Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To have and to hold

I’ve always been a big fan of weddings. The promise of true love, the vows of faith and devotion, always strike a chord with me.

I have shed more than my share of sentimental tears at weddings all over the country.

This weekend we went to a lovely wedding – beautiful bride, happy groom. A perfect fall day. A breathtaking setting on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. We sat at our table adorned with fall flowers and painted pumpkins watching the bride and groom glide across the floor to a Michael Bouble song. They looked into each other’s eyes and a hitch caught in my throat.

As the song ended and they parted, the DJ announced that the bride would now dance with her father.

As I watched this man (who I’d never met), take his daughter (who I’d also not yet met) into his arms, my body froze. I turned to Mark.

That will be you someday.

He nodded, silently.

I turned back, watching them. Studying the emotion on the father’s face – a mix of joy and pride rimmed with the sad acceptance that his Little Girl had officially slipped away and had somehow been replaced by this Woman in a white wedding gown. His inability to comprehend that just yesterday this Woman with flowing waves and a sparkly tiara was a curly-haired toddler snuggled in his lap in her footie pajamas was as plain as day.

I had to fight to keep the tears from pouring down my face. I certainly couldn’t look at Mark and after a few seconds, couldn’t look at the figures on the dance floor.

Instead I stared up at the ceiling – trying to avoid the glimpse of our future spinning gracefully on the dance floor a few feet in front of us. It’s a happy future, no doubt, but one that I know will be here all too quickly.



Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Wow. You just made me cry.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Kimmylyn said...

I just got chills..I cannot bear to think of the day when I will dance with my boys on their wedding day..

2:01 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Ah, but it's such a wonderful moment between father and daughter. A moment that will be treasured forever. I cried the first wedding I went to after my father passed when my friend danced with her father. It's such a sweet, wonderful memory.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Chris Curtin said...

That was one of the first things I thought of after I held Meghan in my arms for the first time a little more than 14 years ago.

A few years later as my daughters watched our wedding video they would ask about Deb's dad. He passed away a few years ago, but got to know both my daughters. Deb still cries when they get to that part in the video.

I don't dance with the 14 year old any more, but Courtney (10) will sometimes still humor me.

On a lighter note: when we found out child #2 was a girl, Deb, still with the ultra sound going on, looks at me and says 'Hey, another wedding to pay for!'

7:52 PM  

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