It might seem strange to post a wedding picture on New Year’s Eve, but I’m thinking of two this morning: Today is my parents’ 57th anniversary, and Dave gave me my ring for Christmas 12 years ago (“12 and a half,” he recently reminded me). By New Year’s Eve, Mama wanted to know my colors, my location, and my punch recipe. Dave and I were allowed to choose our date, our wedding party, and our order of service. Everything else went about like this:
Me: What do you think of this silver fabric for the bridesmaids’ dresses?
Mama: Ooo, isn’t that green over there pretty?
Me: I’d sort of like to have a small wedding at home.
Mama: We need to know exactly how many people the church can hold before I order invitations.
Me: What about getting married outside at the church—make a little courtyard garden between the old and new sanctuaries?
Mama: I hear they’re expecting rain in June.
Her comrade-in-arms was our dear family friend Terry Green, who was the go-to floral designer for our community until we lost him this year. Terry and his family created the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen for Dave and me. In the end, I was glad he and Mama completely ignored my “no arbor in the sanctuary” decree. It was gorgeous.
Every spring, I had a habit of waiting till the last minute to order my Mother’s Day corsage, and Terry would always say, “I was wonderin’ when I was gonna hear from you.” He knew exactly what my mother wanted (yellow roses). And I knew I would never remember to pay that invoice, so I’d always say, “You’d better take my credit card number right now, ’cause you know how scatter-brained I am.”
Terry grew up in our community and sang at many of our churches over the years, but those aren’t the only reasons why everybody knew and loved him. It was impossible to come anywhere near him without having a conversation—not just idle chit-chat, but a real conversation about how you were and what was going on with your family. It was also impossible not to laugh. I don’t think I’ve ever known anybody who loved life more.
And I guess I’m thinking of him, in this season of our family weddings and proposals, because I honestly don’t know how any of us would make it through the hard times—or fully enjoy the good ones—without the special people in our lives. Dave and I lost some of our nearest and dearest this year. And that has made us all the more grateful for the friends and family we have.
Love to all of you who enrich our lives by letting us be part of yours. Wishing you joy and peace in the New Year.