My People, part II

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: wedding recaps | Tags: |

Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you, For where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. And where you die, I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord do with me and more if anything but death parts you from me. Ruth 1:16

My grandfather died around this time last year, and I was fortunate enough to be there and be given the opportunity to speak at his funeral.  While I was drafting my notes, I got to thinking about what I was looking for in a relationship, and I finally realized that it was in front of me my whole life.

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Photo from my personal collection

That man would be a lot like my grandpa: loyal and devoted, honest and direct, and a silly smartass.  He was always willing to lighten the mood with a joke or a funny face, and he told it like it was and when the rubber hit the road, he was there.  My husband is all of that.

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1954 BW

We started talking about marriage, and soon we were engaged, and for the first time in my life, I was thinking about having a family.  Not a family of just cats, but the kind with moms and dads and kids… oh, and dogs.  And I was happy to see that what I wanted had been right in front of me.

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The closer we got to being a family, the closer I wanted to carry mine.

“I carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it” –ee cummings

I wear my grandmother’s earrings every day.  I never take them off.

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I asked my sister-in-law to incorporate my other grandmother’s cross into my bouquet.

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{Yes, we were growling at each other. It’s our thing.}

And our tables were decorated with geraniums, which both of my grandmothers loved.  I carried them all with me, every moment.

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But the idea of saying this big emotional thing to my parents in front of all of those people – most of whom were friends, not family – was too much.  We paid tribute to our people with a few lines in our ceremony (read just before our parents were each asked to pledge their support):

{Parents’ names}

You stand before us

Symbolizing the traditions and family

From which bride/ groom comes.

Do you willingly and gladly support

Bride’s marriage to Groom?

It was good, but it wasn’t enough.  Not for an emotional girl like me.  So the morning of our wedding, while getting my hair done and hanging out in our bedroom, I wrote thank you notes:

Dad, you’re the kind of dad I want for my kids.  Your willingness to be there — everywhere, all the time, at every game no matter how early on a weekend or how many times you made the drive — your niceness, your caring, your commitment… you were — are — the best kind of dad. Thanks.  Mr. Cheese is a lot like you.  When you need him, he’s there, willingly and until the work’s done. I wouldn’t have recognized it had I not grown up with you.

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Photo from my personal collection

Mom, I wouldn’t be me without you.  When things get bad, you’re who I need.  You’re my cheerleader, my teacher, and my therapist.  You can sort through the barrage of words and pick out the ones that matter, then help me figure out a solution.   I don’t know how you do it, but you handle me better than anyone else… except for my guy.  He’s not quite at pro level, but 9 times out of 10, when I bring a trouble or worry to him, he’ll help me sort it out.  And like with you, I end up feeling like I knew the answer all along.

image0-17

Photo from my personal collection

I have great people.  They flew across the country, cleaned and fixed and set up, all because their daughter found a guy she really loved.  All of them – my mom and dad, stepmom and stepdad, sisters, brother, and niece.  And after sweeping and trimming and running to the store, my mom and dad escorted each other down the aisle, simply because I asked them.

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And my stepdad and stepmom waited at the top of the seating to join them for the last part of the trek.  A fitting tribute to all of them, I think.

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My husband’s parents, having little desire to be in the spotlight, were already seated.  And hiding from the camera (ahem).

At the end of the night, our photographer snapped two shots I treasure: of all my parents dancing,

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twice in perfect mirror images of each other.

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You’d almost think it was meant to be.

Love lives sometimes take meandering paths, but that doesn’t mean they don’t end up where they should, or make them any less perfect.

All photography by Angela Herzog of Angela Herzog Photography (www.angelaherzogphotography.com) unless otherwise noted.  Asterisks (*) indicate that post-processing was done by me, and thus, should not be held against her.  See this post for more details.

Late to the party? See previous recaps here:

Part I: And It Begins

Part II: My People, Part I

Part III: It’s Time

Part IV: Our Ceremony

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    About

    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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