On the grief journey, the sweet things of life are no less sweet, only different. This was the case for me as I spent a beautiful weekend with my children and their friends. However, this was no typical occasion, as we were preparing for the engagement of my son to his sweetheart. There were lots of secret conversations, a text message with a time line of events, and even a wedding.
The series of fortunate events began with me having to pick up the “sweetheart” at the airport, as she thought she was just coming for the wedding, in which her sweetheart was the best man. We chatted about life and work on the way back from the airport, and I was really happy that I had this “alone” time with her, even though I couldn’t breathe a word about the secret event to come. The more she talked and the longer we drove, the more thankful I became that my son had chosen well. I was at peace, knowing that she loved the Lord, fit him well, and did love him. I could see it in her eyes when he surprised her at the house.
Since he left early the next morning for the wedding destination to do his “Best Man” duties, once again I had a nice drive with his sweetheart. More small talk, more learning about her, her family…her life. I dropped her off eventually at the church to help with the wedding crew. I then drove to my younger son’s house for the fun part of the day.
We followed the list we’d been given, quickly shopped and then returned to his house to find the second surprise of the day — the twin sister of my son’s intended. She had secretly flown in to be here for her sister’s big day. She would help us decorate and remain in hiding until after they returned from the wedding. I was happy to see their siblings so excited for what was to come.
Now sitting at the church, I sat in awe at the beautiful union of good friends surrounded by good friends and family. Not a fancy wedding, but a beautiful and meaningful one full of biblical truth and a clear Gospel message. I wanted to take notes through my tears. Tears were flowing next to me too, and I found myself, instinctively as a mother, putting my arm around her shoulders, enjoying the moment together. As I listened to the preacher, with my son standing nearby, I thought of how we would miss his father being able to serve at his wedding. A hard thought on which I did not want to dwell. I turned back to the words being spoken and the look of love in the bridal couple, and was thankful again for the friends the Lord had brought into my children’s lives.
Slipping out before the reception came to an end, my son and I scurried back to the house to finalize the setting for the main event (at least in our lives) for the evening. Flowers laid on the table, candle lit, ring and photographer in place, we waited behind the door watching. The moment arrived, we strained our ears to hear…then “Yes!” came her answer…along with several, “I’m so happy’s”. Sisters eventually united as well, to further squeals of joy. Pictures taken. Hugs and kisses shared. Friends joined in the party. Mission accomplished.
Lying in the quiet of my room looking for sleep, I thought of the events of the day. Tears of grief delayed for another day, because it was no time to mourn — only rejoice. Sweet, sweet day, with expectation of many more to come. God is good.
Grace and Peace