a bridal shower, of sorts

Oh covid. Changes everything, doesn’t it?

I mentioned a few posts back that my daughter Grace is engaged to be married this coming June 12. We have been busy making plans and on Friday we were intending to drive five hours to her (she’s in Pennsylvania, a senior in college) so that we could do the following:

  1. and by we, I mean myself, my husband Rich, my sister Amanda, her daughter Naomi, my son’s fiancé Brittnee, and my daughter Sarah.
  2. check into the hotel, where we had reserved two entire suites so we had plenty of room.
  3. get Grace from college so she could be with us for the weekend.
  4. go to my brother David and his wife Ann’s house to visit
  5. go out to eat with them, adults only, while the girls watched a movie at their house
  6. go back to hotel to sleep
  7. go back to David and Ann’s for more visiting, and breakfast
  8. leave from there to drive 2 hours to a bridal salon that Grace’s fiancé’s grandmother used to own, which still contains some of the dresses she had stocked there herself.
  9. spend time supporting Grace as she tried on dresses and hopefully find one
  10. then go back to the hotel
  11. church with Grace and Brogan, and my best friend Joanna, on Sunday morning
  12. bridal shower for her on Sunday afternoon

I was a little anxious about these plans because of the sheer magnitude of them. These were plans upon plans and more plans. However, I went through the week trying not to think much about all that we wanted to do, and instead, just took things one day at a time, one event at a time, one chore, one afternoon, and sometimes one hour, at a time. Also, maintaining a sense of flexibility and humor is a great help.

Well, then we got word that the bridal shower was now going to be a “drive through” shower because of Covid.

Then, we got word that the Bridal shower was being cancelled entirely because of Covid and the desire to keep people safe.

And THEN, on Thursday, the day before we were supposed to leave for this adventure, Grace called to tell us that there was Covid in her dorm, Covid elsewhere on campus, and she herself had a “sore throat but it wasn’t that bad and it already went away.” Her Dad and I talked about what to do. She wasn’t able to get a rapid covid test until the next day and if we waited until then we would lose our deposit on the hotel rooms. We DID want very badly to be there for our daughter, as it was an important weekend for her. We DID NOT want to drive all that way and then end up not being able to do anything. We also felt there was a slight but very real chance we ourselves could get the virus and then what would we do (manage, but still). We talked to mom and dad and they helped us with the hard but sensible decision to stay home.

Grace was on her own. But wait, noooooooooo………that’s not true, because she never was and never will be on her own. God in His love and kindness arranged the weekend for her ahead of time, and He knew that she would be just fine. She had her rapid-Covid test done (which was negative!!) and with relief, she was able to continue with her dress shopping. She’s tired today, yes, but on Saturday, with her mom and dad and (some) siblings watching and involved through a zoom meeting (!!!!!) she found the most beautiful wedding dress of her dreams. Brogan’s loving and capable Grandmother helped her each moment. And then today she was taken out to lunch at a pretty club by Brogan’s family and given some lovely gifts.

It was a great lesson for us, because yes as parents we have great responsibility for each of our children and no one can take our place in their lives, but at the same time, we are not so important that we can’t step back and let go when absolutely necessary, and watch them handle life on their own, with God’s help and with the help of friends and sometimes even strangers. Truly there is no need to be anxious, only expectant.

Grace is being showered with encouragement and love (a bridal shower, of sorts) in a variety of ways. As her mama I see it clearly, and I’m sure there are a lot more stories she could tell me. How could we keep from smiling?

We wish we could have been there in person, but really, it did work out beautifully.

We all have stories like this we could tell. Isn’t it encouraging?

This is the moment that Sarah was waiting for. The moment she found out that she was going to be asked by her big sister to be in her wedding as her “Junior Maid of Honor”.

“I will cause showers to come down
in their season;
they will be showers of blessing.”

very good

This morning Rich sent me out of the room. He had a call and told me to go. I was so shocked, that I went. I left the room and said “You guys, Dad just kicked me out of the room,” and they didn’t care. They said, “He has an important call.” Humph. More like, “He has an important call and doesn’t trust my mouth.” It’s always very tempting for me, and I have a very hard time staying quiet. I try so hard that when a sound DOES come out, it’s not good. So he is very smart to send me away………and thus, I am amusing myself here, in a different way; blogging.

I had my stuff with me, the stuff I carry from place to place; my book, my notebook, my pen, and my phone. I met up with Seth. He had a question to ask me; “Mom, is Grace getting married THIS year?” I took a deep breath and when I said, “Yes, Seth,” he quietly and slowly walked out of the back door to the screened in porch. He just stood there, looking at the sea. “What’s wrong with Seth?” asked Sarah. “He’s sad because he’s losing his sister.”

It’s been a very quiet morning, all because my energizer bunny is sad.

Ya know, I spend all this time (24 years) getting the family to bond in tight love, and moments like this are very rewarding. We love each other here. It’s all so clear to me this morning.

Now, David shows his love in another way; bitter sarcasm and pointed disapproval. He also doesn’t want Grace to get married (this year, or ever). No matter how many times I said, “She’s HAPPY, David, she’s VERY HAPPY.” and no matter how many times his father says, “You’ll never think ANYONE is good enough for our Grace, Davy” he still hasn’t come to grips. Of course, it’s only been a few days now…….

Yes, our dear Grace, at the young and tender age of 21, is now engaged to be married to a Most Wonderful young man, who already fits right into this family (and from what I hear, Grace fits into his, as well). I remember years ago, when Grace was small (er), she sighed and said “I just wish I had someone I could talk to as much as I want”.

Brogan.

He’s the someone.

I have observed and seen and noted; they have NO trouble talking to each other….. and talking…. and talking.

She found him.

But, that’s just one of the reasons why.

Because if they both lost their voices, there are always books, and writing, and hiking, and cooking, and playing music and gazing into each others eyes and kissing……….and so on, and so forth.

Grace is so happy she glows, her eyes twinkle, she is exceedingly bright and chipper, everlastingly smiling, and “it is very good”. (Genesis 1:31)

Thank you, Jesus. You did it again.

“Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing.” James 1:17