Written: October 2, 2016
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I drove toward Cookeville to pick up my youngest son for a wedding we were attending. I love the drive through the farmland of Middle Tennessee and the tree covered hills that lead to the Plateau. The trees were just beginning to get a “touch” of color, which made me long for Fall.
This would be the first wedding I’ve attended since Raouf’s departure, and I wasn’t sure how I would do. I’ve always been one to cry at weddings, but somehow I was expecting the reminders of my own beautiful wedding to be strong and also the thought that my own two boys would be facing such a day before I knew it. Mixed emotions, indeed.
Thankfully, the lineup of groomsmen behind a hedgerow as we waited for the bride, set off a round of giggles in the crowd, as all we could see was their heads and handsome faces. The bride arrived, and then as quickly as it began — it was over. Definitely not as long as my almost hour-long wedding ceremony! So, it seemed that there was no time to cry, as we swiftly moved to the reception, during which I learned for the first time that the mother of the groom (whom I’ve now known 4 years) actually went to college and the BSU (Baptist Student Union) with me!
God has his ways of sparing us in grief, and as I sat at the table with a much younger crowd, I was blessed to see their smiles, hear their laughter, and witness the hope of a long life ahead, full of adventure and faith. That’s as it should be at a wedding, and I was encouraged by it and comforted.
On the way back to my son’s house, we talked about the wedding, about what kind of girl he might want to marry one day. It was a sweet talk, and one that brought up memories of his dad in a way that a son should speak of his father — with love and affection. As I watched him walk into his house, I realized once again how quickly life changes and our children grow and leave. I’m just thankful for the moments together.
Driving back to the ‘Boro, I caught myself looking at the For Sale signs along the way, and remembered how much Raouf was always looking to find that “next great piece of property” on which to build or simply leave as an inheritance for his sons. I know now, he left so much more as an inheritance for them — he left his example, his wisdom, his love. I’m so glad I married that man, God’s man, and now can see the two wonderful men who are following in their father’s footsteps. It was a good day.
Grace and Peace