I will go ahead and openly confess that I cried some during the ceremony. I cried some big, sappy tears. Tears of joy, and a few tears of pure emotion as I was aching over not being there. I didn't feel too embarrassed about crying because I figured I was just propped on my Dad's lap with my face under the screen cover, and I was confident I'd be able to pull it together by the end of the ceremony. I'm learning the more weddings I attend how intrigued I am by vows, and how powerfully moving I find the exchange of them to be. But again, confident I'd pull it together by the end, and happy to say I was able to do that. Something about "seeing" people I hadn't seen since the move, and accepting the absence of actual time with them on such an important day had me all torn up. I was pretty relieved when Dad said he'd call me in a few hours from the reception. Technology really is something, because this video call let the family feel like I was at the wedding with them, at least in some part. But for me, it was like I had never felt farther away. Our geographical gap was more palpable than ever before. I didn't anticipate much homesickness when I was thinking about moving away for a year, but it turns out I have a great bunch of friends and family who really warrant missing.
|Aunt Deborah, Lori and the flower girl saying hi--creepy to think they're talking to me through that shiny rectangle.|
|Do I have the cutest Grumpy or what? It was noisy with the DJ, but if he leaned in just right we could hear each other.|
In the time that lapsed between the wedding and the dance party I was able to wash my face, laugh with the bunch at Javier and Kerem's and get a few exams written. For a little background, the wedding took place the weekend we were all working hard on our first period guides and exams, so I was already on edge. Let's think back to when I admitted my stoic defeat during the ceremony, but how it was all cheque (ok) because it's not like anyone could see me. Right. That's where we're wrong. Not only did Dad have the screen facing out, but he stood so close to Lori (during the entire ceremony I think I was told) that Matt saw every tear and sniffle. Lori said she was doing great until she saw me crying, poor thing, but I suppose it's a special thing when cousins can embrace in joyful, although long distance tears. Friends and family sharing now sharing in this memory: please take note that your girl has toughened up and can take on all sorts of challenges. Please take bolder note that she does not miss weddings well.
That night we had communion at church, and we stood in a big circle for a while singing alabanzas and sharing in the joy of our spiritual community. I was still relatively new to the church, but starting to get to know a few people better. I did not know the man next to me, though I've now come to know him as Hermano Redin, the Sunday school teacher, a very kind and intelligent man. While we were in the circle I saw him put his arm around his son and hold him in a hug as they began to pray together. I wonder if anyone is surprised, but this got my eyes a little misty. I was really missing home and craving the embrace of family. I closed my eyes and focused on all the blessings surrounding those feelings, and all of a sudden Redin's arm was over my shoulders and he started to pray. He talked about God taking care of my family while I'm so far away, and taking care of me while he's sure I'm missing my support system at home. He has a gift of delicate verbiage, and his prayer was so greatly appreciated. How did he know I was so craving a hug from my dad? I was in awe of his perfect timing, and how spot on point he was with his kind, soothing words. Of course it wasn't a Daddy hug, but it did just fine for what I needed. It does get hard to think about what I'm missing, but I have a special group of people supporting me back home, and I'm getting to know a special group here. What a lovely, special gift.