I saw God at the prom
The jokes of blue tuxes, boot casts for shoes, and forgetting the corsage were staples around our house leading up to the first prom for our son. A little good natured ribbing is a part of the fabric that makes up our family; so the jokes were just the norm. As the mother of the young man in the couple, my traditional role was to help pay for the tux (which after seeing the final bill made me think that creating one out of duct tape might not have been a bad idea after all). As shared in a previous blog, my gift of love for the young couple was to make them a coursed meal from scratch. https://kandynolesstevens.com/2013/04/30/one-tired-momma-and-lots-of-fun/ While definitely a labor of love, it was worth every scrumptious bite.
This was the first prom for both Sawyer and Rachel, but given their big hearts, it definitely was one to remember. It all began much earlier as our sweet kids decided that they wanted to invite a friend of Reed’s to the prom. (This would have been Reed’s senior prom, and thus, it would have been for B as well. I think the video the kids made tells that story better than I ever could.
What they don’t tell you in the video is that Sawyer was just released from the hospital having his 7th surgery since the bus crash; hence, the jokes about the boot cast. From that moment on, those two kids made sure that every decision they made was to honor Brayden. In their minds, it was his last prom, and they still a chance to attend more. They kept his family in the loop for tuxes and colors, bought two boutonnieres, and found the perfect vehicle to attend the drive-up (which was totally foreign to this momma). A lot about prom in Minnesota was different than the proms I attended in Florida. While other kids arrived in muscle cars, decked out trucks, or vintage roadsters, the awesome trio arrived in a fully equipped motorhome so that Brayden would be able to arrive in comfort.
They put a lot of thought into their entrance, recruiting a couple little girls (one sister and one friend) to carry a banner that said “Live a Life of Love” as the RV pulled up to the red carpet. They entered as a trio after Brayden and his wheelchair were sashayed down the ramp from the camper. The three marched through Grand March, and, at least from the three families involved, there wasn’t a dry eye among us when Brayden had the biggest smile on his face at the photo stops. He knew that he was the Prince of the Ball, and no one could deny it. It is a good thing that B loves lights because his paparazzi rivaled that of a celebrity on that night!
At one point, Reed’s best girl friend came running over and wanted to make sure that the four of them were in a picture together. It was hard to keep the tears in, because in my heart I knew that if Reed were here, it would have been all five of them in the picture as I am certain that young lady would have been his date.
Although not the typical start of the prom, we all waited to watch Brayden’s first dance because he wouldn’t be staying much longer. After cooling off for a while outside, B and his entourage (parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, workers) went inside to find Sawyer waiting for his arrival with a quick thumbs up. He wheeled Brayden out to the floor, only to discover that Rachel had stepped away to visit her friends.
What could have been an odd moment was completely changed as Reed and Brayden’s classmates: girls first, followed by the boys, surrounded both young men on the dance floor. That magical moment is one I will never forget as the whole group all danced together with the Beau of the Ball.
Huge tears streaked down my cheeks as I witnessed quite possibly the most, tender moment – EVER. Originally, I had been a little uncomfortable peeking in at that time-honored moment of teenage revelry because I felt they deserved their privacy, but I am so glad I pushed past my comfort zone of Southern tradition.
Because if I hadn’t stayed, I would have missed seeing God’s love at the prom. A love that shone brightly through the gift of one amazing friend who blessed us all!