Nothing quite prepares you for your daughter’s marriage. No matter her age, how long she’s been together with her boyfriend/ soon-to-be husband, no matter how much you try to convince yourself you’re ready.
The first time you see her dressed in her wedding gown before the ceremony your heart rate begins to climb. The memories of her years growing up come flooding in, images of an infant, a toddler, her first day at school, all compete for attention.
But this is just a warm up.
As I stood outside the room, greeting the many guests as they arrived for the ceremony, the adrenaline added to the experience. Seeing friends, some of whom I’ve known for more than fifty years, brought back my own memories of those long ago days, our own progression through life’s many stages, and the paths that brought us together.
Our many conversations of what we believed lay in store for us replayed in my mind. How innocent and hopeful we were and how fortunate we are to have remained friends all these years.
As all the guests gathered for the ceremony, we lined up outside. The bridesmaids and groomsmen precede us as the crowd grows in anticipation.
And then, that moment when it all becomes real. The music begins, the doors open, and the crowd stands. Nothing can prepare you for this moment.
My daughter, no longer that little girl reaching up to hold my hand, stands between her mother and I. The three of us, once alone together, now to be forever altered.
Kelsey is beyond radiant, beyond pretty, beyond stunning.
She is not just beautiful; she is beauty itself holding onto our arms as she walks in.
The ceremony, a creative masterpiece by our friend Glen Peck, incorporating words from the Velveteen Rabbit and vows from the 12th century adds to the magic.
But no words can truly capture the feeling in my heart as this all takes place. This picture comes close.
But even that is just lines and shadows of how I felt at that moment.
To all of you who were there, to all of you who wanted to be there, and to all of you who have been part of Kelsey’s life, thank for the memories, both old and new, and here’s to many more.