May and June are traditionally the months when families gather for graduations and weddings, and never has this been truer for our family than this year! We have four graduations and a wedding within just a few weeks. As the plans begin to come together I’m reminded once again of the similarities between these two celebrations.
When a large family is involved, both graduations and weddings can be a logistical challenge. Who can come and who can’t? Where will everyone stay? What transportation is needed and who can provide it? And then the always unanswerable, but ever-present question: will the weather cooperate? What’s the backup plan for outdoor ceremonies or celebrations?
There are 21 people in our immediate blended family. Three granddaughters are graduating from high school this year—and one granddaughter is graduating from college and getting married! As all the flight and hotel reservations are being made, the gifts selected, and the parties planned, I keep seeing the faces of these four dear honorees—not as they are now, as proud graduate or beaming bride—but as they were as toddlers and little girls.
I was privileged to go with my granddaughter Amanda to try on her wedding dress for the first time. Seated in the “salon” area of the bridal shop while the assistant helped her into her dress in the fitting room, I wondered if I would cry when I first saw her. I knew I was supposed to cry. I’d seen that in the movies and commercials again and again. But what if I didn’t? She’d be disappointed, wouldn’t she?
Then she stepped into the room looking absolutely radiant–with the same excited smile on her face that I remembered from when she was four and twirling around in her latest “play dress up” outfit in our living room. The tears naturally flowed.
So what do all these honorees have in common? A sense of accomplishment. A bit of apprehension as they move into an unknown future. And hopefully parents and grandparents searching for a tissue during “Pomp & Circumstance” or “Here Comes the Bride”–and trying to remember how to switch their smart phones from still photos to video.
If we can give our graduates, brides, and grooms anything this season, may it be the reassurance that plans may change, dreams may take a different shape, blessings may come in disguise, but love is forever. The love of parents, grandparents, siblings and starry-eyed new spouses. It’s the love that makes the celebrations worth having. It’s the love that makes the memories.
What a whirlwind of wonderful occasions.
It sure is! Thanks for writing.
Elizabeth Van Liere says
Have seen graduations and weddings of children and grandchildren, and now, with great grandchildren reaching teen-age, I feel myself just standing and watching as they pass by on their way to a new and full life. It is a blessing to still be here to see all this.
Thanks once again for your good message, Nancy.
I pray to be blessed like you some day, Betty. Enjoy!
I knew you were busy but WOW–I’ve seen lots of cars coming and going! What a wonderful time.
There may be more of that to come! 🙂
AMEN AND AMEN!!
And all the people said, AMEN!
Beth Lueders says
Awwww…how wonderful, Nancy! I love your love for your family. I’d keep plenty of travel tissue packs in your purse.
Good point, Beth. I’ll stick some in right now!
Marylin Warner says
Four years ago, Nancy, our family had two college graduations, one high school graduation, one wedding and one engagement party…all in one month. It still gives me a headache to remember that month, and yet happy family memories, too. It’s a blessing to have so many happy memories for and with those we love.
So you know the drill! Just praying each occasion can get the focused attention it deserves. Thanks, Marylin!
Pat Crane says
Nancy, I do so enjoy your stories; this one made me cry. Just this last weekend we had the joyful occasion of our oldest granddaughter graduating from college, Mother’s Day, our son getting an accepted offer on a house, and our daughter and son-in-law getting a job transfer to Florida. So much to take in; so much joy, and a flood of memories. Your story stirred up a replay in my mind. So Amen to your timely post.
Congratulations on your blessings upon blessings, Pat! And for the AMEN!
Riley oberholtzer says
What a nice blog! So thoughtful! Love you so much Grancy
Love you, too, Riley! So proud of your upcoming graduation and all your plans. Can’t wait to see you.
Nancy, sounds like you need several dresses yourself since the crowd (family members) will be seeing you at each event or most of them. Have a wonderful full summer and enjoy every moment. Roger and I are forever amazed we wed almost 47 years ago. And thank God our girls are in strong healthy relationships with great (of course the greatest) grandchildren ever. How sweet your grand daughter took you along to the bridal shop.
You are so right, Cheryl! I’m trying to get it all figured out…but it’s all good! Congrats to you and Roger. You’ll make 50 no problem! Great seeing you recently.