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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gray Matter: Enjoying weddings to the fullest

Monday, May 16, 2005

Weddings are notably happy events and I am finding them especially happy as the generations progress.  A high-spirited acquaintance used to tell me that I had it easy, as the mother of multiple sons and one daughter. "The groom's mother just has to wear beige and keep her mouth shut," she assured me, but I never found it quite that simple.  There were the rehearsal suppers, housing of out-of-town relatives and any number of other details to be managed.  But this time around, as the grandmother, I believe I may be reaching the "easy" stage. 

One of my favorite young people, the son of my next-door neighbor, is being married early next month. A few weeks after that, there is a great-niece's wedding in Louisiana.  Finally, in late July a dear granddaughter is being married in Montana.  I am eagerly looking forward to each of these occasions.

The groom-to-be who grew up next door is a talented musician and a great young man.  At the time he, his widowed mother and three sisters became our close neighbors, my husband's arthritis was seriously limiting his physical activity.  He often sat in a lawn  chair, reading or watching neighborhood goings-on. Unlike most pre-teens, this lad would often come over to visit. These interesting, perceptive conversations were deeply appreciated. Our houses are quite close so, as his musical skills developed, both my husband and I often delighted in sitting outside where we could hear him practicing his sax -- our own mini-summer concerts.

Under the guidance of Marcus' legendary band master Jerry Bertrand, now of Buena Vista University, he enjoyed multiple honors, both as a soloist and jazz band member.  I continued following his progress as he went on to similar achievements at the University of South Dakota.  Following graduation, he is being married to his long-time sweetheart, who has her four-year degree in nursing.

At that wedding, in my role as  family friend,  I will enjoy objectively watching and appreciating all that goes on. In Louisiana I will observe my only sister in the role of Grandmother of the Bride and pick up any useful pointers that might help me "relax and enjoy" when it's my turn in Montana.  You may be hearing more of these celebrations.

We often hear of weddings these days where guest lists and accompanying elaborate preparations seem almost to overwhelm the true sacred meaning of the vows exchanged. I am quite certain that will not be the case with these three couples. They are six fine young people who, I believe, will be honestly pledging " until death do us part" and meaning it.  Yet another reason why I'm looking forward to three lovely events which  I expect to thoroughly enjoy in total grandmotherly ease.