But life has a way of happening. There's no stopping the clock, so you might as well lock that safety bar across your middle and enjoy that crazy, speeding roller coaster ride. (That's definitely a metaphor, readers, because in real life, you couldn't pay me enough to ride an actual roller coaster. Life is much too short to spend precious moments of it scared out of your wits and sure you're about to die. How anyone enjoys roller coasters is beyond me, it truly is.) Although we still feel like the twenty-something kids we were when we started out our married life together, in actuality we are the fifty-something parents of five grown-up sons, and we're grandparents--"Papa" and "Grammy"--to boot.
But it is truly a joy and a privilege to live long enough to see your children find and marry their soul mates. To see your children's children. If it means you have to grow older to do so, then I say bring it on!
The wedding ceremony of son #4 and his Braveheart was absolutely beautiful. The church where those two kids were married is utterly magnificent. The priest who performed the Mass was reverent and holy. The music was traditional and lovely. There is nothing in the world like a Catholic wedding Mass, and this one brought a few tears to my eyes. One sight I never get tired of (and have had the privilege to witness three times now) is the sight of four of my sons, handsome in their tuxedos, flanking their brother the groom. I can't handle seeing this without crying. To say I'm proud of and adore my boys...well, that's just the understatement of the century.
Which reminds me of something really sweet my newly married son said about his bride on his wedding day. As we were lined up on the altar getting ready to have pictures taken, I leaned over to Braveheart and whispered, "You look gorgeous." (She did--she was wearing an antique ivory satin wedding gown that had been her grandmother's, with an antique ivory lace veil; she is a beautiful girl anyway, but that day, she was absolutely breathtaking.) Hearing me, my son responded, "That's the understatement of the century."
Can you stand it?
|That's the hubs in the shamrock suspenders, burning up the dance floor.|
And of course, the "Electric Slide."
And let's not forget "Thriller."
|Son #5's "Thriller" routine has become the hit of every family wedding.|
The bride actually serenaded our son at the reception--and like our two other daughters-in-law, Regina and Preciosa, she has a voice like an angel! (We hope our grandchildren take after their mothers, as far as singing goes.)
My son and his wife chose to have a small wedding cake to cut (with a little round top layer to freeze and save for their first anniversary), and then there was a dessert bar with truffles, strawberry shortcakes, and all sorts of goodies to choose from. (And yes, that's Disney's Ariel the Little Mermaid atop the cake, with her prince--not-so-serious cake toppers for a not-so-serious couple.)
The bride and groom still cut the cake together, and most of us--who heard the story afterwards--were none the wiser.
Another little mishap took place right at the end, when the bride and groom were leaving. A lovely sparkler send-off had been planned, and all of us were lined up in two rows with our sparklers lit and sparkling...and as they burned down to nothing, we all wondered where in the world the bride and groom were. Apparently, just as they were about to make their grand departure, someone stopped them inside and insisted on taking pictures. And as my son describes it, this person kept saying, "Wait a minute...let me take another one." Then, "Oops, that's too close, let me step back a little." Then, "Just one more." And all the while, my son was trying to move things along, knowing the sparklers had already been lit. By the time the happy couple came outside, most of us were raising burned-out sticks. But the few people whose sparklers were still going strong stepped to the fore and made the moment picture-worthy. It was actually pretty hilarious while it was happening, and it will make for good story-telling in the years to come.
Knowing these two goofy kids, the not-quite-perfect moments will be their very favorite memories of all, and they'll get some good laughs when they look back on their wonderful, heart-warming, and sometimes funny wedding day.
In the end, pristine wedding cake tops and picture-perfect sparkler send-offs hardly matter. These two beautiful souls, who have promised before God and everyone to love and honor each other until death does them part, are now one. They're married, and that's all that really matters.