We have canceled the big May wedding at our lake house. Our baby girl was supposed to get married on the shores of Richland Chambers as the sun set slowly in the west. It was supposed to be a big affair with family and friends enjoying the beauty of the bonds of holy matrimony. It’s not going to happen, its okay; there are very real reasons for it not to happen.
We had started the planning stages for the wedding. Erin had found her dress, we had found a place to get the port-a-potties, we had found just the right guy to help us design a once in a lifetime wedding event. We had plenty of time to educate me on the fine art of matrimonial celebrations and then do it. Alas, it was not to be.
Somehow, and for reasons which will be clear, what had been a large outdoor celebration morphed into a winter, small affair. Then, what had been a small, family, chapel kind of wedding evolved again into a mid-size, mid-January wedding. What was going to be planned and implemented in months was done in weeks. Yes we did, wedding in a box, a wedding in six weeks.
My baby girl, my daughter, walked the aisle of First Presbyterian on my arm this weekend wearing her Mother’s wedding veil and the vintage styled wedding dress she had found a couple of months ago. My dark haired beauty stood at the front of our church of 20 years and plighted her troth to a young man who is now a part of our family, as Erin is a part of his.
In many ways planning a wedding in six weeks makes all of the decisions you have to make pretty simple. You only have one question for any of the vendors, “Are you available?” from there it’s just a matter of writing checks.
Erin and my daughter-in-law took Marty shopping and found her a couple of Mother-of-the-Bride ensembles that Marty really liked. Marty being the generous soul that she is just had to buy a couple of dresses and various other accoutrements for her shopping companions. Her strokes did not really affect her card swiping abilities. Marty looked absolutely wonderful and sophisticated. She was the perfect Mother-of- the-Bride, involved but not controlling. It was Erin’s day all of the way.
For the homily during the ceremony the good Pastor Jimmie talked about love and pain and life and choosing the pain of love. He had used the same words several years ago when he married our very close family friend’s daughter Elizabeth. The words so moved Marty, struck such a nerve with her she wrote a small piece that I posted on my blog once before Marty Keep Talking It’s worth reading.
Jimmie didn’t realize he was connecting all of us to our best family friends, he didn’t know he was connecting us to words that had moved Marty years before, but Marty did. As Jimmie was saying the words, as he was gently talking to Erin, Lyle and the congregation about the beauty of love Marty looked at me and said very simply, “the pain of love.” I didn’t recognize the circle until I went back and reread Marty’s writing.
Large crowds and the chaos surrounding large crowds are often hard for Marty to handle. She tends to get distracted easily and it’s very hard for her to focus on the moment. What used to be an enviable strength, the skill to live in the moment, to feel the moment, is gone. I can relate, I don’t remember a whole lot about the actual ceremony; I was too focused on logistics and fretting over Marty to really live the joy of the occasion. The side benefit to the distraction is neither of us cried.
Marty held up extremely well and was right in the middle of the whole shindig. She sat with friends, chatted, watched and lived the moment. She and I even made our way around the dance floor once with me pushing her backwards in her wheelchair; after all of these years I finally got to lead.
I think the whole thing was a real success. For a six week crash wedding we all did pretty well putting the whole thing together. The key I think was letting go. To quote Jimmie, “You can micro-manage all you want, or you can let the professionals do their job.” Erin, Marty and I had no choice but to let the professionals do their job, and they did a good job and the end result is my baby girl is now married, unless of course I forget to mail the wedding license.
Oh yeah, our baby girl is going to give us our second grandchild in June and he shall be called Larry Joe.