7.08.2010

Greece: Curses and Crowns

Want to know how to get through Customs with no questions asked, even when you've put a check mark in the box on your customs form that says you're bringing back potentially problematic food items?? Just tell them you went to Greece for your brother's wedding, and caught some heinous illness while there, and are still feeling "iffy." Look extra queasy for good measure. That awarded me three frightened looks and wavings-on of the hand. No baggage searched. (For the record, telling security that those large containers you have in your bag contain breastmilk also does the trick, but I didn't have a baby in tow, so...)

It's true. I had 1.75 good days before an awful wave of malaise washed over me, leaving me bed ridden and incapable of doing much else but feeling and acting pathetic. I did manage to just barely drag myself out of bed and get into my bridesmaid dress for the wedding. I prayed my little heart out that I would make it. And make it, I did. "Buck up, Lyndsay!" I told myself. Weakly. Although I missed most pictures, couldn't stand at the front of the church with the rest of the wedding party, and left the reception almost as soon as I got there, I did get there.

I missed half of the rehearsal dinner the night before, as well. But while resting behind the scenes of the restaurant, I was informed that the Evil Eye was out to get me (and boy was it out to get me). A kindly Greek grandmother said an Anti-Evil-Eye prayer on my behalf (and I was told I was "very cursed" which I agreed with). A few people watched on, probably hoping for a miraculous recovery. And while I am totally open to that type of healing (especially in my state, and in that country), the Evil Eye only had "eye" for me. No miraculous recovery to be had. A doctor visited me in my hotel the day after the wedding, and administered 3 shots to the bum, along with electrolytes. But the next day, after flying into Athens, we had to cancel our day of sight-seeing in lieu of a 4 hour stay in a private clinic. This time, an intravenous concoction had me feeling better for the most part of that day (and boy do they pitch-fork those IVs in over there—woah). But again, it wore off by the next morning. GROAN.

This is all probably sounding pretty dramatic. And I admit I can have a flair for that when I want to. But I am not exaggerating when I tell you my 24 hours of flying home the next day were the worst of my life. We're talking debilitating nausea that radiated out in to my fingers and toes. I have never constantly prayed (read: pleaded) the way I did on this trip. At some point during my 7 hour layover at DFW I asked a security lady if there was a medic somewhere in the Airport, and she asked me if I wanted to call 911, and laughed. I gave her a grave look. I even found a bunch of LDS missionaries standing around, and I implored them to say a prayer for me, which they assured me they would. Then there was the unknown voice I kept hearing in my head telling me, "You're almost there, keep going, you're doing great...just hang in there." You guys. It was extreme. I was SO pathetic. Gosh. Good thing no one I knew was around to roll their eyes at my theatrics. VERY LUCKILY my parents booked me first class for the flights home. So I had a 9 hour flight from Madrid to DFW that was as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. I told the flight attendants about my "state" (and the prescription anti-nausea medicine I was popping hourly to put the fear of God into them). They gave me some extra attention, I slept, and felt relieved to be going home.

It's almost a week later, and I am still weak and wobbly. But I seem to be on the mend. I still don't have the stomach to stare at my computer screen for too long (it took me all day, here and there, to type this post), so I still haven't uploaded my photos from the first 2 days in Greece. I have no photos from the remainder of my trip. So I am glad that I can steal a few from my brother until the professional wedding photos come in. I think almost as bad as how I felt, is how much of a burden I was to everyone else. Both of my parents had to miss parts of the rehearsal and reception dinners on my behalf. And they gave up a full day of Parthenon-seeing, and Athens-touring to accompany me to the clinic. And I love them for that. Now that I am home, it would be great to be back to my normal, mothering self. But I am still a little weakling. Kind of sad to get a wife/mother back that you've been missing, in such a pitiful state. No fun for anyone.

But now let's take a look at the silver—no, GOLD—lining.


