I was at a wedding yesterday,
two young people,
deciding to make their match official.
They have already been together many years,
sharing a house and home.
There is something about being at a wedding,
which makes you think.
As I sat there watching them,
holding each others hands,
and sharing looks and smiles,
I left the church,
and flew back twenty three years.
To a church in Dublin,
on a sunny day in August.
I remembered getting ready,
the fuss, the dress, the photographs.
Arriving at the church,
and watching everyone go inside.
Then it was just my brother and I.
I was not someone who likes the limelight,
so I was dreading walking up the aisle.
My brother was going to “give me away”,
as my Dad had died two years before.
As I stood outside,
just for a moment I froze.
I looked at my brother and he at me.
I wanted my Dad!
My brother understood,
and maybe felt the same,
but instead he stood tall,
looked me in the eyes and said,
“Don’t you dare!”.
And I didn’t. Not a tear fell.
Together we walked up the aisle,
and he “gave me” to the man who has tolerated me since!
Yesterday I watched my friends daughter,
as she walked up the aisle,
smiling so happily,
linking her fathers arm.
He too stood tall.
A very proud man.
However as we all watched,
just for a moment we struggled.
Because this beautiful bride,
was sharing this special day with everyone,
except her mum.
Her mother had died at thirty nine.
Breast cancer had stolen her from her lovely family.
Yet they had gone on,
their dad stepping up to the plate,
and doing a wonderful job.
As the sun shone on them all yesterday,
we all knew her mum was by her side.
Many today decide to forgo marriage,
prefering to live together.
I am not sure if I was a child of these times,
what I would do.
However as I look back on the past twenty three years,
I am so delighted
that my brother, on behalf of my father,
“gave me away”.
As I looked at the bride and groom yesterday,
so obviously in love,
the words “til death do us part” echoed loudly.
None of us know how long we get,
but if we can share time with a partner,
life has been worth living.