Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Smits

I've never actually heard ANYONE pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Smits before in my whole life. Wasn't alive yet when my parents or my uncles got married, and I only have ONE boy cousin with the last name Smits and I wasn't at his wedding. And my brother isn't married yet. We're heavily female on the Smits side. (We do have one more boy cousin, but his mom was a Smits, so he won't even carry on the name.) So anyway, it's an occasion to be celebrated!

although, I can't pretend I wouldn't LOVE to have there be no need for a wedding between these two people. For everyone's old lives to just have gone on uninterrupted by death.

But the day was absolutely beautiful. The BRIDE was absolutely beautiful. My children looked absolutely beautiful. And all of us being together was just so wonderful.

The ceremony was a WHIRLWIND of emotion. There were crying babies and fussy kids everywhere, so that kind of helped me not just sit and bawl like a baby the whole time. But there were probably 5 times that I had a quick hard cry for like 30 seconds, and then it would pass. I was also trying to get pictures from the front row with my 50mm fixed lens, which was challenging enough without the tear and nose wiping. so it kept me occupied. That's about what what I remember about the ceremony. tears, kids, camera.

But the reception is what I'm really going to remember when i think back on the wedding. It was so strange to pull up to this old golf course and pond, where I hadn't been since I was probably 10 years old. Most of my memories from that place are from when i was even younger, before we moved to California, which was when I was six. My mom used to take us there to play with our cousins while she sat in her lawn chair with her visor on, chatting the day away with her sister. There was this dumpy old blue water slide, and a raft out in the deep with a high dive on it. In my memory it was so big and beautiful and full of happiness. And seeing it now as an adult just gave me a completely different perspective.

Everything had changed. no more slide, no more high dive, no more concession stand to buy a frozen Charleston Chew from, no more little kids running around because there's really not even much of a lake anymore. no more of all the things that made it what it was. and no more mom.

but it was still beautiful.

And the little clubhouse thing that is there now was decorated just absolutely beautifully. There were all these little details that made it all magical. There were delicious little wedding colored sixlet things at our tables, and hershey's kisses. black and white, and a little red. about a gazillion balloons, and a gazillion more candles (which didn't go over very well for Lillian, my FIRE FEARER). Little kids and big kids all over the place, dressed in their coordinating clothes, a mixture of all the people my dad and Judy love most.

and that's the thing, see.

it was beautiful. the decorations were beautiful. the setting was beautiful. the people were beautiful. the weather was beautiful.

and their life together can be beautiful.

If you've ever lost someone close to you, you probably understand the whole thing about feeling a little bit guilty for enjoying certain things, or allowing certain things to happen, or...whatever. It was like I was almost tempted to feel guilty for allowing myself to enjoy the day, because it only existed because my mom was gone.

But how can you not be thrilled for the widow and widower who found love (much too soon in the eyes of their kids, but of course in God's perfect timing) at a support group for the loss of a spouse. who suffered through such similar situations, caring for the one they loved most, and then watching them leave this earth. And now they have each other. And I'm so glad.

it was almost like that was the theme for the day. beauty in the change. yeah, the lake looks different. things are different. but it's still beautiful.


Carmen said...

Beautiful post Andrea. The Smits' name still lives on in my family. There are a few boy cousins to carry it through.

Teresa said...

Thanks for sharing all of that! I bet it was strange indeed to hear the pronouncement of Mr and Mrs Smits....bittersweet, but beautiful nonetheless!

jenlar3 said...

My dad remarried 6 months after my mother died, so I understand the conflicting emotions that can be felt at such a time. My step-mother went on to become my best friend and I was so thankful for her presence in my life. Sadly, she died 3 1/2 years ago, and I find myself wishing my dad had been as successful this time as he was the first time. He comments that he can pick great quality women, but he needs to work on the longevity factor!! Congratulations to your Dad and your family for opening yourselves up to love!!!