We left last Thursday about 4:00 a.m., and saw two deer in the middle of the city as we were leaving, a not uncommon thing in our city because of the metro park nearby. There were five of us, plus Hammy, Caleb’s guide dog, in the van.
We seemed packed more than full, and I wondered how we used to do it with seven people in the van plus everything we had to take for a trip. But we made it okay, even over a thirteen-and-a-half-hour drive, and I thought how it might be the last time so many of us traveled together, as the kids get older and move farther into their own lives.
The wedding was Saturday. Sarah was one of the attendants and needed to be at the site early in the morning. Rebecca and Steve each had seven attendants, and she’d arranged for all the ladies to get together and have help with hair and make-up. I came a couple hours later to sit in while Rebecca was getting ready.
It was fun, sitting in the room filled with happy music and ladies talking and laughing. Rebecca gave me a gift bag with gifts for the mother of the bride. Smart she is. I think the gifts for the attendants may have included some cosmetics and jewelry, but mine had candy and snacks. She knows me well.
It took around an hour to do Rebecca’s hair and make-up, with ladies surrounding her. I thought about my friend Janet W. Ferguson’s most recent book about a lady who was a wedding planner. She said her goal was to help a woman feel like a princess for a day, and I felt like that was what was happening for Rebecca. Then she plopped down on the floor in front of me and asked if I wanted to check out her hair.
All week we’d kept checking the weather forecast. For a day at the end of April, we hoped for a nice spring day for an outside wedding. The forecast was for rain Friday, and temperatures in the 50s for Saturday but windy. Rebecca said she didn’t mind clouds, as long as it didn’t rain.
Murray said early in the afternoon it rained, but the sun had come out some after that, and it looked like it was going to be okay for four-thirty, the time of the wedding.
Our family sat down first, and we kept waiting for more people to sit down behind us. Finally, Murray went back into the building where the dinner was going to be, to see what was happening.
It was windy and chilly, and most of the guests had gone inside. Murray said he heard Audrey, Rebecca’s matron of honor call out boldly, “Okay, everyone who is not part of the wedding party, go on out and find your seats.” Sarah said later that she was so glad Audrey was there to help with all the arrangements.
Things never go perfectly for a wedding, no matter how hard you work. Rebecca told me they had coolers set up with signs made up for the different drinks. For kids they had a cooler with a sign that said “Milk and Juice,” but when they went shopping Friday for last minute things, they couldn’t find any small bottles of milk. Then, on Saturday morning, at her hotel breakfast, Audrey snagged several cartons of milk, so the sign was not inaccurate.
After guests were seated behind us, a few members of the wedding party started to move out to proceed up the aisle. Then it started to rain, and then Murray laughed and said, “It’s hailing.” Someone behind us called, “This is good luck folks.” Mom told me later that she’d always heard if it rains on your wedding day, you’ll have a happy marriage.
Rebecca and Steve had written vows to each other, and Sarah told me later that she thought they both sniffled a little. I said I certainly sniffled. When they were done, Murray told me, “Rebecca looked pretty happy.”
After dinner, Rebecca and Steve had the first dance, and Murray said it looked amazingly choreographed, starting slow and easy, then quickly moving to more fast and intricate. Ping-Hwei found an old digital camera in his room last week, and caught their dance on video. After the dance, Rebecca asked everyone else to join them on the floor, and I heard Caleb ask Sarah to dance with him.
A fun surprise at the wedding. We met the granddaughter of the couple who ran the home in Taiwan where we found Ping-Hwei, Caleb and Benjamin. She introduced herself to us as the wife of Steve’s best man.
On Sunday, Murray, Ping-Hwei and I went on to Missouri to visit my mother where she lives in a senior living facility. On Sunday, we played scrabble with her, which is a fun memory I have with Mom when I was a kid.
On Monday, we sat with Mom through her activities in the morning and afternoon, which happened to be bingo both times. I told her we were good luck for her, because with us there, she won four games.
My brother Rodney came about mid-day. He has a garden, and I’m constantly telling him he should mail me some of his fresh radishes with dry ice. When he walked into Mom’s room, he handed me a small sack full of radishes and said, “I pulled these, cut the stems and cleaned them just this morning.”
After we left there, we drove by to visit Murray’s brother Myles, his wife Heather and their daughter Melissa. They had happy little one-year-old dogs, who gifted me by again and again jumping up and putting their paws on my lap and kissing me.
With the closeness of our journey, the traveling, time in the hotel, the wedding, and our visit to Mom and the chance to be with family, not everything went smoothly, as it never does. But I thought these verses, one from Rebecca and Steve’s wedding, spoke well. Colossians 3:12-14: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.