Tuesday, October 11, 2005
This is part 3 in Gretchen's Wedding Day Chronicles. You may wish to first read "Honey-Do In Hot Water" for part 1, and "Honey-Do: My Way, The Highway" for part 2.
After gathering myself, I grabbed the special gift for one of our guests and made my way into the hall. Behind me, both the photographer and videographer were busy capturing the Wedding Party disembarking from the bus. I had plenty of time to drop off the gift and still complete my mission.
I was a man with a drastic desire for a drastic drink!
My brush with what could have been tragedy by that time was having a profound affect on me. I wanted nothing more than to drown any thought of what could have been. It did succeed in soothing my nerves - at least for that moment. I glanced into the hall and scanned the sea of faces already seated waiting for the ceremony to begin. I was thankful in more ways than any of them would ever know to be a part of it all.
The procession was only minutes away as we were lining up for the grand entrance. My daughter and I were at the end of the line. Looking at her happy and glowing, a sudden wave emotion swept over. I lost it! It wasn't just tears of joy. That moment on the highway not a half hour earlier had slipped back into my mind. I thought of her standing there ... Waiting ... Waiting for her father ... Only he didn't show! Maybe out of embarrassment, maybe out of relief, or maybe out of pride, I struggled to regain my composure. I wished for another drink, but it wouldn't look right if I were walking her to the alter with a drink in my free hand.
....As it was, I appeared to be a father stricken with tears of happiness. I was okay with that, because I knew it was at least in part the case. I felt weak in the knees as we followed in the path of the others who had already walked ahead and had taken their places near the alter. Only when I placed her hand into the groom's hand did I feel like I had totally gained my composure. The question was asked, "Who gives this woman in marriage to this man?" Under control I replied, "I her father."
....Seated next my wife and her brother, I felt relieved to be out of the focus of the guests' attention. As part of the ceremony, as she had wished, there was a memorial candle lighting for family members of both the bride and groom who were no longer with us in this life. I never even felt a twinge of a warning, but when the names of my parents were read, the flood gates opened again. This time I was able to get a hold of myself rather quickly.
....The ceremony was simply wonderful. I swelled with pride knowing that my daughter herself had composed it all. Most striking was their shared pouring of sand from vials into a heart-shaped vase. The red and white sand blended and formed patterns within the vase. Symbolic of the blending of their own lives as one, the message was not lost on anyone. After the vows had been recited, the rings placed onto their fingers, and the pronouncement that they were man and wife, the hall erupted into applause as they kissed.
In orderly fashion we all marched from the alter. Next on the agenda was the photo shoot down stairs in another room. The guests were free to mingle, grab some appetizers and of course, raid the bar. I was thinking, as my wife must have also been thinking that everything was running as well as we would dare to expect. I was feeling some embarrassment yet, but otherwise was in a great mood.
Curmudgeon responsible for this post: Hale McKay at 12:32 AM