Could be I’m so worn down by the relentless bad news cycle that all I really feel like recording here right now are moments of light, evidence of the persistence of joy. We definitely experienced such moments yesterday afternoon, on the occasion of the bridal shower for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law. She was absolutely radiant in white, alternately laughing and crying as she greeted everyone who had gathered to celebrate her. Her good tender soul, sparkling wit, and loving spirit were a whole mood.
The gathering of beloveds happened at her parents' home in New Jersey, arranged by her three maids of honor (my future daughter wisely believes that more hands make for lighter work). We women did our womanly rituals under a tent set up in the back yard, while the men sat inside the family room eating pizza and watching a movie. Outside, the women told stories and played games, and imparted whatever bits of wisdom we could share with the bride to be. I contributed what I often offer on these occasions now, ever since I read about it on Mary Moon's blog when her daughter Jessie was getting married: that we will be married to many different people over the course of a lifetime, and if we can find a way to appreciate and love the good in each evolution of our partner, all will generally be well.
Eventually, as the festivities wound down, the men joined us outside, and my son and his love indulged us in one more game, a quiz with random questions like who said I love you first, who is the better cook, the better dancer, who is more organized, more competitive, has more shoes, is more romantic, and so on. We all voted the answers and then my son and his love told us who was right, and there was much debate and laughter involved. My favorite photo from the day was taken during this interlude, it's the one up top, so much love and joy evident in the lovers at the center of this beautiful day.
Here's another photo, this one of our two families, soon to be joined in the eyes of the law, already connected by the love shared by our children, and for each other, too. Our son and his betrothed found each other seven years ago now, so our two families have had some time to get acquainted. How utterly blessed we are in the people our children have chosen, the families with whom, if we continue to be lucky and touched by grace, we will share grandchildren. As my daughter observed of my son's fiancée's parents, "They're so pure." And they are. Hearts wide open. I pray with my whole being that our young people will be very happy through all the journeys of a lifetime, bolstered by acceptance, forgiveness, and ready laughter, and sustained by love.