Good memories are made within the cradle of love among family, friends and spiritual family. Within this context, we experience caring moments of doing for one another. Sometimes great memories are made because one or two people in the group are so special their love emanates through their service. Memories are made with good food, beautiful settings, old stories, new experiences, and loving communion. Weddings and other family gatherings are times for giving, telling stories, and taking the love into the future. It is a special grace-filled experience to bask in the love of family at a wedding.
BUBBLE OF LOVE
Recently I attended a family wedding where people were so loving they joined two families and the extended spiritual family members, not just the bride and groom. The experience of being in their presence and being part of that presence was like living in a bubble of love for three days. As I think of this event, the thoughtful man with whom I attended, the interesting people met, the old friends connecting, the young couple blooming with love, I feel an all-encompassing unconditional warm and fuzzy love. Recalling the many meals together, late night margaritas, morning coffee, ethnic foods, pine scents in the breeze, drizzle, warm sun, snow-capped mountains, sequestered mountain lakes, and lots of fragrances of fun, I feel full and cozy.
It didn’t matter that someone forgot the flowers at the ceremony and no one noticed. It didn’t matter that everyone could never get together for the official picture-taking event. It was great that the MC announced the program with love and laughter as he moved the festivities along. Fathers, best man and maid of honor made their traditional, revealing and devotional speeches of adoration. The bride and groom exchanged musical expressions of love, bringing tears with the lyrical notes of grandmother long passed. The bride did a belly dance for the beaming groom. A dancing professional surprised her friends by performing an exquisite hula while children mirrored with three and four year old zest. We saw a slide show and learned many details of the lives of these two special people being blessed with our love and we with theirs. Eyes were not dry, faces were not long, and abdominals were not relaxed.
ONE LINERS AND BELLY LAUGHS
We had three days of one-liners topping Leno and Letterman. The bride’s comment as they were attempting to feed each other cake, “No! We don’t have sanitizer!” as a fork anally lifted the cake to their gentle lips (no smashing-of-cake-in-the-face at this wedding) was a belly-laughter topper. Another one at the top of the laugh list was from the best man after the bride told stories of her first year of teaching fourth grade, “I hit my fourth grade teacher!” Perhaps Uncle Merle at 92 was the most delightful as he told family stories of everyone, especially an uncle hanging out of the car to check the tires as he drove.
FAMILY STORIES AND LONG AGO SECRETS
Personally, I like the mother of the bride’s story for full belly laughs. Uncle Master of Ceremonies himself, drooling with jealousy not knowing this BEFORE the reception, heard his big sister tell the Wet Shoulder Pad Story. In a transitional feminine year, the bride and bridesmaids as young teens went swimming with new boys of the summer. (Think about it!) All families have this type of tell-all stories or fun secrets. The family lore is important to continue sharing and retelling as families get together to love and laugh throughout the years.
WHAT IS SPECIAL BECOMES THE MEMORY
The day after the wedding, we spent time in a hotel lobby sharing more stories and the special moments of the wedding. The mother of the bride asked each of us to share what made the wedding special. The heartfelt acknowledgements, appreciations, and touchstones helped create another very loving and positive experience. The expressions of regard and love mark and set the special moments as we take them through time.
LOVE, UNITY AND GRACE
Each of us goes away from an experience with our own memories. These are special moments suspended in time to carry with us forever. We have our own special moments of laughter, of love and of joy. Some carry forward the ring round the rosie memory of moving of the towel to keep the bridal dress clean and circling the big trees to escape the drizzle minutes before the ceremony. Some carry the long-awaited moments with exes as there is a touch of the shoulder and a “Goodbye, take care,” filled with the deep healing of old wounds. The rest of us feel the touch and the smile as they reverberate through the room. Some carry the moments of children dancing with unbounded joy. Others feel the special touching of spirits as the parents look into each other’s eyes during the parents’ dance. We all feel the grace of the parents’ love hug. We carry a memory and tear of the young couple’s vows as they mix with the memory of our own. We leave a wedding touched by the glue of these two mothers’ love, the watchful guiding love of the fathers, the blossoming hope filled love of the newlyweds, and God’s unconditional love for the unity of His family. We feel the Grace.
I am blessed with people, experiences and memories like this. I hope we all carry the love, unity and grace to help guide us into our futures. May you carry it in your hearts and memories forever.