Perhaps I am more aware than usual of the passage of time this year. I have a heightened awareness of passages, changes, stages, and phases of life. My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage this spring. I have been a member of his family for 30 years. In that time, I have considered myself a sister and friend to his brothers. I thought of all of them as both family and friends. I consider myself a sister to the wife of the brother-in-law that has been married for almost 25 years. I never had sisters, but she has taught me to be a sister. Our children are cousins and friends.
Over those years of sharing our lives and hearts, I have been blessed. It is no wonder then, that we both prayed for the other brother, in the hopes that he would find the love of his life. I looked forward to that happening, and imagined us all witnessing the wedding. I prayed for him on a daily basis and hoped to be able to see the day.
This summer he did get married to the love of his life. My sister-in-law and my niece, my husband, and my brother-in-law were up there in the wedding party, and of course I watched the rest of the wedding party (and the bride’s family) standing up there side by side. Standing up as a member of a wedding party is such a special thing. It says that you are forever joined, in a very special way. My heart rejoiced for my brother-in-law as I stood in the crowd ~ well, in the front pew with the crowd behind me! Aunts and uncles and cousins behind me. My son and nephew all the way in the back, as they had duties from there. I had readings to do, and was in the front. My brother-in-law and his bride (my new sister-in-law) share an extraordinary love, and the marriage is a bucket list item for the whole clan..
Although I watched from a distance, I cherished the day. Perhaps you could say the immediate wedding party is linked together, and those of us in the congregation have their backs. But it was one of many bucket list days this summer.
Bucket list days are like that. You memorize the moments and the faces. Now they have already been married for more than 100 days. Their marriage is new, but their love is timeless. It is a blessing to see their love continue to grow.
This weekend, as you read this, pray for those who love and those who long to be loved. Pray for the included, and the ones who are not. Pray for everyone…. and have a good weekend.