Last weekend we were in Wisconsin for a wedding. Our daughter’s college friend Amanda married Tom. We love Amanda and I have it on good authority that Tom is a great guy, so this was an especially happy occasion. In addition, our daughter Bess was a bridesmaid and our granddaughter Anna was the flower girl. So for us it was a fun family-affair.
Now we’ve been to all sorts of weddings –fancy weddings with receptions at ballrooms; some very simple ceremonies with receptions in VFW halls or church basements. We’ve been to outdoor weddings and very traditional church weddings. We’ve been to receptions where people got stupid drunk and fights broke out. We’ve been to weddings so BORING that is was like watching paint dry. I remember one wedding of a co-worker many years ago, where the just-married couple exited the church to fiddles playing “Turkey in the Straw”.
This wedding was more on the fun but formal/fancy-side. What struck me as especially beautiful was the complete joy of the wedding couple. No one at their wedding could ever deny the love that Amanda and Tom have for one another. And it brought back all the feelings I had when my own daughter was married.
Even though it is nearly seven years ago – it seems like yesterday. The excitement, the nervousness, the uncertainty, all came flooding back into my mind. For fathers, it’s probably a blessing that the wedding preparations are so consuming because it keeps us busy and helps us avoid the melancholy of thinking about “giving away our daughters”. Of course now with the benefit of hindsight, I know that I never “gave her away”. Bess and I are joined together for life – and beyond. It’s true that Travis is her soul-mate and her partner for life but there’s still room in that life for her dad.
I saw the same joy in Travis on his wedding day as I saw last weekend in Tom. I remember vividly Travis beaming as Bess and I walked down the aisle. Tom’s expression was much the same as he awaited Amanda. That bodes well for Amanda (and her dad, too). If Tom is half the man that my son-in-law is Amanda’s life will be truly blessed.
The other joy that I experienced last Saturday was watching Travis with his two year-old daughter Anna as she “attempted” being a flower girl. Even though she did very well at the rehearsal, the concept of walking down the aisle at the actual wedding was much too daunting. Travis patiently tried to help her but she insisted that “Daddy, hold you!” and of course he obliged. He tried to carry her while he also held her little bouquet, but she would have no part of it. So her trip down the aisle was aborted and she spent the rest of the ceremony at the back of the church with her Daddy. His loving and caring spirit towards her touched my heart and I couldn’t help but wonder what might be someday…
Will Travis walk Anna down the aisle worried that he is “giving her away”? I hope he knows that could never happen.
Fathers and daughters – what a powerful bond; what a gift God has given us.