Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Wedding

The time has come! The parents enter, walking past the seated guests. As I sit down I remember my camera is not with me! No time to get it. Here are my sons all standing in front, waiting for the bridal procession. My three-year-old granddaughter who is one of the flower girls does not want to stand where she is supposed to be. She runs to her dad, one of the groomsmen. He persuades her to sit beside me. She does for a few seconds, sees Arielle and runs to her. In that length of time, I missed the all the bridesmaids walking to the front! Too quickly, here comes the bride and we all rise. I hope to see the video because it seems like I missed it all.

Gretchen is breathtakingly beautiful. Damien's eyes light up. As I see him standing there, for some reason I remember him in a soccer uniform. The skinny legs, but strong and muscular, clad in shin guards and dirty cleats. My little boy, now a man. It happened in a flash. I wish I had a video of his life because I have missed so much, busy with other things.

Damien and Gretchen say tender vows. Arielle addresses the congregation, to charge us all to uphold this marriage, to encourage Damien and Gretchen and not to judge them or come between them. Then the ceremony is over. We applaud the new married couple and go to our tables, ready for a feast. The bride and groom dance and everyone watches. Then the bride and her father have a dance. Not me! Thank you, Damien.

We have a delicious meal and visit with people from long ago. Liana, Mattie and Lana can't wait for the music to begin. And when it does, they do not sit the rest of the night. With pure joy, they dance and dance and dance. Arielle gravitates to the little ones, carrying Laci around and playing with Deacon. Damien's band plays and even Damien joins in on the drums. I move to the front to see my son in action. He catches my eye and smiles.

I heard a rumor that Damien would be singing a song to Gretchen. Damien doesn't sing--ever! Not as a boy, not now. So this has to be good. He takes the microphone and begins to sing--"their song"! The crowd surges forward, sensing a very special moment. Gretchen comes to the front, sits with the band. Damien kneels beside her, oblivious to the public gaping at him, and sings to his bride. Gretchen begins to sing with him. Marissa is standing next to me watching and we both have tears in our eyes. This is a moment from a movie! I feel so privileged to witness the love my son has for his wife, to see his sacrifice in doing something difficult for him that he knew would please her.

The song ends and the crowd retreats. Women are sniffling and wiping their eyes. Later, Liana wrote a poem, "When Damien sang a song for his bride, it was so sentimental that all the girls cried."

Cake cutting. Love and respect, no smashing cake in the face. A lovely dessert table is spread for us. The evening winds down. Laci and Deacon fall asleep. It's been a lovely wedding.

The next day after the wedding, I read these words: Damien and Gretchen, "You are in our hearts...I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort...I am overflowing with joy...I rejoice because I have perfect confidence in you..." (II Corinthians 7) God's plan is unfolding.

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