Good Natured Mom

We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass


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Mother Love

Another Kane wedding…another love story…families and friends coming together to celebrate…

The wedding itself was beautiful. The bride wore a glittery, sparkly dress with a gorgeous pouffe of something soft and billowy at the hem. My nephew was dashingly handsome in his black tuxedo and beaming smile. Set outside in a garden, with violin playing, and flowers in abundance…totally and completely – picture perfect. They said their vows and off we went to a grand room, festooned with tulle and twinkling lights. It was one of those “every little girl’s dream” kind of places and we were all so very happy for the newlyweds. Perfect match, perfect day, perfect place.

JoeyandNikki09192014

Joey and Nikki  created a strong bond long before they married. Joey is a soldier. Nikki was his childhood friend. When deployed to Afghanistan, she kept him going. She stayed in contact with him and kept him thinking about life outside of war. Once stateside, she helped him ease back into life after deployment. I have no idea what my precious young nephew endured in Afghanistan, but I know it was bad. And I prayed that he would be protected from physical and emotional harm. I think, without realizing it, I was actually praying for Nikki. Because I believe that Joey’s return to us, whole and intact, was in large part due to the love and concern Nikki had for him. So Joey proposed to his friend…

Such a beautiful story…such promise of a happy life together…

But, for me, the most special moment occurred during a conversation I had with my sister in law, the mother of the groom. Joey’s mom and I have many things in common. But we’ve had our disagreements too. And sometimes I’m not sure where I stand with her. This time it was different.

At the reception, my sister in law made her way to each dinner table, stopping to chat with guests.  At our turn, I mentioned that she was a lucky mom to have such a wonderful son and beautiful new daughter in law. Her eyes welled with tears. She told us that Joey had a bit of a rough time when he returned home from Afghanistan. She told us how Nikki helped save him. She told us she was so grateful for Nikki’s presence in their lives. We locked eyes…I don’t think I’ve ever looked that deeply at my sister in law. It was as if I could see inside her heart. And it was full of the purest kind of  love…mother love.

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The wedding (lessons I have learned)

wedding party

My son and his lovely fiance were married on Saturday. They chose to be married in her family’s country church near her hometown in rural Maine. A simple wood clad structure on a hill, unadorned and not overly showy or grande. Simple, rustic and elegant…a perfectly beautiful place for the two of them to seal their sacramental commitment to each other. Witnessed by family and close friends, my son and his bride made their vows and were surrounded by generations full of love.

The reception that followed was in an even more rural location, in a ski lodge on a hill over looking a lake. My husband and I drove to the spot and understood immediately why they chose that location to celebrate their new marriage. The small lodge nestled on the hill allowed for it’s guests to take in the spectacular late summer scenery and enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed setting. A bucket of local brews and a table full of snacks greeted us as we entered. The caterer set up her brick oven/ food truck and created magnificent hand thrown pizzas. A bounty of homemade fruit and custard pies was promised for dessert – plus the Italian cream wedding cake that Aunt Carol had whipped up that morning. “Grab a drink, kick back, enjoy each other and have fun” was the rule. We all willingly and happily obeyed.

food pizza  pie

Wedding planning began in earnest a little less than a year ago as the two tried to figure out how to assemble the many cousins and aunts and uncles as well as their many mutual friends. The found a rustic barn/venue that would accommodate a large crowd and set to putting all of the reception must-haves together. As the costs escalated beyond control, and after a very emotional discussion about the whole event, the two decided to step back and reevaluate. I’m so proud of the way they took back control of their wedding day and escaped the grips of the conventional wedding industrial complex. They lost some of their deposit on the barn, but regained their sanity.

Together, they came up with ways to keep their celebration unique and simple. They problem solved together. They listened to each other. They thought about the ways their decisions could affect their families, in terms of logistics and expense. They were sensitive to tradition, but added the modern hipster flare we all expected from them.  They relied heavily on her family to help with preparations, for which I am ever so grateful. In doing so, they created the day they had dreamed about; an occasion unique to them. They planned to celebrate their love in their own style, on their own terms. Not one detail was lost on me….

The weather however, was out of their hands. On Saturday it was muggy out, to be sure. And rain was promised. We all hoped the skies would be kind and not open up on us until we left the church… and then, until we got to the lodge…. and then, a little while longer, please… the pizza truck was outside after all – and we had to go get our food. My sweet daughter-in-law never showed concern over the impending bad weather, but surely, she must have thought, good weather just makes everything easier on wedding day. The rain began after the last pizza was cooked and continued for less than half an hour. The downpour was steady and intense at times, but we were all safe inside, drinking, dancing and eating pie. All worrying about the rain had ceased. It was with us and there was nothing we could do about it.  BestNightEver

As the rain settled into a drizzle, and then a mist, we noticed the sun beginning to break from under neath the cloud cover. The dark clouds moved east and the sun enlightened them with her rays. I’m not sure who first noticed it, but forming in the east, over the lake was a glorious rainbow. Faint hues, beginning on the surface of the lake, became a vivid, arched, full-blown rainbow. We called to each other to come look, thinking if we blinked we would miss its glory. But the rainbow lasted 10 minutes or so, giving us ample time to capture its radiance in photos. Not only had the newlyweds been given this amazing symbol of faithfulness- they were also given enough time to have a proper photo shoot to preserve the moment forever. A wedding miracle for sure! rainbow lodge

These two young people dreamed about and planned a day that would be unique and special for them. They managed to escape the customary wedding rituals and traded them for something much more meaningful. And along the way, with the help of the most spectacular rainbow I have ever seen, I learned the lesson of trust. That – when we stray from our true path, to follow the crowd, we may miss some magical surprises. And that worrying about rain is useless and unnecessary. Because without rain, there would be no rainbow.