Days like these are like an oasis along the desert of life’s monotony and everyday struggles. They are where we replenish the joy in our spirits to carry along the way, sustaining us until we reach the next.
I haven’t written in weeks being distracted by an epic journey that lay just ahead. Our days were busied with seeking and interviewing house/dog sitters, shopping for attire, reserving hotel rooms, packing and preparing our home for our absence. Randomly in my blog absence , my stats boomed! Go figure.
Our second oldest son who, advancing on the age of thirty, had us fearful that he’d become a confirmed bachelor. Over the years, he thankfully, spared us a fair mite of his shenanigans and the sowing of wild oats, having only brought home two young ladies to meet us, one of which was merely a good friend.
But, the day he traveled to our home to bring Aly for us to meet and the moment she walked through our door, we knew she was his perfect match. We quickly fell in love with her. We knew too, that foolishness would be confirmed if he let her get away……which would’ve proven awkward over time as we had already decided that we were keeping her!
Of course she is a beautiful girl but in my years, I’ve learned these simple truths….beautiful people are a dime a dozen, beauty is a mixture of the familial DNA not an accomplishment, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and a persons attractiveness can utterly be destroyed with simply opening their mouths. Pretty really IS as pretty does.
But, this girl had her life together. She had her own business, owned her own home and was in the process of adopting the 10 yr old girl she had been fostering! She’s quirky and sassy with a quick witted humor that had us in tears. She has her own style, eclectic rockabilly glam and is completely obsessed with Dolly Parton….so much so that she has a tattoo of Dolly on her shoulder and a portrait on her wall of Dolly with a tattoo of herself on her shoulder!
More than anything, she embraced us fully, exhibited the vastness of her heart, the ability to love fiercely even when circumstances weren’t easy and the way she looked at our son, from a distance, when she thought no one was looking – a look that defies words yet says everything I needed to know.
We saw too in our son, the opening up of his highly protected heart, the emergence of the best part of his manhood, the depth of his devotion. We marveled how dispite her protests, he went to her home and made a pallet on the floor next to her bed to care for her during illness. We watched him embrace the role of father figure with her soon to be adopted daughter. When his job sent him out of state for months, we heard the homesickness and longing in his voice and saw him change careers to get back home to his “family”. Our son, with so few significant relationships in life, at last, had given his heart utterly and completely.
Ultimately, he proved he was indeed the genius we’d always suspected he was, proposed and last weekend was the day we’d long awaited. Friends and family, near and far, gathered together in Guthrie Oklahoma. For many, it was like a family reunion with those we’ve not seen in years and others, we were meeting for the first time.
The day before, the family gathered at the venue to set up for the reception. Aly had planned the wedding herself and being both capable and frugal, designed every detail including making the flower arrangements herself. Our mission was to add our hands to the many to make light work. “Teamwork makes the Dream work!”, and we were there to help bring her vision to life.
The venue itself was rich in stunning architecture and history,The Scottish Rite Masonic Temple. The adjacent building in the rear where the reception would be held was the old Legislative Hall which housed the State legislature before the capital was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910,
The Temple was added in 1923 and the ceremony would be held in the Egyptian Room.
The evening of the wedding, the parents of the bride and groom were ushered to our seats on the front row. We are a blended family with 5 children between us. I have 2 by birth and three by love. The son who married this day is my husbands eldest by birth, Clay Jr. His mother, Nancy, and her husband sat with us. I call her “my babies momma”. Lol
She and her husband are my family, as is her parents and extended members and mine are hers. I’d always prayed for a large family. This is how God answered my prayer, a huge tapestry woven together, forming a loving embrace, safety net and support through lifes thicks and thins and this day we came together in celebration of welcoming even more into our fold.
As our son, Clay Jr, stepped upon the stage, flanked by the best man, his younger brother Cody, suddenly I saw life flash before my eyes. I had a vision of those little boys again, sweet, rambunctious, their antics and hilariousness. These men, full grown, had suddenly sprung up to take their place and I was in awe and could not stem the flow of my tears. There you have it, I’m “that guy” who cries at weddings.
But, when she walked down the aisle, it was his face that I watched and the way he looked at her. It was a look as though the one who hung the sun, moon and all the stars….the only thing he longed for, had just entered the room. It said everything I needed to know but already knew in my heart.
I watched too, as her newly adopted daughter, sitting on the steps of the stage, began to cry as her dream of a forever family came true. And for us, the blessing of her officially becoming our 7th grandchild.
Days like these are like an oasis for the soul, the days that our family comes together in celebration and I have been blessed to have found so many placed within my path. My soul, replenished with joy. My heart is full.
Congratulations, Bailey Family 💕