“My whole family calls my grandmother Oma.”
Being a grandparent is a funny thing. I should know, since I was one. Wait! Not like that! My daughter’s only eight. But years ago her darn stuffed animals didn’t know what to call me. If she was Mama, then what was I? Gramdma, obviously. NOT! Believe me I nipped that in the bud quick.
Still, the fact that my reaction was so severe tells me what it might be like years from now when she finally does have a child. It is one of those milestones which is both exciting and a scary all at once. I look forward to the freedom of it. The ability to watch from afar and laugh at the many trials I am sure her own progeny will put her through. I pray that she has a fun and loving husband to help her with those. And I also pray I will be able to
stand far enough away that she makes her own mistakes, but close enough that she always knows I have her back.
AT the same time, since we got started late on our family, the day this happens may be so far in the future that I will be too blind to see it. We joke that at her wedding my husband will need a cane to walk her down the aisle. Since I hope she gets to enjoy those early days with her husband, free of children, how much older will we be when we turn up our hearing aides to hear the patter of tiny feet.
Still, there is hope that I will at least be able to remember my grandchildren’s names. Last week I saw a news post by the NY Times about the role that brain degeneration has plays on memory loss as we get older. (link). It is nice to know that, someday, if I connect electrodes to my head every night at bedtime, I’ll be able to wake up remembering that the little voice who calls me grandma on the phone is not actually one of her stuffed animals pretend talking.
“I’ll call the new minister and make sure he can do your wedding.”
Life is full of changes. And, because of this, the most important character trait we are trying to teach our daughter is resiliency. However, what is it about weddings that take this to a whole new level? If Murphy’s Law is that things that can go wrong, will go wrong… then the wedding addendum must be, ‘and it will happen two days before the
Take my wedding. Our florist completely changed her price quote on us two weeks before the wedding. We fired her, but try finding a good florist with that little notice? And the day after I drove up to Seattle to do a test run of my hair style, the salon called me to tell me the hairdresser had quit and moved to a new salon. Resiliency brought me through these hiccups.
But, when we lost our third priest just days before the wedding date, I had to question what God was trying to tell us. With 8 months to go, our first priest was moved to a new parish. I was disappointed but knew we would be
The second priest we had arranged then had a retreat that he (and all the other Jesuits in the area) had to attend during our wedding date. This was much more concerning as it felt like we were out of time and options. Finally, the church found a non-Jesuit priest to marry us. I breathed a sigh of relief, until just three days before the wedding our thirst priest was called to Rome for a special meeting with the Pope. Now really… what are the chances?
Of course the message was all about faith and control (two things with which I struggle). I had to hand it over, knowing that if they got a new priest it would be someone who neither knew us nor probably cared much.
I turned out to be very much wrong. The new priest arranged to meet us for lunch the very next day. He spent some time getting to know us…and then had the humor to help execute a very funny joke on my husband during the ceremony rehearsal (we switched the readings to one my husband knew we didn’t want… If you’d like to find out which reading which readings we switched you can read my new book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, due out on Feb. 13th:>)
No matter how we might try, weddings, like married life, are messy. Things don’t always go as planned and everything is up for change. But, as I learned during my own mishaps, sometimes it is in these moments that we experience the true meaning of love and God.
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