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The Wedding of Stacey Lee Schweigert and Michael Atom Cook

The Wedding of Stacey Lee Schweigert and Michael Atom Cook

June 21, 2003 at 10:00 AM at Grace United Methodist Church, Valley Stream, New York

    The day of the year with the longest daylight provided no sunshine outside, but inside, the church and the hearts of those present, there were plenty of happy rays.  Stacey Lee, daughter of Walter and Madelyn Schweigert, was united in marriage to Michael Atom Cook, whose father, Frank Booth, stood by his son as best man.  Stacey's maid of honor is her brother Brian's intended (October 2004), Amanda Gallagher. 

    The festivities were several.  Dad Booth gave a dinner for the bridal party earlier in the week.  The night of the rehearsal the Schweigert Srs. hosted a pre- and post-practice get together in their home on Montague Street, where they provide care for grandmother Lillian Viemeister, widow of the late Otto.   The reception was held in Verdi's on Old Country Road in Westbury NY.  It was, wonderfully, the first non-alcoholic wedding feast the pastor had attended in twenty-five years or more.  Everyone dines Italian nowadays in metropolitan New York, and this reception, praise God, was no exception.  I could have wised for comparable fare during our recent trip to Tuscany.  But the portions were so generous at the coke cocktail hour that most of us barely had room for the roast prime rib main dish.  The bride and groom were enthroned at one end of the room, the wedding cake
sweetly rising in front of them.  The DJ made me feel positively guilty for not bringing a wife and dancing with her.  Artificial red roses with battery-powered lights brightened the darkened room for the dance before dessert.  Stacey's Aunt Marion caught the tossed bridal bouquet; and Marion's friend and dinner companion caught the bride's garter. 

    A remarkable feature of the wedding service at the church was the arrival of the groom and groomsmen a half hour ahead of schedule.  The bride, not to be outdone, waited in the stretch
limousine at church curbside before making her entrance as the bells struck 10 AM.  The eagerness and sheer joy of the moment, in other words, was attended with high expectation... as one could hope every wedding might be.  Herewith is the message Pastor Howard spoke to Stacey and Mike:

“Life and Love Are What You Make Them”

            In the book, Dr. Zhivago, the author Boris Pasternak notes how people feverishly prepare to live and never get around to living until it’s too late.  When I’ve been asked where’s the best place to live, my stock reply has been, “Wherever I am… because that’s where I am.”  The point, dear bride and groom, is that your life, your love, and what the future holds in store of you, is in no small measure up to you. 

            There are times when we think we are helpless in the face of the troubles circumstance throws across our way.  Poor health.  Sudden damaging accidents.  A downturn in the economy. Things like that.  And we curse our luck, think we are victims of an unforgiving fate, wonder aloud why God has deserted us.  And, yes, bad things do happen to good people.  Undeserved troubles. But (and you’ve heard it repeated dozens of times before) no one every said we would be granted a free pass in this mortal life.  Besides, everybody has something to complain about.

            Let Stacey and Michael say “Amen.”  Life can be tough.

            But it can also be beautiful.  When you tackle together the tough times circumstance puts in your way.  When you hold on against impossible odds.  That’s why Don Quixote is our hero, because he fought the unbeatable foe and dreamed the impossible dream.  I see Jesus smiling in admiration of that funny make-believe knight tilting at windmills.  The Lord is the one who, in a much different context, said that what seems impossible to you and me is always possible with God.  Like turning a thornbush into a blossoming rose.  Beautiful.  Or healing a broken life into wholeness and usefulness. 

            Your life together, your love for each other, is yours for the making.  No matter what hand is dealt you, you can play the cards to your advantage by God.  And, judging by what I have seen over the past twenty-nine years, Stacey, you are a winner.  You have taken adversity and, with a lot of help from your family and friends, been a champion.  I suspect brother Brian,
the careful one, wonders at your daring.  Only he might name it the foolishness of angels.  Something like that. And here you are with Michael, who knows himself firsthand many of the difficulties life hands out, on the leading edge of your life together.  Joyful, expectant, eager.

            God bless you!  Go at life together with the same courage and carefreeness that has gotten you this far.  We’ll be there, Mom and Dad, family, friends, pastor, to help you through any deep places on the journey ahead.  It’s yours for the making.  God rewards those who try and keep trying with a life in which and at the end of which it can be said, “It was good and I am glad to be here.”

            Twenty-five, fifty years from now we expect to hear that benediction from Stacey and Michael.

    Mr and Mrs Michael Cook will reside in Elmont following a honeymoon to Las Vegas.  Mike will continue working for a trucking firm; and Stacey, a certified physical therapist from the Swedish Institute, will be starting work in a private practice of message therapy. 







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