The wedding is going to have a lot to live up to when it finally happens, because the postponement party was a blast.
Robin Burris and Mark Parrino were to wed on April 4.
For months, both of their families had been talking about the upcoming nuptials at every gathering. They were to say their "I dos" at 7 p.m. on that Saturday.
But an uninvited guest called coronavirus prompted Gov. John Bel Edwards to issue a stay-at-home order that included a ban on gatherings of 10 or more.
That pretty much shut down the wedding. Well, almost.
The couple was disheartened, but neither complained.
"We knew our families' and friends' health was and is more important," said Burris.
The bride-to-be, a registered nurse, was pulling 12-hour shifts at Baton Rouge General Medical Center as coronavirus caseloads began to rise.
So Burris and Parrino, who had settled in on their would-be wedding day for what they thought would be a quiet evening at home, were surprised when they heard car horns blasting outside.
They looked at the clock. It was 7 p.m. on the dot — exactly when their wedding would have started.
"I go outside to find my soon-to-be family social distance parading outside of our house, complete with honking, Roman candles, air horns and kids playing cymbals," Burris said in an email. "They had Mark's Alabama family on FaceTime and also sent us pictures that they took prior to arriving on their parade route that included a big screen message from Mark's Florida family."
The unexpected visit lifted their spirits.
"It was such an unexpected, sweet surprise that brightened this bride’s day," Burris wrote. "To see that love and support for our relationship was so heartwarming. We are not sure when our new wedding date will be, but we know one thing: We will be surrounded by so much love and joy that we will forget that we had to wait."
Like Burris, lots of nurses, doctors and support staff, including her sister, Lisa Burris, a patient transporter, are spending long hours at the hospital. From the sisters' mom, Mary Burris, comes this poem written by her sister, Carolyn Ryan, who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
To All the Caregivers at Baton Rouge General
"Please stay strong, we need you now. You help us all, we're not sure how. You are the ones who don't stay home. You're out in front, in the danger zone. We thank each and every one of you. You do the job, you are the glue. Where would we be without your care? You're in my thoughts and prayers."
We got shout-outs from Miriam Maxwell Juban, of Baton Rouge, and Sharilynn Aucoin, of Geismar, about their awesome daughters-in-law.
Juban lauds her daughter-in-law, Monique Juban, for her compassion to those who are getting us through by making deliveries.
"I did a drive-by of my son and daughter-in-law's house just to wave at my precious grandchildren," Juban wrote. "I was surprised to see a basket at the door full of bags of chips, bottled water and assorted wrapped sweets. The note said 'To my delivery friends: We appreciate all your hard work. Please grab a snack and a drink.'
Aucoin says her daughter-in-law, Sandra Aucoin, was worried about elderly family members at risk during the pandemic so made everyone custom face masks. "She found a pattern on the internet and has made each person's mask from a different fabric, all of them bright and cheerful. The masks are fitted to our faces and include nose fitters and the proper filters. We are under orders to wear them every time we go outside!"
Anne Bosche, of Gonzales, wrote to like to share acts of kindness by her daughter, Barbara Gai, also of Gonzales.
"First, she helped her nephew, my grandson, who was unable to afford meat for his family (wife and five children) by purchasing them meat allowing them to stock their freezer. Secondly, Barbara reached out to a home-bound elderly friend who celebrated her 80th birthday on Sunday with a plate of home-cooked country pork chops and desserts. And lastly, Barbara takes care of me daily and I am truly appreciative for that," Bosche wrote.
Making it better for dogs and people
"People really are basically good," wrote Diane Huber, of Hammond, who went on to tell us about her friend, Jenny Adelman, who for years, has rescued Labrador dogs, takes care of them and finds them homes.
"Every now and then, she will walk one that she can’t let run free on her large property. She is small, the dogs are big! We love meeting her new, temporary friends," Huber wrote. "The other day she came walking toward me with a tiny little brown, fluffy, adorable dog — all fluff and wiggly body! I exclaimed that this was certainly a change in the size and asked if this was a new dog for her — was this one her own? 'No,' she answered. 'I’m walking this dog for a friend. She is a nurse and is so exhausted and sleep-deprived that she can’t get out to give the dog exercise. I go get him while she sleeps and take him back when we are done.' I thanked her and thanked her for her part in making the world a better place for dogs and people!"
A rainbow day
Kelly Marler says her 90-year-old mother is finding it difficult to shelter alone at home.
"One of her neighbors, Trinie, came over last Sunday and painted the front patio with sidewalk paint like a rainbow. It truly made her day and since then, every time she goes outside, she smiles," Marler wrote. "We are so grateful for that wonderful act of kindness during this difficult time."
Joan Pennington wrote that she and her husband, both in their late 80s, are not going out if they can avoid it.
"Neighbors have brought us food, shared flowers, offered shopping trips and one friend cooked meals for at least three days for us," she wrote.
The extra mile
"While the coronavirus wreaks havoc, there are those who go beyond the call of duty to keep us safe," wrote Leaa Pittenger. "Here at Williamsburg Retirement Community, the entire staff is going the extra mile to assure that all services are provided in a timely and courteous manner. Management oversees our adherence to CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations, meals are delivered to each apartment twice a day and activities continue."
She said the staff also sanitizes and delivers the mail and takes each resident's temperature every day, even on the weekends. "This door-to-door personal attention has been added to their regular duties," she wrote.
A front yard visit
"It's a hard time now, especially for older people," wrote Bonnie Mayard, of Prairieville. "Our great-grandchildren, ages 7, 9 and 13, missed their granny, who is taking care of her mom and dad, and came for a visit. They stayed in the front yard playing while we remained on the front porch. They brought bread, ham, milk, Little Debbie cakes, wind chimes and flowers as gifts, and placed them on the edge of the front porch. It was so wonderful just seeing them. We were about 10-15 feet apart. They stayed outside of the flower bed as we spoke; it was hard not kissing or hugging them, but at least we were able to see each other and express our love."
A helping hand
"I have unique act of kindness that does not involve the laid-off worker or an elderly person that cannot get out due to the pandemic crisis," wrote Nancy Kora, of Baton Rouge. "Mine involves the many homeless that are begging on the streets. Instead of giving money, I hand out packaged healthy snacks and bottled water. I have one veteran that asks me to open his packaged food and water because he is too weak to open it himself. Due to lack of transportation, this keeps the homeless out of the stores and helps with social distancing."
If you want to be part of our coverage, send those Acts of Kindness to theadvocate.com/site/forms/acts_of_kindness/acts_of_kindness/.