One year ago we gathered at the wedding of my husband’s nephew. My mother-in-law danced with her two granddaughters and a great-granddaughter under a white tent on a very warm September night. Ninety plus years old, she wore a pastel outfit purchased for this occasion including matching shoes.
The young women moved around her gently, swaying on tall heels, holding hands, smiling at the joy of being together for the first time in decades and sharing this experience. The little, white-haired, woman with large glasses was no longer the strong single mother who shepherded three children through college on a teacher’s salary. Her health was failing, her feet not always steady, her heart working as hard as it could.
Adult children and their spouses watched from the side, each of us quiet with our own thoughts. The youngest grandson would be marrying in twelve months and she wanted to there, to dance at his wedding and welcome his bride to the family. There were so many reasons to think that was not going to happen in spite of incredible drive in that tiny woman’s body. She passed away weeks later.
The circle turns and we are here on another September evening, for another gathering of generations around another loving young couple. There is so much joy during the ceremony that it is natural to expect the grandparents, who gave their blessings to these two years earlier, to be in the room. The future promises only its best on this night and the past reminds us of what was good. There is joy.