A great love story . . . chapter 1
Over the weekend, my family and I had the honor to attend and participate in our oldest nephew’s wedding. We had a fabulous weekend and experience. Despite earlier forecasts of cold rain, gray skies and wind, it was a beautiful, North Dakota fall day with sunshine and a temperature warmer than predicted. The weather however wasn’t what made the day so special. More so, it was the love that was shared among our family.
If I were completely honest I would say that the bride and groom, Jeanette and Derek were somewhat disappointed with several things that happened that day. None of which were within their control. Knowing their feelings was what prompted me to write this blog. I have many more years of life under my feet and a few more miles on my marriage which will be celebrating 20 years in May. I promise if I were J & D, I would have been let down as well, but through my eyes a great love story is just starting to be written.
No matter which way I looked all I saw was love. Love for Derek and Jeanette and for those that love them. Instead of writing that chapter (which really isn’t mine to write), I am choosing to share snippets of what I experienced that day.
- A buzz of excitement at several houses as details were tended to get people ready. For Cloie alone, it took one and half hours to do her hair. At 7, that is a long time to sit . . . for love.
- After a wardrobe malfunction (think white tux on a 4 year old ring bearer), the best man runs to the only store in town to find a Clorox pen. All that fuss. . . for love.
- The bride asking how the groom was doing only to be told, “He’s nervous.” A spirit of panic filled the room, until it was explained that he was nervous not about marrying the girl of his dreams, but because he wanted the day to perfect for that same girl. A real human emotion . . . for love.
- Even though the aisle was too small for my request and I did get some raised eyebrows, I was escorted by both my son and my godson down the aisle to my pew seat. Despite the fact that we didn’t fit real well, my boys obliged out . . . of love.
- Insistence on the couple’s part to not see each other before the ceremony was firm as family and friends executed spy-like missions to transport one or the other throughout the church. None involved have espionage experience, but all willingly participated . . .for love.
- When the big moment finally came, nary a dry eye could be found watching as both the bride and groom cried during her processional into the church. I have been to many weddings in my lifetime, and I can only recall one other time that occurred. Overcome . . . by love.
- Family pictures following the ceremony went very smoothly. (As a former photographer’s assistant for weddings, that is a rare.) No protests of “being as photogenic as a dishrag” were uttered and no hunting for family needed for pictures occurred. Willing participants . . . for love.
- There were moments of missing family and a friend who passed away the same day. But other family stepped in and loved on those feeling that grief – not to take away the hurt, but to recognize the raw, conflicting emotions. Their presence and encouragement only based . . . in love.
- At the reception, things were a little hectic. Aunties, uncles, and parents choreographed an amazing dance of filling bowls and bellies with food and refreshment. Not done because of obligation or duty, but . . . for love.
- When cake cutting time happened, aunties and cousins sprang into action to cut and deliver that ornate confectionary delicacy to the guests. Teenagers and younger serving just because help was needed showed nothing but . . . love.
- Dancing time was a family affair with an opportunity that melted my heart, I had the honor of dancing with the groom’s brother. (I will admit I was second choice because Erin had been swept away by the ring-bearer.) But having an opportunity to privately visit with my nephew while twirling around the dance floor filled my heart . . . with love.
- The bouquet toss was quite an experience (as was the garter toss). But seeing the tiniest girl out there literally perform a dive that would rival a spectacular end zone touchdown reception was a sight to behold. Yes, Cloie caught the bouquet which sits on her dresser now. Even though we agree Prince Charming can wait many (MANY) years to show up here, Cloie’s motivation was to take home more than memories of a day filled . . . with love.
Anyone who has ever planned or participated in a wedding knows that something ALWAYS goes awry. There is always a hitch in getting hitched. Hopefully, it becomes something that you can look back and laugh about like the cake at our wedding (that almost caused me to cancel the wedding) or the bridal party that was stuck in the gondola for over an hour coming up to a mountaintop wedding. My hopes are that instead of dwelling on the things that went wrong, my nephew and his bride can look through my eyes and see their wedding day was filled with more than just the love the two of them shared.
They were joined in marriage before God and blessed by family. In my opinion, that is the greatest beginning to a love story.