I went to a wedding today. The service was special and personal and the chapel was beautiful and the music was great. The bride looked gorgeous and radiant and her sister and the other bridesmaids were elegant and lovely.
And I cried ….
Well – church, music, beauty and emotion …. what did you expect?
I have known the bride since her birth but due to distance and circumstance, my friendship with her parents had gone into hiatus. No ones fault …. it just happened. My recent contact was mostly from the occasional Facebook update or post. But almost 30 years ago, when this beautiful bride was about 2 years old, she came to stay with our family while her Mum was in the hospital, having her baby sister. What a privilege to be asked to care for this darling little girl, at this very special time in her life.
On Good Friday, I went to my local church for the first time in many months. While I was there, I saw in the church bulletin that morning, an open invitation to friends and family to attend the wedding ceremony at an inner city school chapel, of the bride and her groom. I decided to go!
I wanted to go for many reasons. I wanted to see this special little girl, that had been trusted to my care all those years ago, grown up and happy and I wanted to meet her chosen new husband. I wanted to renew my friendship with her parents, who were once an important part of my life. And I wanted to catch up with her lovely sister and bridesmaid who also happens to be one of my wonderful god daughters.
I achieved all of the above plus I discovered that the groom attended the same College as my sons had attended and found that as he was only a year younger than one of my boys, they must have been at the school at the same time. The happy couple were married in that College Chapel – it felt so familiar.
And I cried ….
Not loud, sobbing but quiet happy tears – as I remembered that little girl.
I’m glad I went to the wedding today. Not just for all the reasons mentioned above but also because I had the chance to remember my own wedding. I loved my wedding. I wouldn’t change a thing – even 36 years later. One of the very special things that happened at my wedding all those years ago, happened at the wedding today. You see, the bride is a teacher, just as I was a teacher at the time of my wedding day. At one point, after the ceremony was over, a group of little children moved towards the spot where the new Mr and Mrs were standing and the bride bent down to their level and her face glowed with delight and pride, and she wrapped her arms around those shy little kids and gave them a hug! I don’t know for sure but my heart tells me that they were some of the children from her class. I feel this is so because the exact same thing happened at my wedding with some of my lovely students! I was so happy and proud to see those children at my wedding and I was just as happy to see the children at today’s wedding.
And I cried ….
Gentle, silent, remembering tears.
I wish all good things for this beautiful couple today. And I am grateful for friendships renewed. And memories remembered. And hugs given. And tears shed.
(The couple asked that the guests at the service put away their phones and camera’s during the ceremony. They asked that we be present, with them, in the words and music and not view it through the various social media platforms. So I have no photographs to share of their lovely day BUT I do have photos to share of my lovely wedding day!)