Originally published in the Miami News-Record on March 6, 2016.
“Momma? We want to get married next Saturday. Can we make that happen?”
That was the Sunday before the proposed wedding date. And I, being the pleaser and task-conqueror that I am, in a moment of what can only be described as maternal insanity said, “Absolutely!” They only wanted immediate family, nothing fancy, very simple. I assured them it could be done. I sent texts to Mom and Sis and asked for their help. They were all in.
I hit the floor before the sun was up on Monday morning. I had lists going on multiple pieces of paper; I was drinking coffee as fast as humanly possible. I was one determined mother. Once 8:30am hit I was checking prices, making calls, sending texts. I was in the zone. By the time Monday evening rolled around, Kady, Mom, Sis, and I had secured the church, the preacher, flowers, food, photographer, and guests. If we hadn’t been so exhausted we’d have patted ourselves on the back. Instead, we all just collapsed into bed.
The next day when Abby got off work we headed to Joplin to shop for a dress. She is a pale little thing and has said for years she didn’t want to get married in white or ivory lest she look like a bottle of glue. She wanted pink. Very light pink. And that was all well and good – a bride should have what she wants, right? Well, this season’s colors consist of aqua, salmon, or burn-your-corneas HOT PINK. In the first store, she tried on a pretty aqua dress and we set it aside as a last resort. We scoured the mall from stem to stern. There were no light pink dresses. Well, there was one at Macy’s, but it nearly revealed her bum and we decided it wasn’t appropriate for a church wedding. Or any wedding. Or for wearing in public. We were headed back to buy the aqua dress when Kady ducked into a cutesy little dress shop we never even glance at because their prices are so high. Then we saw her arm shoot out into the doorway with THE. PINK. DRESS. And it was 20% off! Abby tried it on, fell in love, it was purchased, and we made a mad dash to look for ivory shoes. Apparently to go with the burn-your-corneas hot pink, only white shoes will do. We were again discouraged. Then, little sister to the rescue once more, Kady found THE ivory shoes. We exited the mall fifteen minutes before it closed. The bride was happy. I was happy. And tired.
She had tears in her big brown eyes as she came down the aisle on her daddy’s arm. In my mind, I saw him holding her, swaddled and black-haired, mere minutes after she arrived. She smiled at me and blinked the tears away. Standing at the altar she looked at the same time a child and a woman. She is the same age I was when I said, “I do” to her daddy, yet wasn’t she only born a few days ago? I sat there feeling what I am certain my own mother felt 23 years ago: hope, joy, wonder, pride, excitement, and not the least bit sad. But probably just as tired. I am proud of who she is and love her endlessly. Her daddy feels the same way, too. She was a vision in that pink dress, her auburn hair nearly shrouding her face as she prayed with her husband’s hands in hers. God was in our midst.
Their Pops married them, their pastor prayed over them, their family was there to witness their beginning. We all love them. These kids have no idea the support system they have. Or maybe they do. Yeah, I think they do.
“Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Matthew 19:6 (NLT)