My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a little more about the wedding

It's surreal to think that someone I gave birth to will become someone's husband in five short days.

Beautifully surreal. I was chatting with the ladies at the check out counter at the Christian book store yesterday and shared with them what was coming this week... and one, a mother of four young children said, "how do you feel?" I paused and said, "accomplished". I don't feel empty nested - he left the nest three years ago. I feel blessed. At peace. Grateful that there is someone willing to love him... to pick up where mommy couldn't... to share his life, to carry his burdens. To know that a beautiful, smart, ambitious young lady finds my son worthy of sharing life with... that makes me feel accomplished.

I envisioned this time differently. I wish I had more to give them... I wish I could have been more involved in planning the wedding... I wish I could help more with the financial end of things... I wish I had more worldly wisdom to share. But I believe that what I have learned through two painfully failed marriages gives me as much - if not more - insight into what it takes for marriages to succeed.

I know that God has to be the center of your relationship. I know that you have to be transparent. I know that you have to be faithful. I know that you can't hold grudges. I know that you have to not only love your spouse but also love the things and people that they love. I know you have to be their partner. That you have to love them in the way they need to be loved, not in the way you decide to love them. I know that they have to be your priority. I know that your love has to be unconditional.

Two concepts that - he who doesn't deserve to be named- insisted that I give up while with him were 1. compassion and 2. unconditional love. Maybe there are people who can exist without these two principles in life. I learned that they are desperately fundamental to my life. I'm so completely imperfect that I need both compassion and unconditional love on a daily basis. They're so closely tied to mercy and grace and all those spiritual concepts that are the very foundation of who I am and what I believe.

I'm the kind of mom that cries at every crossroads in life. I have a videotape somewhere of me sobbing through Ryan's first preschool program. I cried every first day of school. I cried at baseball games, honors days, PTA meetings, dance recitals... I mushed my way through so much of their childhoods. It wasn't sadness that time was passing, it was pride at who they are and how beautifully their lives have evolved. I am just so stinkin' proud of all of my boys... three completely different people but so completely a part of me.

I know that Cody loves well because he has been well loved. I know that Cody has learned by watching me how very precious love is and I know that he appreciates the wonder and frailty of it all. Statistics say that children of divorced parents are less likely to have successful marriages - I don't worry - I know that Cody has seen the carnage of a failed marriage and he knows how important it is to keep it together.

My kids are not afraid to say "I love you" because it has been said to them many, many times a day throughout their whole lives. My kids know how to wait patiently while a lady picks out a dress for a special occasion. They know how to order in a restaurant and how to tip. They know how to give and receive with grace. They understand the importance of family. I always use the example of how sweetly my boys will grab a plate to fix for their young cousins at family gatherings... how they show up at birthday parties for cousins who are much, much younger... how they respect family... how they look for opportunities to be with their family.

It's a new season in life. I've never been a mother-in-law before but I've been a daughter-in-law and I know what does and doesn't work. I know that it's important to respect her role in his life. I know that their relationship has to be solid before his relationships with anyone else can work. I know that she gets to set the boundaries for their family... but I know that she loves him enough to honor the things that make him who he is. And he is who he is because of a family that loves him... because of his cousins and aunt and uncles and grandparents and brothers and mommy and the village (or village people) that raised him.

Cody has felt the pain of losing contact with a beloved uncle and I know that because of this, Cody will never leave his family. I know that Marquee's family loves my son and will embrace not only him ... but his brothers and his mommy and his grandparents. I know that they love him enough to make a way for our families to be joined- not be competitors. I've watched how my nieces have blossomed into confident little ladies because they are loved and treasured by two sets of grandparents... by an Aunt Mimi on their mommy's side who loves them and an Aunt Heather on their daddy's side that loves them... and having this cohesive unit of people who have their best interest at heart has given them a secure foundation.

I've always been a boy mommy and boy mommies have a different responsiblity. Marquee's mother, bless her heart, has devoted her life to planning this wedding. She has poured herself into every little detail. My job was much easier... wear the right color dress and show up on time. But I'm confident that my contribution to this wedding began long, long before Cody and Marquee ever crossed paths... in taking my baby boy to church... in teaching him kindness... in teaching him to be sensitive and loving and respectful... in helping him be the amazing person he is. I'm giving them an awesome young man.

Train up a child in the way he should go ... and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


Anonymous said...

Heather you write so beautiful !

Sherry said...

Send this to your son and daughter-in -law.......... it says so much about the goodness in you and them, beautifully said.........Sherry

moshell's lilbit of space said...

I would give both Cody & Marquee a printed version of this :)

Eleoquently written my friend....

Janis said...

Beautiful! Very well said!