With This Ring
Posted on Sept. 5, 2008 at 11:37 a.m.
It is the Sunday before my daughter Seren's wedding. I have just finished checking the weather on at least five reporting sites (my twice daily obsession for the past month) in hopes to boost optimism for balmy and dry outdoor festivities and the wedding ceremony. I have discovered the ever changing icons that can raise spirits or cause a shake of the head or a scrunch of the brow. When I see that little sunny symbol, my smile beams right back. The dark clouds with the lightening bolt causes me to frantically check the next Google site in hopes of opposing information and often I get it! In between bouts of this wedding weather frenzy, I remember to breathe, to trust, to let go of what I KNOW I cannot control. Aaaah, I relax and sigh as my fingers itch to check, just ONE more time!
On the door frame behind me hangs today's trip to buy my second Mother of the Bride dress. I bought the first one in May, so smug that I was already ahead of the looming wedding to do list. All that was needed was some minor alterations and a really great bra. Everyone that saw the dress said it was cute. CUTE, I think??? Cute?? Definitely not my picture of MOB! My beloved posse of women friends confirm that this really IS a great dress, so I relax and don't think of it again until the bra search and "minor alterations" begin. Who knew that one might have to resort to a strapless number with no back and sides that stick to your body (re-useable, of course)?! In attempts to reduce va-va cleavage, the straps of the dress got taken up, but during the final fitting, the whole back hiked up so much that we had to lower the straps, go back to cleavage and add a demure wrap for the walk down the aisle. That walk seemed daunting enough without having to manage all these clothing aspects with possible multiple malfunctions - what would happen if the sticky on the sides of my high tech bra suddenly unstuck? What if the gracefully arranged wrap covering the aforementioned cleavage blew open in a gust of wind? What if, what if?? My MOB confidence took a dive and my beloved daughters soothed me and suggested we shop for another dress. What??!! With only seven more days to the wedding?? "Absolutely NO", I say, "We have bigger fish to fry!" On day five before the wedding, they convince me to give it a try, and we find the perfect dress in five minutes. We do a sprint up the entire mall looking for shoes - no go. I bring the dress home and find shoes I have had on my "dress-up shelf" are the exact right ones - wedding life is looking up!
And now I sit in the room next to the one where my soon-to-be-bride is sleeping where I once used monster spray to keep her safe. In the room where life and dreams unfolded in moments, days and years. I had the privilege of kissing her goodnight once more, and tucking her in for the night. It is quiet now and I let go of the foolish concerns of weather, cleavage, vanity, and party planning. In the quiet of this house where I have lived for twenty five years --where I have lived as a married woman, a divorced woman, and a mother, I think of what this wedding has really been for me, and of what I hope and pray for Seren and Dave as they begin their life together.
In the past year of planning this life event, I have gained deep respect for Seren's efficiency, organization and motivation. She has been amazing, loving, enthusiastic and grateful. I have witnessed her as the competent adult she has become. She has loved being a bride and it becomes her. I see her on the "princess pedestal" trying on wedding dresses and my heart bursting out of my chest at her beauty and grace. I see two sisters (her younger sister, Julia, is her maid of honor) who, in growing up years, screamed at each other with sibling rage, now with their two heads together planning, scheming, laughing, making list after list, and really and truly loving each other to the core. I see Seren and Dave learning to navigate the waters of negotiation and compromise. I see a man who came across continents to be here (Dave is from New Zealand) struggle to find his own path and life so far from what he knew to be with his love.
And, what I see, and what I pray for them, is the amazing community that has surrounded us with such love and support. Every facet of this wedding year has been blessed with people who care so deeply, who share their hearts and their resources, and who give so freely. I have found that people are so genuinely caring and who regularly inquire "How is it going, how long until the big day?" As a family we have received so many gestures of love and celebration. The Saturday morning exercise group planning a shower--the iTHRiVE community with well wishes and love pouring forth--neighbors offering rooms in their homes for the out-of-towners even though they are not invited to the wedding--vendors bending over backwards to provide their best for the wedding--and, my beloved group of women friends that we refer to as "the Sisterhood".
These eight women, who are the most brilliantly, beautiful threads in the tapestry of my life, have opened their hearts and homes for this wedding. They are housing the twenty guests that are coming from New Zealand, Sweden, Great Britain and Scotland. They are planning the rehearsal dinner that I know will be so full of delight, style, spirit and heart. They have come together as eight creative, generous, energetic and semi-professional party planners to give the priceless gift of community joining to launch Seren and Dave into married life. To be so cared for, so lavished upon, so focused on, are the precious jewels of the foundation for this marriage.