Is it possible that two full weeks have passed?
JULY 23rd has come and gone!
The date circled in everyone's calendar. The countdown date. The date that affected travel plans scheduled for air, land and sea. (Um, wait. No one traveled by sea. I just got caught up in the moment. Smile.)
I spoke with a friend who's daughter will be married next year. "Just remember two things," I said. (Offering unsolicited advice is an occupational hazard.) "She'll be just as married at the end of the day. Choose what's really important and skip the emotional frills." I had her husband's attention.
"And BE THERE!" She looked at me with a quizzical expression. My friend is one who takes care of all the details; making things run smoothly - we know one another. "Turn all that over to a trusted friend who can make decisions on your behalf. Then BE PRESENT; or you'll miss the entire day."
She smiled sheepishly. We exchanged knowing glances and a quick hug.
Why do we women so often take on that burden? The burden of making sure everything is running smoothly for everyone around us so that they have the best possible experience of their lives?! It's pretty unrealistic if you ask me.
Thankfully, Frank and the girls have worked on me a lot with this issue. So much so that at least on "Wedding Day" I'm able to fully engage.
One of my favorite wedding day moments is when I leave the bride room after my last kiss and just before walking into the church. (Please remember that we have three daughters. So weddings are a multiple in our family.)
The M.O.B. walks alone because Daddy needs to be available for the lovely, trembling bride. Excitement, nerves, anticipation all roll together and she needs Daddy's strong arm to guide her one more time.
Such a precious moment. And although Frank doesn't share with me the words exchanged between only he and the bride, I delight in that private moment. Such a tender sealing and conclusion of the foundation we've attempted to lay.
Each of our girls has looked for someone to love them fully; just like their Daddy always has.
Frank's fairness, strength and involvement through the years have set the stage for what they expect from their husbands. He is the model. His love gives them the confidence needed to fully love the men they marry.
So it is only natural that he would be the last connection to childhood. Waiting with her for the music to swell. The doors to swing open. The guests to stand. Walking confidently with her toward her future.
As Nathan stepped toward Frank and Meagan at the end of that aisle, he and Frank shook hands. It was a transference of sorts.
"I've cared for her all these years. I've loved her tenderly and unconditionally. Now, she becomes your responsibility. She will cause your heart to leap. She will live to make you smile. She will depend on you for comfort and encouragement."
That was a meaningful handshake. A powerful exchange.
How glad we are as parents to know that Nathan is a man led by God. How thankful are we to know that his arm will be her strength. And that because of good foundations, they will walk well together in the days to come.