Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Okay, change of post. I really should go to bed, because I only had six hours of sleep last night, but here I am. The call of the internet.

The wedding was really, really nice. Everything went reasonably well, with only a few minor snafus. Em and I started the day getting our hair done at Jan's (she cut our hair until she moved to Wisconsin - Jan's been with me through many-a do, including perms), and she made breakfast for us. A belt broke on Mom's car on the way back, so we had to leave that in Durant most of the day. It was inconvenient, but not a crisis.

We stopped by Shirli's, where the rest of the girls got their hair done, and then ran back home for dresses and supplies. Then we went up to the church and ate Subway and watched Cinderella while we did makeup and got dressed. The wedding was beautiful. The church was somewhat dimmed because it was evening, and with all the candles, it was gorgeous. The church was packed. I cried, of course, but I had stowed several kleenexes in the front of my dress. Not that I needed the padding, but universal pocket, you know.

The reception was fun, the only thing is that I wished more people had stayed around to dance. But by the time we ate, did toasts, had the obligatory dances, etc. it was 9:00, and a lot of the people we know are old. I was surprised Grandma Whitmer stayed as long as she did. The woman is 93 years old, and was still awake at 11:00. But there even more people at the reception, and I didn't get to talk to nearly enough people. I had nice chats with Marianne, Toni, cousins Aaron and Sonia and Josh's Aunt Eleanor, but I think those are the only people I talked to at any length. Other than that, I was a dancing fool. Sometimes the only dancing fool, but I was feeling pretty and didn't mind the attention. I did get a lot of compliments.

My wedding toast, reproduced here for your perusing pleasure:

Family is precious. The more I see of the world, the more I know how truly blessed we have been to grow up in our family. Not only Mom, Dad, and Lew, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends...all who love us more than we probably deserve. Birthdays, holidays, or even just Sunday dinner, family and faith has been the center of it all. I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect life.

Family is strong. We have been given our share of difficulties, but we have also been given more than enough strength to overcome them. The love and encouragement we are able to provide each other has gotten us through many tough times. That same love and encouragement also makes the happy times more happy. There has been a Hallmark card sitting in my desk for some time now, waiting for the right occasion to give to you. The sentiment goes, 'You know we're friends, because we have more fun than it makes sense to be having.' That goes for family, too.

Family is a never-ending cycle. I want to read aloud a line Emily inserted into the bulletin: 'The flowers on the organ are placed in loving memory of the bride's grandfather Richard, whose love and strength lives on in everyone who knew him.' Reading that caused my first cry of this process, because I was struck by the truth of that statement. Grandpa may be physically gone, but his influence - his love and faith - will be passed down through his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and every person they touch in turn. The love that unites us will never change, because it is the love of God that lives in us and that we share with each other.

Family is always with you. Something Mom said to me once has stuck with me. Most other families I know spend Christmas Day traveling, driving around visiting family, while we have always spent Christmas Day at home. One year I asked Mom why, and she said, "Well, your dad and I decided to start our own tradition." Now that you are starting your own family, you will take the things that remind you of home and make them your own. No matter where you go, the love we have for each other will go with you, to hold you up during the hard times, and celebrate with you during the happy times.

So, to my sister and her husband: May the Lord bless your marriage with the kind of love that is like family - precious, strong, never-ending, and always with you.

And on that note, I had a nice, quiet birthday. Mom found the type of lawn chair I've been looking for for two seasons now, and Dad gave me a can of peanuts. It was one of those things I was talking about with him: it may seem silly, but it's one of the sweetest things he's given to me, and how he shows he loves me.

Happy Birthday to me!

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