I was honored and blessed this weekend to attend the wedding of my dear friend’s son. There were quite a lot of moments and thoughts that raced through my mind during the daylong ceremony and reception.
Mostly I was struck by the apparent love between the bride and the groom. They seemed really happy, as all bride and grooms do. Youthful and in their 20s I’m sure they have a bright happy future. So much to look forward to…honeymoon, babies, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, first house….
And then I come to me. All that is behind me. I remember my own wedding day, the high hopes and happiness I had. My dance with my father. The bride danced with her own father to the song “I Loved You First”. It brought tears to my eyes. My own father died at 59, twenty eight years ago. He missed so much…the birth of his two grandsons most importantly. They are 27 and 25 respectively. There was so much in those years, growing up, the school activities, 27 Christmases and Thanksgivings, birthdays, graduations, honor rolls, my oldest son’s marriage. And there will be so much more, grandchildren, college graduation, wedding…he has been gone so long. I wonder, did he love me?
And where did it all go wrong? The years of marital unhappiness, the struggles, the heartbreaks, leading up to divorce. We went from the pure white light of marriage to the dark dank recesses of divorce.
Life marches on, regardless of what we do or think. In the blink of an eye, twenty eight years pass. Children grow up, life goes on, no matter how much your heart breaks.
Yet, there is ever much to look forward to. Grandchildren. The sense of calmness and peace that only age can bring. Not caring so much about the little stuff. A certain amount of wisdom. The sense of accomplishment you feel when your children are grown and you can see that they are healthy, loving, adults who add to the planet, not detract from it.
I can see that my children do not suffer some of the issues I fought all my life. They seem to actually like me. I’m not so sure I liked my own parents. They do well in their chosen endeavors. And they can love, something I had to spend most of my life learning to do. That’s quite an accomplishment. You would think that we are born knowing how to love, and maybe we are, but somewhere along the years, life and my own inability to deal with it cut my heart off. And I had to relearn, similar to the person who has had a stroke must learn to walk and talk again.
So I look at my friend’s son and daughter-in-law, and my own two boys and women in their lives and I think, it was all worth it. To see them able to love and to communicate in that love is a great accomplishment. Maybe life will be kinder to them. Although, we never really know what’s in our future. And maybe it’s better that way because it provides us an opportunity to live, love and grow.