This weekend I was fortunate enough to witness the marriage of my youngest cousin Brooke. My sister and I grew up with our cousins Kate, Liz and Brooke. We have had many adventures over the years. When we come together, often we end up reminiscing about our fondest memories of our young childhood and teenage years. Now as adults, our memories continue but the adventures have changed a little. Where our adventures used to be “The Adventures of Peter Pan and Captain Hook” in our bedrooms, we now find ourselves discussing our careers, our significant others, and our children. We share in our successes and we support each other, even with distance between us, through the hard times as well. Suffice it to say, it would not have felt right if we were not all together to witness the beginning of the newest adventure that has begun in Brooke’s life.
There was nothing more surreal than watching Brooke walk down the isle to her love and the Father of her children. In that moment, my youngest cousin Brooke was no longer just my childhood playmate. She was a beautiful woman making a life long commitment to walk through her life with her new husband. Watching her brought tears to my eyes. Tears for our childhood which passed us by so quickly. Tears for the difficult times we have had, and our ability to come out on the other side triumphantly. Tears of appreciation and pride for the woman that she has become. Naturally, it also reminded me of my own love story.
I have had 4 days in my 30 years of life so far that have been the happiest of them all. The day that Thomas, Isaiah and Elizabeth were born, and the day that I married my husband. I remember so clearly walking down the isle. All I could see was Wayne. In the church filled with my family and friends, in that moment we were the only two people there in God’s presence. I felt truly in awe of the amazing gift that I had been given in finding the kind of love I never imaged existed with him. I stood at the front of the church looking into his eyes, truly excited about starting my life with him as Man and Wife.
The moment quickly passed as I realized that I had walked down the isle to no minister. Yes, you read that correctly. There was no minister. You see, he thought that the wedding started at 2, and in the panic and excitement of the day no one really checked to see where he was. The cues to begin were given, and before you knew it, I was standing at the front of the church in front of all of my family and friends…… and no minister. I left the church, had my nerves mowed by my bridesmaids, and patiently awaited the minister’s arrival. Before you know it, I was walking down the isle for the second time in one day. It would become a running joke that I was the only bride to walk down the isle twice-IN ONE DAY. My piece of advice to those married since then has been, “Trust in God, and wait for the Minister”. Words to live by.
Despite all of that, my wedding day was perfect. Not to say that it all went according to plan or that it turned out exactly the way that I would have wanted. What I mean to say is that despite all of that, my wedding day was perfect because I was joined to Wayne in marriage in the presence of God, and those we love. I married my best friend, the Father of my children, and my partner in life, until Death do us part. The only thing that matters is that through the good, the bad and the ugly that life may hand us, I know that I have someone to walk through it all with. I have someone to share in my successes with, to share my burdens with, and to watch my children grow up with. And now, so does Brooke.
So congratulations Brooke and Ryan. May the years ahead of you as Man and Wife be rich with love, faith and trust in God, and one another. Always remember how happy and in love you were on the day of your marriage.
I know I will always remember.