From the Bride’s Father’s Notebook – Day 10 (part 1)

Tuesday – Wedding Day

In the morning, before any of the rest of the day’s activities, we dashed to church.  The father and mother of the bride, and the bride herself, made a 30 minute drive one-way to spend ten minutes there, but the trip was more than worth it.  A famous, historic icon, the Kursk Root icon, was at the church that morning and we wanted to see it, briefly, and pray.  When we stepped into the sanctuary, our hearts sank at the long line of people waiting to see the icon.  We had to be heading back home in less than 10 minutes.  The bride’s mother went to the front and whispered to the person next in line, “Our daughter is getting married today but our schedule is very tight.  May she go next?”  With a smile, he gladly agreed.  The two of us were satisfied venerating it from afar.  It was enough.  The experience centered and reminded us we were in the care of the Author of marriage Himself.  We were grateful to have our focus moved to something bigger than a wedding, something bigger than even marriage.  The venerable icon was a sign, a reminder, a promise, a part of His immediate and real presence in our lives.

The bride and groom departed as soon as we returned from church so Katie could stop at a salon, wearing her wedding dress, to get her hair and make-up done.  My phone stopped receiving calls at some point not long after they left.  I didn’t know that my daughter was repeatedly trying to call to confirm where they were, exactly, on their way to a beautician in an unfamiliar town on the way to the wedding venue, 30 minutes beyond that.  She got a little upset not knowing where she was at, exactly, and if she’d be late to the appointment and if that would affect the quality of makeup and hairdo she was hoping for.  It was one of those moments when I felt the urge to check the phone, look for a message, make sure things were o.k.  There really is a still, small voice.  Glad I listened to it then.  We found a map on line and guided them to the beautician still with time to spare.

Saint-Saens Symphony number 3 ‘The Organ’ Fourth Movement (The soundtrack for the next paragraph.  Click the play button.)

I’ll never forget driving the van to the Inn, me at the wheel, Nita all the way back, and David’s parents and grandmother between.  It was 3 p.m. or so on a workday so the beltway was starting to get even faster and busier than usual.  We were dressed in our wedding finery: smart tuxes and elegant gowns all around.  The groom’s parents thought that they had not been ready at the time I arrived to pick them up.  Actually, everything was moving along fine, time-wise, still they apologized.  After that, no one talked much; we were each caught up in our own thoughts.  The traffic continued fast and heavy, drivers, including me, weaving in and out of traffic.  Then I caught a snippet of the music softly playing on the radio: it was the St. Saens Organ symphony.  The fourth movement was beginning with that poignant melody, shared by organ and orchestra.  I couldn’t resist: I turned up the radio.  Not so loud as to be rude, but loud enough for the music to enfold me in its arms and carry me as I drove.  The traffic here is fast and furious and today was no exception.  It’s usually safest to try to keep up with it, which I did.  The music soared: the familiar and much-loved strains brought tears to my eyes.  I’m glad I was wearing my sunglasses.  My passengers apologized again for their lateness.  Did they think I was driving so fast, so furiously because we were running late?  My wife told them that the timing was just fine, which it was.  The magnificent, emotional music pushed on and so did I, moving from lane to lane, tears streaming down my face.  Triumphant music, frantic Beltway driving, apologizing in-laws, we were all bundles of emotion and expectation, all focused, all hurtling toward the small, quiet ceremony where their son and our daughter would become husband and wife.

About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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