"First let me just get one thing out of the way." All tuxedo and broad shoulders, father of the groom, balances microphone and notes. He slices the air with his hand, "The thing we're the most proud of with Peter and Rosie," he says, "is that they have relentlessly kept themselves pure until their wedding day." He pauses. "In this world, that's remarkable." Father of the groom gazes at each of us, smiles, eyes earnest. "And so what I'm saying," he sweeps the air, "in case you had any doubt, they have saved themselves for this day."
We laugh; we can't help it. Smiles pull and curl at the corner of our mouths as if drawn up by a relentless spring. Our cheeks round and red, we wait, glasses poised to toast. Bride and groom smile long and wide, wider than all. She sways her shoulders as if the day had rhythm all its own. For just a moment it does; her elbow touches his. They smile and beam and hold the crowd as if the sky itself were open, heavy with blessing. I notice how she leans her shoulder light on his chest and waits.
"I mean think about it," father of the groom continues, "how often does that happen?" He spreads his arms, "We'll just let that sink in for a minute." And it does, a marvel to behold. "You won't regret that," he says. "You'll never regret that the rest of your life." And we toast.
And we dance and dance and watch. We can't take our eyes off them. They capture us, joy irrepressible. We sneak peaks out of the corner of our eyes, try not to stare. While I caper and twirl, promenade and cavort, in heels and barefoot, I sneak closer and closer just to watch, to watch them unfurl the day.
923. Peter and Rosie married -- the promise, the purity, the joy, pure joy.
924. A new sister for me!
925. The sea of family who travel from near and far to celebrate with us and witness with us the birth of a new family.
926. How when I watch Pete and Rose, I see it, every good and perfect gift truly from above, and how it resounds from the hilltops -- worth it, worth it, worth it.
927. That my parents taught all of us kids to cherish purity.
928. It's lavish display at the wedding.
929. New shoes, wedges with gold shimmer.
930. How we dance and dance and Lulie keeps saying, "Dance faster, Momma. Dance faster."
931. Slow dance with husband.
932. How Lulie, the flower-girl, flops in the green grass half through the ceremony but still manages to exit with the bridesmaids and ring bearer on cue.
933. How each of my sister-in-laws is a perfect fit in the family. How I finally have sisters!
934. Shoe shopping and great, great shoe advice from one sister.
935. Rhubarb recipes from another.
936. A book of poems from still another.
937. How we linger with relatives new and old soak in our family.
938. How Janie gathers extra bubbles to make sure Jack and Lulie get some.
939. How Myra Rose sacks out on the dance floor, limp on my arms.
940. How Jack tells me all he really wanted at the wedding was for me to sit next to him.
941. How Craig's parents gather our children and feed them yummy wedding food.
942. An afternoon breeze that rolls in to cool the tuxedo clad men and guests.
943. Husband in a tuxedo.
944. Kissin' him.
945. How the girls and I all wore flowers in our hair.
946. The birth of a new family