Celebration: A marriage of joining and loosing

chinese-laterns

By Amanda Cleary Eastep

On September 20th, CELEBRATION…

…will be a banquet hall garden with neat rows of white chairs and flowers and a white runner separating the bride’s and groom’s families until we are joined like the teeth of a zipper as she marches up the aisle…

…will be a bride who will be more beautiful than she ever has until one day when my son looks at her cradling a colicky baby, her hair messy and bags under her eyes, and then he’ll know what beauty really is…

…will be a boy who just 22 short years ago was running around the backyard in a superhero cape and tiny cowboy boots but now stands and waits for his life to change forever because this is the true adventure and you have to be brave and noble if you want to fly…

…will be best friends and siblings standing like the individual bones in the wings of a huge bird spread out behind the soon-to-be-joined body of man and woman.

bird-in-flight

Celebration…

…will sound like a favorite Bible verse read by a favorite aunt…like vows that should feel as weighty on the tongue as the promises to God that they are…like a best man speech that flows out of 26 years of growing up like brothers because they are cousins born a day apart…like the songs that conjure nostalgia, incite dance moves not possible in the day time, and serve as life’s theme songs…like congratulations offered by guests who wish it was their wedding day or are mourning the loss of a lover or are smiling almost apologetically because they understand the lovely but hard work of marriage.

Celebration…

…will be seated at round tables covered in spotless white cloth, like the sacraments before a congregation of imperfect people hoping “forever” really exists…like 10 guests/per who will get to know each other better after the champagne toast or will avoid estranged family members even though there is no room at the table for bitterness or will relish every second of being with the ones they would love through feast and famine.

Celebration…

…will taste like chicken breast and Asti Spumante and tears mixed with mascara…like the perfume and aftershave of bridesmaids and groomsmen…like the sweetest memory and deepest regret…like the pride you savor like a rare morsel before it all dissolves into a memory.

Celebration…

…will burn in hearts like the newlyweds’ first dance…like the gamut of emotions of mothers and fathers who couldn’t be prouder or sadder or happier and who think to themselves “my kid turned out well thanks to/in spite of me” but knowing Jesus offered strength when we needed it and extended grace when we failed…like the letting go of our own youth and of children we will always cradle in our hearts if not our arms…

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This post is my contribution to Esther Emery’s #wholemama movement.

Whole Mama

Graphic: Caris Adel

Read more from this series:

Dance of the Elders

Why Life Between the Lines Matters More than You Think

The Spaces that Hold Our Gardens and Barbs

How to Pray Like a Refugee

Quiet Riot

When You’re Power Ain’t So Super, Woman

The Weird Transition from Mommy to Mother

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Writer, editor & blogger | business, higher ed/nonprofit, technical

17 thoughts on “Celebration: A marriage of joining and loosing

  1. Oh, I love this! So many beautiful descriptions. The love seeps out. I will remember you and your family on September 20. (Really. It’s going on my calendar right now.) May you all celebrate well!

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  2. I always enjoy your writing, Amanda! This was beautiful! It made me smile just reading and thinking about what a great celebration you have to look forward to. Blessings to you! Hope I get a chance to meet you while visiting Jamie. 🙂

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      1. Hmmmmmmmm…put together…not very descriptive! (That’s what I get for reading and commenting on non-work things while at work…LOL!) Create a book with this in it, or maybe do a painting with this at the center of it. My cousin did a screenprint of something she had written, adding some screened flowers around it, and then had it framed. It’s just so incredibly beautiful!

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      2. Wow, you have got me thinking now. I’ve been thinking of putting together an e-book with some of these posts, but the idea to “decorate” them…the latent artist in me loves that idea. Might also distract from any typos. 🙂

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  3. You make it magical with your words. May the Lord bless this union for years to come. Understanding that love is in all aspects of a marriage, for better or worse in sickness and health. A union of two people walking into a unknown future with faith and courage. May it be a beautiful day of celebrating not only their union yet that of a family that has nourished them as they walk through life. Joy and Love for a day full of wonderful memories.

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      1. I like the idea that Cindy gave you for a book of this writing , it would make a wonderful memory for the bride and groom for it comes from a special love for a son and his bride. I know there are photo places which you more than likely have contact with.

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