This past summer, I witnessed a gift and blessing that I have really not fully appreciated until recently. I know that I have not given the event its due. What in the world! An event!! Am I for real? How insignificant in word choice? Event!! Holy lightning!! Just put it down to writer’s block and inappropriateness here, a lapse in honouring these two special people. For goodness sake!! My daughter got married and no it was not an event but a holy moly MY DAUGHTER GOT MARRIED! Woohoo! Yippee!! Hooray!!! Glory be!!!! Kick the heels! She did it!! I mean they, the two, both of them, yes…got married. Tied the knot. Wed. Got hitched. Two became one. Bless their hearts.
I want to say before I go any further that I do not want to embarrass my daughter with my thoughts but I probably will. So I am going to apologize now, seek forgiveness and oops, sorry daughter of mine.
I’m calm now. Yes, my middle daughter and fiancee got married this summer during the pandemic. They had been planning it for 2 years and had to postpone it last summer with the hope of the remnants of Covid-19 would be well behind. Let’s hear it for the bride and groom. Oops. Nope. A toast to a cancelled wedding. Not funny. So they decided no more waiting because at the end of the day, what was most important to them – – to be wed. And to be honest, the worry and fret involved in planning a normal wedding (which is up for debate) exasperated by the protocols and rules of pandemic social distancing etc, created a mountain of crazy. How in the world to answer the swirl of questions….who could come or not come, who to invite and not invite, how to make people feel welcomed and safe (operative word), seating. Flight-no flight. No dance-dance. Hug – no hug. Inside – outside. Book – not book.
I look back to that late August afternoon with the sunlight shining gloriously upon the couple before us with wonder. I saw my beautiful and gracious daughter stand before the man she loves responding to a time honoured traditional life altering question, with “I do“. And so too did he!! With those two little words spoken freely and willingly by both while holding hands, they professed their commitment to one another. Tears welled up in my eyes, slowly flowing of own volition, down my face (no makeup to worry about here just so you know) while I smiled with joy and happiness in my heart. Oh my.
The few days leading up to the wedding, the kindness of the people involved in making the wedding preparation and the day became a dream come true from start to finish, were realized. As the tent went up, the furniture positioned, the wondrous and generous hands that prepared and served the evening meal for the wedding rehearsal, the hosts (groom’s parents) of the wedding, the presider over the wedding and her encouragement, the host for the bride team (grooms aunt and uncle) in opening their home to utter chaos with hair and makeup frenzy, all led up to the special moments of joy and happiness.
No words can express the delightful and overwhelming feeling within me as I escorted my daughter down the aisle (lawn), with my middle granddaughter in my arms and the oldest sister (maid of honour) with her daughter in her arms in front of us. And my youngest daughter being the day event organizer /decorator and ‘go to’ person extraordinaire standing on the sidelines carefully monitoring any glitches. Family affair. LOL.
And then when turning the corner to go up the aisle, it was a sight to be told. For there before us were the “brothers” of the groom, men who have been with him for a long time, 9 groomsmen/bestman, and the loving and kind “sisters” of the bride, 7 bridesmaids/maid of honour (two missing unfortunately) standing before their beloved brother and sister. All present to give witness to their love and support and friendship for the bride and groom. And that is the aha for me.
Why? I am drawn to two words right now, like and love. The nuances of both words conjure up many images for me from one’s own lived experiences and observations. I came across this quote from Buddha who seems to always have a lesson on life. What is the difference between “I like you” and “I love you.” Beautifully answered by Buddha….When you like a flower, you just pluck it; but when you love a flower you water it daily. One who understands this, understands life.
I am thinking what a garden these two people, bride and groom, have grown on own and now together. For looking at the wedding party, each person, unique and special, have been plucked and have plucked from the garden. Something about them is likeable. So much so that they have remained friends over a period of years; some since childhood. Wow! Just wow. Being liked is so important. However if each were plucked then they would not survive for a long period of time. Sidebar here. Pluck gives me the willies. Kind of reminds me of a chicken being plucked. Hmmmmm. Why did I like this quote? Hahaha. I think I would like to replace the word pluck with pick or select. In that plucked does not mean long lasting. You need to love them too, which means the care of them such as watering them. Does that make sense?
What are the odds of two people meeting, connecting, be friending, and then by some miracle of wondrous miracles, somehow transforms into something much deeper much richer. How does it happen? How do two people who meet randomly become friends? How do they come to a place where they want to stay friends? Then the friend zone turns into possibility of the more. In other words, they find themselves wanting to move to a place of thinking…. “you are it for me”. Well, don’t tell me it is rocket science. For it cannot be. What draws one to another?
I think that is the conclusion I have come to believe when friendship becomes more. Like and love are visibly present. It is such a beautiful awareness to see unfold before your eyes. And I could kick myself because I did not express my thoughts to them when I had a chance during the speeches at the wedding. Firstly I was not expecting to go first and so, thoughtful words just flew out the window. Secondly I was already blubbery so goodness how could they even hear me say anything. And thirdly, I do not do well under pressure. What you get is what you get. Sorry kids.
But, what did I want to say to them? Well, after watching the two exchange their vows, I was humbled by the emotional moment before me. Oops, I do need to qualify that point. What I should be saying was my new son-in-law stared into my daughters eyes for long periods of time while my daughter, bless her big heart, seemed to look downward a few times. Why? Knowing her as I do, she would start to cry and that would not do. Kleenexes were everywhere, daughter of mine. No offence, son-in-law. Okay?
But no, what I wanted to say to them was they not only love each other but they like one another too. They are friends. As the above saying suggests, you pluck a flower because you like it. But you do not want to just like but to love too. Meaning caring for it. If I go into a garden I am drawn to different flowers. My go to flower is a sun flower. It is so cheery and joyful to look at. I planted some this summer and holy moly, they grew up. I mean way up like the Jolly Green Giant height. I think I made a mistake on height restrictions. Obviously I could not read the fine print. Anyway, there is something about the sunflower that I like. I automatically smile when I see the flower, no matter if real or fake. It brings that out in me. Naturally I have no idea if it likes me back because let’s face it there is no smile in return. LOL.
However if I pull on the sunflower and hold the flower in my hand because I like it, it will not survive. I have to allow it to continue to grow, give it what it needs. In other words, I not only have to like it but love it as well. Hence, the water. For the things that I like about the sunflower will not blossom if it not tended. Loved.
So love when it comes, I think it reflects what Thomas Moore has quoted in that “a friendship like love is warm; a love like friendship, steady.” And for me, what I have been given a glimpse of is a friendship grown into a love.
To all those who have said “I do”. May the blessings of the day be with you always. Like each other, love each other… daily. Blessings.
Let us pray for all those whom are in need of prayers and know that you are liked and loved always.