Wedding week is over. Bride and Groom are now husband and wife. I have a new son-in-law and my brown-eyed girl, our monkey, our sunshine, is somehow a married woman with a career, two dogs, and a mortgage. Life does not stand still.
My intentional week away from writing was action packed. Family and friends descended from all corners of the continent. Alcohol flowed, meals were take-out or skipped and there was no time for my fledgling meditation practice. With one notable exception.
The novice officiant– a college friend ordained online and doing double duty as a bridesmaid–appeared at my side in the bridal suite as we prepared to walk down the aisle saying “I can’t stop sweating. I’m so nervous.” I suggested we take some deep breaths together. I don’t know if it helped her at all. She gave a heartfelt and inspired ceremonial speech which was the talk of the reception.
No doubt, the breathing helped me. I’ve been on the verge of crying or in full flood mode for going on two weeks. The parents were asked to give a blessing via microphone in front of 178 guests just prior to the vows.
I had written something. Rewritten it five times. Cut out the opening paragraph. Reread it to my husband who daringly suggested I cut out the second paragraph as well. Last minute, the morning of, I revised again eliminating three lines excerpted from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gifts from the Sea.
As Mother of the Bride, I had an important role to fill. I just wanted her day to be perfect. I tried to take my cue from my unruffled daughter. She only had to scold me once or twice to relax and let things go. Perfection was not the goal. Enjoying the people, the music, the food and the love in the room was the focus.
She barely glanced at the footsteps littering the train of her ivory dress; she didn’t fret over the weather reports predicting torrential thunder storms; and she graciously allowed herself to be pulled to and fro with an authentic smile on her face.
The sun prevailed, she glowed in her dream gown (with pockets!), and she and her Groom had a night to remember. The writer in me welcomed the warm response to my prepared blessing. The rewriter in me acknowledged that cutting is hard but necessary. The wife and mom in me was touched most by my husband’s toast.
He does not write. He doesn’t read for pleasure unless you count Mother Earth News. Yet, he had life experiences and emotions and language to share with our daughter. He painstakingly handwrote three full pages of memories, advice and wishes for the new couple. They were laced with humor, enhanced by sincerity and delivered with love. And he moved a room of 200 people.
Everyone is a writer if they want to be. I will try to follow his example in the future.