When I moved from China to Raleigh back in 2015 I could not have imagined ever getting married, let alone getting married to my “Partner in Crime” and best friend. I married Aaron Watkins on Saturday, May 18 and it was one of the happiest days of my life!
I would be remiss not to clearly thank my family and Aaron’s family for everything they did to make this wedding possible. My parents have been there every step of the way for me, unwavering in support and love, which is why I truly believe I am where I am today. Sometimes they say it takes a village to raise a baby, but in my case it took a clan of Ingersoll’s to raise me after the accident.
I was so certain when I was first injured 9 years ago that I would have a fulfilling life, but a life without love and a partner. I had come to terms with this and made peace in my mind. What I did not realize is how much love can literally transform one’s outlook on life. I used only live from one challenge to another – now I look forward to future adventures, and when those challenges do arise I know will have someone by my side every step of the way.
Originally we wanted to have a very small ceremony with immediate family only, but my father thankfully convinced me this was an occasion we would not want to forget. He was right in more ways than one.
We had family and friends from Raleigh, around the United States, London, Germany, France, and China join us for four days of round-the-clock festivities. It was a world wind weekend and I prepared for months to make sure everything went smoothly – and it was over so quickly. Everyone always told me to make sure to take a moment and enjoy everything around you when you’re getting married, which is exactly what I did. I neurotically planned everything down to a T and the week before the wedding I was relaxed, present, and able to connect with people who I had not seen in over 10 years.
I didn’t even realize how much love Aaron and I have in our life and support around the globe. Living life is about people, relationships, and quality time in my opinion. I know at the end of my life I will not look back at how hard I worked, but rather the people who have influenced my life, and I theirs.
While I meticulously planned the wedding there are just certain factors you cannot control. I ended up getting severe bronchitis three weeks prior to the wedding. I did everything in my power and by some universal grace I stopped coughing four days before the wedding.
Unfortunately, I also developed a pressure sore that Thursday before the wedding. I was very careful, leaned back in my chair a lot to shift the weight off my bum, and I don’t know why or how, but I got really really lucky!
Now, onto the Wedding Celebration Festivities: