April 9, 2016 11:42:25 PM
The thing is I've got eight grandchildren, and four of them have already or are going to get married within a little over a year. That is a lot of festivity for someone my age. Actually, it is downright stressful, but it proves not all stress is bad.
It happens to me every time, however. I get a little panicky that I will forget to do something important.
When Doug and I got married, my aunt from Gulfport forgot to bring the dress she planned to wear to the ceremony. She had to hurry and shop for another one at the eleventh hour.
I have started hanging outfits I will need in a separate closet. They need to stay clean before I leave. In a span of four days I will attend six parties, counting the reception. That makes a lot of occasions for which I have to get dressed up, probably more than I normally would attend in six weeks or, honestly, much more. Then, of course, I have to be sure to pack the right accessories for each occasion, such as small purses for the evenings, big satchels for when I need wallet and checkbook, makeup and hairbrush. Shoes appropriate for each event need to go, too. Besides, I have to be sure that, not only do I pack the right style and color, but that I can actually walk in them. That feat (no pun intended) is more difficult as I get older. I really do not want to wobble down the aisle.
It is a whole lot happier getting the family together for a wedding than for a funeral, but there are still plenty of logistical challenges. For example, my youngest grandchildren will stay somewhere they have to bring their own air mattresses. It is worth the trouble, however, for us to get to stay together. I hope.
I am not so naive as to assume there will be no hurdles. I am just optimistic enough to believe we shall clear them.
The imminent wedding for which I am currently preparing is that of my granddaughter, Selby McRae, to Kevin Graeple. It is soon enough for me to feel the excitement mounting. Yet shortly afterward, in July, her younger brother, Alexander, is also getting married. He and his fiancee, Christina Holy, are currently working on guest lists. Alexander is very gregarious, which prompted Christina to quip, "Now, Alexander, please don't make any new friends before the wedding!"
The occasions are almost bittersweet for me. I can hardly believe these "children" are grown up enough to be starting their own family units. I am very happy for them. There is no feeling equal to being in love. I pray their love will last their whole lives, maturing, but never diminishing. I plan to use all the strength I have to rejoice with them fully.
I borrow a toast I have heard a good friend make often: "I wish you health, wealth, love, and time to enjoy it."
Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.
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