On a very happy note, the wedding was spectacularly gorgeous. You see these beautiful old churches when you go to Europe. But to experience one—have it come alive while you are part of a wedding—is amazing. I couldn't shake the feeling, watching Greg and Katia standing hand-in-hand in the small chapel, of the magnitude that I was watching their history being made. It was like looking back at old photographs of their wedding day when everyone is young and smiling, and surrounded by people who love them. They brought a priest with them from America, so we were able to hear the ceremony in English. It was beautiful. Two simple crowns of significance were placed on top of each of their heads, then switched back and forth between them. It made me think of the two bands on each side of my engagement ring. It was great to be reminded of my own covenants that I've made with Wes, while seeing Greg and Katia make promises to each other. It felt like everyone was a part of the ceremony, in a way . It was all very special. And I was happy to be able to witness their union, and share even a small part of their big day.

This is Katia (aka my new sister), looking stunning:

This is my brother, Greg (and posse):

This is the fantastic Greek Orthodox church in which they were married (totally spectacular):

And this is Greg and Katia Beauchamp (that's pronounced Beechum):

More photos to come in the next week, when I get my bearings.

Congrats, big little brother! Thanks for the wonderful sister-in-law. I love you both.

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{april kennedy} said...

'Oh no' is what I said out loud when I read Wes's post that you were on your way home, but had been sick the whole time. I would have asked those missionaries in the airport for a blessing!

Hope you are feeling well soon. I have missed you and your amazing design abilities....I have a bit of a horror story for a later date to tell you about and at one point dave said...'you need your lyndsay!' I agreed whole-heartedly.

Lyndsay said...

April--they were boarding their plane, or else I would have asked them for a blessing!! I was totally desperate for anything I could get at that point. Ha!

thirtynothing said...

Oh gosh! This sounds horrible, Lyndsay. I'm glad you're on your way to recovery, but I am so sorry you had to deal and are still dealing with this! Boooo... I'm so glad you were with family through it, though. There's nothing like your parents taking care of you when you feel horrible! Even if you yourself are a parent... :)

Rest up and get better soon!

christina said...

How awful! Sick in Greece!

Ah well. Guess that means Wes will have to take you back there one day.

Glad you're back. The blogosphere is less fun without ya.



-c

Alison said...

I'm glad that you had that 1.75 days in Greece to really enjoy! Sorry you felt so crummy the rest of the trip! I can't believe how growed up Greg looks! I remember when we were working on a project for Francais Deux or Trois and all he did was pester the crud out of all of us at your house! Looks like the wedding day was a beautiful day indeed!

Christy said...

Oh you poor thing. But at least you made it home safe and sound...these are lovely photos and I look forward to seeing more. Rest up!

Lexi said...

So, so sorry! To be that sick so far away from home--just horrible! I know you were so looking forward to this trip too. I hope you and Wes can make it back some day illness free and enjoy the sites you missed. It's good to have you back in blogland though. Now rest up and spend some time curled up on the couch with that sweet Maya and adorable Finn. Grab some rentals and some good books and make the most of it! Sending thoughts of health and healing your way. :)

Asha de L'arbres said...

What rough trip!! Glad to hear you're on the mends! My mom recently had a stomach bug that kept her on a short leash for weeks on end! Glad your's was not so sweet but shortish. The wedding looking lovely!

KatieJ said...

I'm glad your back but oh so sad you have been so sick! That sounds absolutely miserable!! I can't imagine- or I can a little, but I know it was so much worse! I hope you keep getting better and feel great soon!

Rachel said...

Yay, your back...even though it's semi back it must be nice to be with your fam and sleep in your own bed! Love the photos you've already produced, can't wait to see more. Katia is quite pretty as well, what a lucky gal you are to have such a sweet new sister:)

Barefootlotuss said...

Wow, thank you for this update. . . .what a trial. . .it was soooo wonderful to see you before and during all this. . .wish we could have done more for you at the time, too. It was a real ordeal, I get. Rest and rest some more. . .xoxoxox
shannon.

Joel and Valerie said...

I laughed when I heard about the shots in the bum and then I cried...I can't even imagine. I hope Wes has been able to be around this past week! Please send your kids over anytime! I feel awful about your trip--but I'm proud of you for already seeing the "silver lining" of it all!

LouBoo said...

Oh Lyndsay you poor poor thing - this pretty much my worst nightmare to be ill and having an event to attend - especially such an important one! Plus to have to travel too. You poor thing! So sorry. However it looks like in your 1.75 (in the part 2 post) that you made a good attempt at having a lovely time! The wedding pics are stunning. Take care now...Lou x