Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Unsent Birthday Card

Today is a day filled with bittersweet joy.

Today is my husband's first Father's Day! It fills me with excitement to be able to proclaim that. I love watching Spencer and Jake interact. For example, although Spencer was up late last night, it was adorable (beyond words) to see him fill with such happiness as Jake walked through the door. He sat on Jake's lap, all up in his face, basically, smiling and talking and reaching out to him for quite some time. He was purely elated that his daddy was home. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

Though, as often has happened in my lifetime, Father's Day Weekend falls in accordance to my Gma's birthday. And, as is the case now, she is no longer with us on this earth. Today, in fact, is her birth date.

Most years I am internally burdened by sadness and continued mourning at this loss of one of my best friends. Last year, I threw a family reunion on her birthday, and it helped replace some of the sorrow with joy.

This year, as I dwell on the new life and fatherhood in our household, I am going to make a conscious effort to dwell on the joy of the "old" life that once walked the earth beside me and focus not as much on my loss (though it is inevitable at this point that I still will from time to time), but on the fact that my Gma was the best of friends, and that she would be exuberant to celebrate her birthday alongside Jake's first Father's Day.

When I woke up this morning, thinking of my Grandma, Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" popped into my head. That song, most definitely, reminds me of her.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mother of the Groom

This past weekend, we attended the wedding of Jake's step-brother, Cody, and his sweetheart, Emily. It was a wonderful wedding, I might add, very representative of the couple's personalities.

I've been to quite a few weddings in my lifetime (ever since I was a little girl), and been in a couple of them as well. And, obviously, I've had my own wedding. I've been a wedding photographer as well. I've enjoyed weddings from many facets because of this, participant, best friend, relative, and photographer. I've always been filled with joy and excitement for the couple, especially after being married myself, knowing what it feels like to be a bride.

But, I will admit, I've never really spent a lot of time thinking about the parents of the bride and groom, other than at my wedding when my dad walked me down the aisle to give me to Jake. I guess, if I had thought about it from a parents perspective, it's always just been the joy that I've felt that I assumed was all they felt too.

Well, now I'm a mother. For the first time, I sat through a wedding (other than my own or my best friend's), and was on the verge of tears the majority of the time. This time, I was experiencing the wedding, I feel, more closely to the way a parent of the groom would experience a wedding.

It was crazy to sit in the seat and watch Cody, my brother-in-law, get married, but see him as I feel his mother might have seen him. She always will be her firstborn, her "baby" boy, so to speak. And on Saturday, her baby was becoming a man. Yes, he was legally a man, in his early twenties to be exact, and had graduated college already. But, as I felt when Jake and I were married and we became "true adults," so too were Cody and Emily. I have no idea where this concept I hold of marriage meaning you're REALLY an adult came from, since there are many adults who are clearly adults and they are unmarried. So, I hope that didn't offend anyone reading.

But basically, I sat there watching the wedding, filled with joy, but feeling the bittersweet side of things much more purely than I ever had before. No longer would the groom come home to his mom's house as his own, because after Saturday, he is off to build his own home with his own wife. They're building a life outside that of the parents. Officially, there is a new leading lady in his life. While she has been there a while, it seems a bit different after a wedding, you know?

So, I sat there, dwelling on those feelings, and realizing that before I know it, God willing, MY baby boy will meet a woman who will become the leading lady in his life, and I will give him away to her to build his own life, to become a man, to move out and to move on, just as Jake and I have already done, and our parents and so many others in our families before us.

Yes, he's 7 months old only, and I have many years before a wedding will happen (like I pray that it will, I pray so dearly my boy will find love like I have), but when that day comes, I know it will feel like it's come all too soon.