When our daughter, Christine, was a little girl, she, like all kids, loved Christmas morning. She tore through the gifts with glee until, about halfway through, she just stopped. It seems all this delightful stuff in one room was just a little overwhelming; she just had to take a break. One year she even burst into tears at the sight of it all. It was at that point that I would pull out the frying pan, and start the scrambled eggs and bacon. The opening of presents could resume after we had had a little time to digest the food and all the blessings of the day.
Now this child is all grown up and married. And after her wedding this past weekend, I think I know exactly how she was feeling those early Christmas mornings. It’s been five days since the nuptials, and I am still feeling a little dazed. Just too much happiness in one place. A feeling has swept over me like I just finished that last bite of an entire lemon meringue pie. After polishing it off, I am left feeling satisfied, then sluggish, then disappointed that it is all over. But happy. And grateful.
What a wedding it was. Family came from Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and California to help us celebrate. There were Christine’s high school friends, now grown into handsome and talented young adults, and St. Paul friends who drove four hours each way just to share the day with us. My son giving a toast to his beloved sister, my husband giving an equally moving toast, the conga line my mother led, the dance my dad requested with his favorite (well, one of his favorite) granddaughters. There was the good food. The new in-laws and relatives with whom I am happy to share my daughter.
Of course, the lovely service, my stunning dress (if I do say so myself), my daughter looking ravishing and radiant in her bridal garb. Her new husband beaming with adoration.
And the best part was saved for last: there was dancing. When it comes to dancing, what I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm. I really did dance all night, and I have the bruises to prove it – injuries from being stomped on – twice – by an equally enthusiastic hoofer with very large chunky heels.
The kindness, the love, the laughter, the Grace of God, all around us.
As I say, this is all a little too much to take in. Could life really be that wonderful? Sometimes I fear I might break out into tears, just like my daughter did when she saw the mountain of gifts under the tree.
After it was all over, my husband said, “It’s like Christmas. All this anticipation and preparation leading up to the day, and then ‘BAM’, the presents are open and that’s that.” Indeed, we were left looking at each other, wondering how so much goodness could come at once, then, like that, it’s over. Only the difference between Christmas and a wedding, is that the wedding joy can last. Not the “I could have danced all night” variety, more the joy that comes from daily life, surrounded by those who love us.
It’s the gift of opening each day, knowing we are blessed daily by the people we love. It’s all good. Even if it is a little overwhelming.