What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life — to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting? ~George Eliot (1819–1880)
What is it like to grow a daughter and then see her get married?
Sort of like planting a seed, tending it all through maturity, and then at just that time, transplanting the plant into another garden, miles away, to finish growing?
(Dear Brogan, I grew a flower, and gave it to you. Love, Mom)
Sort of like building a house, furnishing it prettily, and giving it away? (giving, the most beautiful expression of love).
Sort of like getting married again, yourself? Reawakened memories, dreams, and expectations.
It’s huge. At times I felt like I was going to go crazy if the wedding didn’t just come and go…….because the emotions were almost unbearable. Dealing with them left me exhausted.
At times I wanted to push stop and rewind to when she was little. Do it all again. And again.
At times I wanted to push pause and keep her a little longer. Please?
Most of the time I was simply thankful in the giving. She’s not just my daughter, after all, she’s herself. She’s Grace. She’s bigger and deeper and higher and louder than “Shanda’s daughter”. I am truly inspired by her in every way. Her unshakeable love for her husband, her friends, her family. She loves well; in looks and little love notes, and tea, and music and books and service. Her quiet wisdom. Her sense of humor. Her “beauty on the inside”, her heart. Her strength and sensibilities. The things she’s interested in, the things we share. She’s made me a better woman in raising her and having her as my forever-daughter. She’s truly unique and special, as all of the children are.
The most difficult aspect is giving away that Grace-part of myself, letting go of something that was not only mine but part of me, the girl who came from her father and mother’s love. And yet, that giving, again, is deep-down joyful. True gifts aways satisfy the giver.
The best part is knowing that she and I? “We still got it”, ready to pick up and enjoy any ol’ time we want to. Mom and daughter…… are forever.
So anyways, here we are, a few weeks after The Wedding Day, and yesterday we got the link to the website which contains the professional wedding photos and I thought I would share some. There are so many, it was hard to chose, but these tugged on my heart-strings the most.
The morning of the wedding we drove to Brogan’s Grandmother’s beautiful home (the wedding was in Pennsylvania, where Brogan grew up and Grace attended college). Gemma did Grace’s hair, and Sierra drove to Dunkin’ with Sarah to get us breakfast sandwiches. Then we all got dressed in our finery.
Grace’s dress was a gift; Gemma was a bridal salon owner a few years ago and some of her dresses were still available there from that time. Grace was thrilled by the meaningfulness of wearing one of “Gemma’s Dresses”.
My own dress was serendipitously discovered at anthropologie just a week or so before the wedding. I had already chosen a dress, but Grace ended up liking this one better and it really did go along with the theme of the day, pink and wildflowers, and love like valentines.
The sisters were ready. Sarah was the Jr. Maid of Honor, a set of words which I can almost never get out of my mouth. I hope I wrote it correctly. Sierra and I both curled Sarah’s hair for her with a curling iron, she has a lot of hair but it holds curls very well.
Gemma got us “to the church on time” and Rich was waiting. The photographer did such a wonderful job of capturing the moment. Rich was very emotional throughout the day. His precious daughter’s wedding.
The ceremony was beautifully sacred.
I love the way Brogan treats Grace and people. He is respectful and courteous, and fun without being silly. He has a special maturity, despite his youth, that we admire and appreciate. I’ve mentioned before how these two can talk……and I also appreciate the depth and interest in their conversations, talking and visiting that way is such a day-brightener! I look forward to the times we will be together through the years. They are also comfortable in silence, and Brogan’s mom loves to tell the story of them reading together at her home for long periods of time, lost quietly in their books, yet together.
This is probably the most touching photo from the day, for me. Rich has a vulnerableness that not many people get to see. But I see it, I know who he is, he is my rock, steady and calm, and his love runs deep. During the most important family milestones, his calm exterior and demeanor reveals the honest emotion he has, in his love and gratitude, for his family. His wife and children mean everything to him.
My Dad and Mom, with all of us. No one was missing on this amazing day.
“What wondrous love is this, oh my soul”
Let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other… how glad we shall be that we have somebody we are fond of always to talk to and sit with! ~Charles Dickens
Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde