I went to the wedding ceremony of my nephew and his new bride this weekend. It was a beautiful wedding. The weather didn’t want to cooperate but it was still beautiful. My grandchildren were in the wedding; of course, I enjoyed watching them participate in the ceremony and dancing with joy at the reception. As special as the wedding was to me, I know it was even more special to the parents. They will remember it forever. All kinds of small details. All the joy. All the smiles of their children. The stress too. It’s just something remarkable about the marriage of your own child.
This month Amanda would have been married 11 years. The planning was aggravating and fun. She was adamant about some things and couldn’t care less about others. Spent many late nights on the internet trying to find special things for the wedding. M&M’s with their names, coffee cups, matches “A Perfect Match” on them, and scrolls; just a few of the things.
The rehearsal was fun. A lifelong friend was the “stand-in” bride. She wanted people involved in the wedding who watched her grow up. Special people who help mold her into the person she became. It was great having them around at such a wonderful time of celebration. Lot’s of laughter and joy with the “wedding party”. I remember, we kept picking on the wedding director because she was so nervous. It was a very nice evening. I just kept hoping we had thought of everything.
The wedding day was like a lot of wedding days, hectic. Started early in the morning getting hair fixed. Getting pictures made without the Bride and Groom together. Lot’s of very special moments, times before the ceremony I hope I will always remember. Standing at the glass doors watching the rain come down in sheets, holding hands. My oldest granddaughter, Amanda’s niece, running around playing with everything. Amanda picking her up several times just squeezing her. They had such a special bond. Laughing at each other. Laughing about how nervous her daddy was. Watching her get her makeup done – well, watching her tell the lady how she was to apply it! The hugs and laughter she enjoyed between her closest friends. Hugs and laughter with her brother. Her last words before I had to go out – “I love you, Momma, it’s the last time I’ll say it single.” Me – “I love you too Punk, you are so beautiful, inside and out. I’m so proud of you.”
The ceremony glimpses – her brother bringing her around the church trying to keep her dry. One of my best friends in the world walking me to be seated to the song You Happened to Me, by Larry Gatlin. It was the song my husband sang to me as I walked down the isle. Her husband looking so nervous and handsome and happy. The Groom, his Daddy, the Pastor and my husband standing up front. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen walking down the isle. The flower girl so tiny and smart – throwing down petals and smiling and waving and saying hi to everyone. My good-looking, loving son standing with his gorgeous sister at the back of the church as my husband, Amanda’s daddy sang Butterfly Kisses, by Bob Carlisle to his little girl. I still do not know how he got through it. Then he went to the back of the church, took his little girls hand, walked her to the front and gave her away. It was amazing to watch. Then the marriage vows – which I am proud to say, Amanda realized was a vow to God she was making. Exchanging “I do’s” and rings. Lighting of the Unity Candle to When God Made You, by Newsong; sang by a couple who ended up singing at her funeral. She loved to hear them sing.
Introduction of Mr. and Mrs.! Scripture read -Ruth 1: 16 & 17 “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”
The memories of her dancing with her new husband, her father and her brother at the reception. The chocolate fountain with kids having a blast. Food and fun.
Yep, memories of a wonderful, gleeful, hectic, fun, serious, tiring, solemn, extremely important, life changing day.
It’s a day I hold precious more so these days. Seeing her so very happy. It’s one of those days, I would go back to if I could.
We all have those days we would like to go back to and enjoy again. They become more important in your memory when your child dies. It’s not just true for me as a Mom though.
Children have those times too. Sometimes we forget there are things and places which remind them of their mother. We walked over a bridge yesterday with children and the remark was made about wanting to go back to a day or standing there until she appeared. I am thankful they freely ask me and my husband questions and talk about her with us. I can only reply – I know baby, me too.
It’s hard for me to continue on living without her. I know some people think I should have my “new normal” (whatever that is) by now. I am thankful for those who are still here. I really am. I have to keep reminding myself there are still a lot of people left in my life. I love my husband. I love my children. I love my grandchildren. I know each and every one of them have those same times and memories they would like to go back and experience again. Sometimes, the memories bring you great joy, other times you just ache.
Unless my mind goes, my memory is lost for some reason, I believe, I will always have times of an unbelievable urge to hold her again, talk to her again. I also believe, I will have memories, moments frozen in my mind which will bring me, gladness, joy and happiness. There will also always be times where the two will be mixed.
Hoping today your memories will bring you gladness, joy and happiness. Praying for y’all. Remember we are not alone.
Love and Hugs to all of you, Manda’s Mom #APG