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The Wedding


    We recently had an exciting event in our family: One of my sons got married, after an nine-month engagement. We endured the months of waiting and planning and shared the excitement and anticipation of this lovely and respected young couple, as they made plans to spend their lives together. They had to plan their vows, pick someone to perform the ceremony, decide upon the type of wedding and where it would be. Bridesmaids and groomsmen and family and friends all joined in to plan and arrange different aspects of the event. There were bridal showers to be held and dresses to be made and tuxedos to be rented and flowers to be selected!
    The big day came and the groom and his groomsmen had a delightful bachelor party. The morning of the wedding day, they all took a hike together, but in reverse, driving to the top of the mountain and hiking down and then up. And after that morning exercise, they were all ready, in the tuxedos, waiting for the evening wedding. (Oh, the energy of the young!) They respected the tradition of not seeing the beautiful bride in her white gown, until she walked down the aisle. The bride and her bridesmaids were all lovely.
    The ceremony brought tears to my eyes (and no doubt others), as I saw my “baby” take his vows before God to love, honor and cherish his bride, as long as they both shall live, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, richer or poorer. I Corinthians 13:4-7 sums it up beautifully, “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
    During the reception in the evening, I noticed that married couples, who were at the wedding, were reminded of their own vows and commitments and silently renewed them.
    There was a couple, who was not at the wedding, who were very much missed and sorely had wanted to come – my parents. The brides’ parents made an announcement, regretting that my parents were not able to come to the wedding. Several months before the wedding, my mother had become very ill and was hospitalized. My children arranged a video of the wedding to be taken for them and had tried to arrange the ceremony to be on-line (but there was no internet connection). The video turned out very well, despite the fact that the best man’s (my younger son) head blocked some of the ceremony in the video.
    The next day, I flew to be with my parents and was very thankful for the tremendous testimony of marital commitment before me. My parents also were remembering their own wedding vows, as they battled with a very serious illness and hospitalization of my mother. As I saw them together, after 55 years of marriage, in the hospital, my father was acting like he and my mother were on their honeymoon! In spite of the ravages of helplessness and illness, they were as a young couple in spirit and in their love and commitment for one another. My mother was valiantly doing her best to get better and relieve my father of his responsibilities. She was concerned about his health. My father was calling my mother on the phone, just to say, “Darling, I love you, “ in the middle of the day and making endless visits to the hospital. He encouraged my mother to do the things that she needed to do to get better and kept meticulous tract of her doctors and medicines. There was love and tenderness in his face, when he told her how beautiful she was and she did look beautiful.
    She is now home from the hospital and is on her way to full recovery, after a severe bout with clostridium difficile (c diff), a fearfully strong, antibiotic-resistant stomach bacteria. I was blessed to see a real testimony of marital commitment and wedding vows, the mystical union between husband and wife, as that between Jesus and His bride, the Church. Though my parents could not attend the wedding they so badly had wanted to, their example was a very powerful message and legacy to us all.