What a beautiful weekend it has been! I love this time of year, when we can sleep with the windows open and wake up on a lazy weekend morning to brilliant sunshine spilling over blossoming trees, carpets of lush green grass, and the colorful blooms of spring flowers.
What a perfect weekend for a wedding. My niece got married on Friday night. It was beautiful. And I? Was an emotional sap. After all, this niece gave me my first experience of Baby Love. She is my sister’s oldest child, born just months before my own oldest child, Jaeger. I remember when she was born, how precious and small she was, and how my heart instantly ached with love for her. She is Jack’s and my godchild. My parent’s first grandchild. I have many nieces and nephews, but this niece holds a special place in my heart. This was a momentous occasion! Not to mention, we just adore her new husband, J!
How can I describe this wedding? It was unique. Niece and J tossed many traditions to the side and just poured their own spirit and personality into their special day. Both the ceremony and reception were held in a hotel banquet room. I know that several of our very Catholic family members frowned upon the fact that the ceremony wouldn’t take place in a church, but I wasn’t bothered. This wedding was so filled with love and joy, that it was hard not to rejoice with the happy couple. Months before the big day, my niece had asked me to participate by doing a gospel reading at the ceremony. I wore my dad’s ring on my thumb, wanting him to be there with me, with all of us as we celebrated his granddaughter’s wedding. I wasn’t nervous standing in front of all of those people, maybe because I envisioned Dad standing with me, reading the word of God as he so often did in his time here on earth.
The groom had asked his aunt to read as well, but he wanted something other than a Bible passage. He wrote something personal and from the heart. I wasn’t the only one crying as we listened to his aunt read his words of deep love for his new bride, and the anticipation of an adventure in their life ahead.
Chesney was in the bridal party. She’d been provided an itinerary for the day of the wedding, which began early on Friday with hair styling, continuing on to the hours of photos, taking them up to the start of the ceremony, and finally ending with Dance your faces off!
After dinner, there were speeches galore from both Dads and Step Dad. A bridesmaid and several groomsmen offered toasts as well. Finally the bride and groom expressed their thanks. More tears from all around. It was just such an incredible celebration of love and joy.
And later, we did indeed dance our faces off! It was bunches of fun, with family and friends just enjoying the celebration and having fun together. As the night wore on, most everyone let their hair down and we just had a good time, talking, laughing and being silly.
It was really amazing to be a part of this special day, to put aside for a while the sadness that still often lingers in the wake of Dad’s absence from our lives. Any hard feelings were tucked away as we remembered that this is what life is really all about. Being together. Forgiving our differences. Remembering that through thick and thin, we are family. And LOVE.
It was a beautiful day!