Four words are in the forefront of my life lately – My daughter’s getting married.
For those of you who have been down this road, my sentiments will probably sound eerily familiar; for those of you not quite there yet, it’s a milestone to anticipate. If you’re like me, it’s what you’ve dreamed of for your daughter, but hoped it would take its time getting here. Well, it’s here.
She has to have a Buffalo wedding in every sense of the word. Jess is a diehard Buffalo fan – from the shops in Elmwood Village to her stomping grounds around North Buffalo, from the dearly departed Sterling to her favorite kayaking spots, from to the Sabres and Bills to the astounding architecture in the city, from the waterfront to Gram’s screened garage for summer picnics, Jess adores Buffalo. Of course the wedding will be IN Buffalo and will reflect everything Jess loves ABOUT Buffalo.
Well, the stars aligned and every single aspect of her special day has fallen into place, beginning and ending with the choice of her husband-to-be. He’s a gentle-man from Tennessee who exudes manners, confidence, maturity, and above all, respect for my daughter. What more could a mom ask for? Unlike a scene from the movie … Nick doesn’t “complete” her – she’s already complete. Instead, Nick brings a whole new dimension to who she is and how brightly she shines.
We took the town by storm last weekend with the intention of hunting for Jess’s wedding gown. The dream team consisted of Jess, her cousin Courtney, and yours truly; I had no idea that the day would be one of the most fun days of my life. We laughed till we cried, and cried till we laughed; the latter coming after realizing that Jess had found THE dress. Sitting with our backs to the dressing room door, Courtney and I were stunned into silence when Jess stepped out-a vision of ivory and lace, of little girl and woman. I’m not quite sure what happened. She went into the dressing room all giggly and goofy and let’s play dress-up, and emerged a stunning bride, ready to take the next step on her life’s journey. I had no words, but suddenly a cascade of tears began to fall, and I realized that my days of holding “it” at bay were drawing to a close, and my dream was coming to fruition.
I look to October with a new set of emotions, as I imagine the bitter-sweet honor of walking Jess down the aisle, a moment I’ll borrow from her dad who passed away two years ago. As I do, I know that he’ll be with us, feeling every bit of pride and hope and love that I feel. What we felt when she was born, what we have felt as she laughed and hugged her way into our hearts throughout the years, and what I feel knowing that my daughter has discovered joy that comes from within, is what will fill our souls with happiness on her wedding day.
I have realized that I don’t need a bucket list of places to go or things to do. Everything I’ve ever hoped for that really matters to me is right here. Of course I love to travel, explore new places, gaze at wondrous scenery, and shake my head at the beauty that surrounds us. But in my life, the deepest most profound joys have been and will always be, the breath-takingly precious people I love most in this world. And now I most gratefully add Nick to that distinguished collection. My daughter’s getting married!
In April of 2015 this essay appeared in The Buffalo News as: Daughter’s Wedding Eagerly Anticipated