It’s a little after midnight on March 3, 2012. Around 3:00 pm today, my little sister Gabrielle is getting married. Obviously there are all kinds of thoughts wandering through my head. Here are a few I’m going to inflict on you.
*Gabrielle’s getting married! She thought it would never happen, and now it’s here!
*We have family in town. This is the first time that my side of the family has gathered in Peoria. It’s really cool to see people, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. Yes, that’s literal. IIRC, it’s been over 1.5 years since I’ve seen Tom and Elizabeth (my brother-in-law and sister) and over three years since I’ve seen Aunt Laurie and Uncle Don. It’s good to see them again.
*After the rehearsal, many of us gathered at Blue, our neighborhood bar. That’s when it hit me: I’m out drinking with my father, my aunt, and my uncle. I remember relating to them as a child. I remember going down to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s house. Now, I’m drinking with them, and we’re interacting as adults. Time…it is strange.
*I have to be careful with this next one, because I’m not actually interested in getting maudlin. That being said, there is very much the awareness that Mom isn’t here. Don’t misunderstand! This is definitely a happy occasion. And yet, there’s this hole that shows up from time to time. And I begin to realize that I’ve simply gotten used to the hole. That’s probably even a good thing in some ways. Life goes on, even without the ones that we love, and there’s room for healing and a certain confidence in the power of the resurrection, where all things will be made new, including my mother. But still…you know?
But I can’t end there!
*This wedding has begun to give me an idea of what a multi-day party looks like. We’ve been working on being good about our diets and being disciplined and all that, which means that I’m really enjoying all the special food and drink and…well…simply the sense of occasion surrounding this wedding. It’s not just a reception for a few hours following the wedding. We’re spending days together, celebrating this wedding and family and simply being together for a while. It gives me an idea of what the coming kingdom of heaven must be like, when we are all finally gathered together forever, never to be separated, never to be apart. That will be a good day!
And now, to (try to) settle for sleep. There’s a wedding to prepare for!