My parents didn't divorce until I was married and had a couple of children of my own. Even then it was a blow. It's still hard for me to not think of my mom and dad together, but thankfully they have each found new partners who not only love and care for them, but for us as well. David has never been married before. He has no children of his own, and so here he comes into the world of a woman who has nine children and twenty-plus grandchildren, and he has swooped us all up as if we were his own. I am so grateful for him. I love that he loves my mother. It gives me so much comfort knowing they are taking care of each other.
My mom is not a woman who cares much for the world's image of beauty. But the sweetest thing to me was when she called me asking for makeup help on her wedding day. I offered to do her makeup for her, and to my great delight, she accepted! My baby brother, Jonah, was there, and he kept giggling about it all because he said in his whole life he's never seen Mom with makeup on. I had. She wore some foundation and blush and mascara when I lived at home, but he was too young to remember, I guess. Either way, I was so honored to give her that gift and I love that every bride wants to feel beautiful on her wedding day. Beautiful, she was. Beautiful, she is.
The wedding was held at a friend's house, a woman who is also an ordained minister, and her husband. It was a lovely location in Redwood City, out on her back deck. The weather was unusually perfect, I'm told, but it was a perfect day.
The cake(s) arrived, and while Mom and David got dressed in a room upstairs, Jonah and his girlfriend, Jenn, sat outside and gabbed with me and the kids. Jonah is the youngest of the nine, I am the oldest. Mom calls us her "bookend kids", and we were happy to be there representing the other seven. Plus, I hardly ever get to spend time with Jonah, and I just adore him. I love his girlfriend too. (and hope there's another wedding soon. hint, hint.)
I went upstairs to make sure all was well, and to put lipstick on my mom. I got to see her first, dressed in her wedding gown that she made herself. It was completely adorable how jittery with nerves they both were. I got to spend a few moments with my mom, and of course, there were tears.
As guests arrived, my kids handed each one a flower and a vial of bubbles that would be part of the ceremony.
Jenny performed a lovely and thoughtful wedding. The only odd thing for me was that she kept referring to the benefits of marriage as an "older couple", and I kept thinking to myself, "Stop calling them that! This is not an older couple--that's my mom!" But I may be a little bit in denial. My mom is always about 38 to me. Maybe 40. But that's it.
After the vows were exchanged, each guest was invited to bring his/her flower to the front and place it in the vase with a wish or a blessing expressed for the newlyweds. I brought four flowers, one for me, and one for each of my three sisters who couldn't be there. And I gave a blessing from all of us, about how we each get our blue eyes from my mother, who has taught us to see beauty in all things with them, and that I hoped this marriage would only magnify her ability to see the beauty in the world and in life. Something like that. (Girls, you approve?)
Conor went up about five times. He liked it a lot, and there were extra flowers. He would go up and whisper, "I love you both." And sit down. And repeat.
At the end, there were bubbles and friends and food. All great things. And cake. It was all delicious. Most of all, I loved spending that tiny bit of time with my mom and my brother. I think she went home a very happy and very satisfied bride that day. I sure love her. And David. And I think life will only get better for them.