Reflections On A Second Alabama Wedding

Glorify the Lord with me! Weddings are a blur of color and emotion. Occasionally, the blur lends up a still shot. Here are a few still shots, all out of order.

Zinnias. Filling garden and vases, zinnias from Don and Judie did their thing all over the place.

Christ Covenant Presbyterian youth on the dance floor. Close to heaven is the sight of young ones celebrating music and summer and God’s good plan for a man and a woman and the sweet knowing that their turn will come.

The groom’s father, Roger, ended the rehearsal dinner with the doxology, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!” Someone write this down in the ‘wedding traditions’ book. It was a profound benediction.

Sandy Jurgensen’s smiling face. She doesn’t know how many times in my life her smile has buoyed me for the task ahead. Deep lesson here. A friend doesn’t even have to do anything but be there and smile. It steadies the feet and anchors the ship. *Note to self.

Post-wedding laundry. Andrew’s cousins lived in Zaire during their childhood and tell of the ‘washjack,’ or the laundress. I felt for the washjack as I washed, dried, and folded every towel and sheet for two whole residences – ours and the house where the groom’s party stayed. Thank you, Brad and Sue, for use of your little slice of heaven on Smith Lake. On that note, our favorite part of the whole wedding event was two days later, swimming in the lake and falling sound asleep on the dock, no towel, hot decking beneath our backs as the final laundry tossed in the dryer. Bliss.

The wedding dress, all lush and white and laced with girlhood, hanging ready in that girl’s room in the dreamy calm before the first arrivals.

The obligatory ER visit on wedding day. I woke that morning to find Andrew gone. Two hours later he was still AWOL. Finally he wobbled in, covered in blood, six stitches in his right middle finger, and a circus balloon for a hand. He had pitched forward on a downhill part of his run, split and bent backward his finger, crept into the house to get his keys without waking the bridesmaids slumbering on pallets wall to wall, and taken himself to the ER.

Doing the Electric Slide at the reception with Peaches. Peaches is the groom’s aunt, or ‘auntie’ pronounced ahn-tee, his mother’s baby sister. She patiently tried to teach me her smooth, fluid, yes, even elegant, dance moves. The spirit is willing but the flesh is white.

Carter James, the three year old ring-bearer, in a tiny blue suit. Seeing that little man walk head-up and unafraid, downright interested, through a sea of happy faces, made the solemn groom smile big.

Two young girls I raised alongside their mothers, my daughter’s best friends. Callie and Leah. Callie, artistic and lovely; Leah, loyal and 5 weeks from delivering Cindy’s second granddaughter. These girls are women now and how they stepped in to do women’s work! One of the unexpected blessings of growing older is to watch that sacred baton pass and to see how ready the next runners are and to know God did it and will continue to do it.

My sibs! Walking out of the bride’s room a half hour before the ceremony, nerves and adrenaline like cicadas at twilight, I see my fam and I know, Ahhhh, I can do this because they are here.

Grant Mallard, Baby G, a mere 8 weeks old, with his sweet restlessness and his little perfection managed to distract me from the nerve song and to lend a measure of life perspective as I awaited Denise’s direction to seat the mothers.

Instagram. Thank goodness for Instagram. I love social media. Without intruding on the tender early days of them establishing their marriedness, I got glimpses of the groom singing love songs to his bride on a Miami night. Goal-post hands!

No one will ever hire me as an event planner. I ran out of water at last year’s wedding and seating at this year’s. Oh well, let them eat cake.

And my daughter, in ivory lace, coming in to How Great Thou Art, going from my child to a man’s wife in a blink. No gradual processing when your child gets married. Nope. You basically get the length of the church aisle to let her go. Later at the reception someone said, ‘Wow, your son-in-law can dance!’ My son-in-law. I have another son. No wonder it has taken me all week for my brain to relax. This is no small thing.

The wedding folder has run its course and is as retired from duty as this Mother of the Bride. Next wedding for us will be the smile-and-be-quiet kind.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!