The bride stood at the back of the church, her arm linked through her dad’s. She took a brief moment to compose herself and as her mom stood, leading the rest of the congregation to stand, they made their way down the aisle to her waiting groom. A lump formed in my throat and tears stung my eyes. This wasn’t just another radiant bride making her way to the altar. This one was dear to me.
You see, the bride and my girl were classmates from second grade to graduation and closest of friends for the past fifteen years. They played in piano recitals together, sang in the school choir together, got ready for homecomings and proms together and made many trips to the beach together. Other friends have come and gone but this one, this one has been constant. Their friendship has kept them through happy times and not so happy ones – from Elementary, Jr. High and High School all the way through college and into their careers. She stood with my daughter at her wedding and my daughter was standing with her on this momentous day.
When someone is such a steadfast friend to your child, they in turn claim a piece of your heart.
The wedding was lovely, fun and heartwarming. A true reflection of the bride and her groom.
As I lay in bed that night, reminiscing about the day, my mind drifted back to an event several years earlier. In 2004, the mother of the bride and I took our girls, along with two others, to the airport so they could make a surprise visit to a friend who had moved away . The girls were about thirteen years old at the time.
We walked the girls to the gate and watched them board the plane. We put on a brave face because we knew that our friend would be waiting for them at the other end of their journey. As we watched the jet rumbling down the runway and taking off, with our precious cargo inside, there was a brief moment of panic.
“Wait, I’m not ready to let her go. Bring her back!”
I saw the same panic is my friend’s eyes. But, they were off and all that was left for us to do was pray for them.
Isn’t this what goes through our minds as moms (and dads too) throughout this journey of parenthood?
“Wait, I’m not ready . . .”
- for her to start walking
- for her to go to pre-school
- for her to go on her first sleep-over
- for her to go to camp
- for her to be in Middle School
- for her to graduate from High School
- for her to go off to college
- for her to graduate from college
- for her to leave the nest
- for her to walk down the aisle
But then, are we ever?