Monday, June 14, 2010
Marriage on My Mind
I recently received a wedding invitation for the wedding of the son of a dear friend of mine. I know we all have this realization from time to time: Married? Isn't that kid still in rompers? How quickly the years pass by--and one day the boy who sat at your Thanksgiving table carefully moving around the vegetables he didn't fancy is now going to be a husband. I mentioned recently that another friend's son has just been wed, before being deployed for his third tour in Iraq. His wedding was especially significant to me because I wrote about his mom's wedding in my book, Jenny Walton's Packing for a Woman's Journey. His mom was one of the young women working with me--and our whole staff, with her mom's approval, got together and put on the wedding.
The wedding happened to be on my December birthday, and it was memorable for lots of reasons including the bitter cold and ice of an Iowa winter. Dear Ann, tiny but intrepid, walked across the icy parking lot of the church where the reception was being held managing a three-tiered cake she baked. I looked out the window and I stopped breathing for a second. She made it, of course. There must be special angels in attendance on such occasions. Suzy, who now resides in sunny Mexico, had flown into Des Moines from New York in a storm tenderly caressing the floral bouquets she had touched with a rim of gold. As for my contribution--I spent the fall months knitting a series of sweaters in pastel colors for the bridesmaids. The one in progress when my husband and I drove to see our son in high school in Michigan was a most delicate shade of lavender. At one point, with bits of wool dust swirling in the car, my husband suggested I might have to stop lest we get "lilac lung disease." So many good memories.
My own wedding had its share of drama. I won't relate it here, but if one of you has a copy of Packing for a Woman's Journey feel free to tell the story. Our anniversary is coming up and we'll celebrate this year with just a few of our nearest and dearest--including friends who were there on a tropical July day in Washington. I once heard that the British diplomats got special pay for enduring DC summers. I don't know whether it's true or not, but it can be very hot and humid, and it certainly was on our special day.
And so marriage is on my mind: Radiant brides, flowers in hand, aisles whether in churches or sylvan settings, adoring parents, the friends of a lifetime, grooms seemingly too young...happiness.
Above: Wedding Day, Daniel Bennett Schwartz, watercolor, 2010