paperwork to deal with.
After some time hunting out where the jewellery box was and contemplating what might be used as wedding rings (my suggestion of using a couple of keyrings didn’t go down that well with Rute!) with strict instructions to ignore his phone, Andy eventually set off for the hospital, just as the bed arrived and was set up. I took the opportunity to rig up some homemade decorations for when they arrived home. After making sure instructions were left for the people delivering the oxygen and the key left with a neighbour, I headed off home, expecting a more sedate afternoon and an announcement from Andy of when they were married.
Mid afternoon Andy posted an update to say that if anyone wanted to, we would be allowed to watch the ceremony through the hospital window! After a quick wash and brush up, Bill, Beks, Steve and I headed in and were taken to the courtyard outside Rute’s window.
A massive hats off to the hospital whose staff had pulled out all the stops to enable this to happen and make sure it was a special and beautiful occasion for Rute and Andy. Rute’s room had been beautifully decorated with bunting, flowers and candles. The chaplaincy had had to obtain special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury for the ceremony to go ahead during lockdown (Andy and Rute’s earlier plans for a wedding in April at the Registry Office had been stopped with lockdown enforced) .
As there was a bit of waiting for forms to come back from Lambeth Palace, Beks, Andy and I took the opportunity of an unofficial GG good deed and gave the windows a bit of a clean so that we would be able to see through them better. The nurses did a fabulous job of helping Rute get ready and wow did she look gorgeous! After a moment of ‘where’s the groom disappeared to?’ with some speculation as to whether he’d fitted in a quick run, he reassured us with an appearance in the courtyard looking very handsome and ready to marry! He was then called through with their 2 witnesses (Helen from GG and her partner, who doubled as the photographer). Baby Oscar, Helen’s baby born the week lockdown began, waited patiently outside.
What a beautiful, emotionally charged and wonderful ceremony we were privileged to be at. The vicar did a sterling job of managing to conduct the service through a face mask and guide Rute and Andy through the ceremony, all the while being live on video link to various family and friends from different places who were unable to be there. A loud cheer rang round the courtyard when the vicar announced that they were now husband and wife and we toasted them with some fizz while they signed the marriage certificate. Most of Norwich GoodGymers were in virtual attendance, and photos flooded in of people toasting the bride and groom with tea, water, lemonade, gin (thanks Elizabeth) and wine. Rute then wanted to come out into the courtyard, so, with some wonderful support from staff carrying the oxygen, the bride and groom were announced as they arrived through the doors. Andy made a lovely speech thanking everyone for enabling their dream to come true and giving a particular nod to Justin Welby for granting special permission! Rute had a couple of bouquets to throw, with a member of staff displaying skilful dexterity in catching one before it landed – she admitted to getting in some practice!
With the ceremony completed and Rute needing to rest, we came away knowing that we had all – whether we had been able to be physically present or not - been part of a truly special and unique day for a truly special and unique couple.
Report written by Katy
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