It’s week two of being mother-of-the-bride and I am delighted that the young couple has decided to marry in just two months. I find myself thinking obsessively about all that I have to do and all that they have to do to make the wedding happen in the nicest way. With both of them working and neither with a car, I have been more involved than I had planned to be. So it is nice to think that this period of relative frenzy is finite.
The good part is the happiness that I feel. It is almost as if each of them has an aura around them, an energy that feels to me like warmth and happiness and love, and when I am with them, I just feel elated. I find myself sitting and smiling thinking about them and their future filled with endless possibilities.
Of course, it always reminds me of the happiness I felt when I was looking forward to my own wedding. It was not just the love I felt for my husband then, it was the prospect of starting something new and wonderful that I would have a hand in shaping. We would create a home, an atmosphere. It would be the place that we would always feel comfortable. It would be safe and I would always feel accepted, respected, and loved.
The first disagreements plunged me into despair. How could it be that I had made such a huge mistake? I couldn’t get beyond my own hurt and pain to think about what might have happened from his point of view. What helped me was my stubborn streak. I was not going to let go of this beautiful life that we were creating together. I was going to do whatever it took to make the dream come true. I came to understand that this stubbornness that we both have is an asset that has gotten us through the years relatively unscathed as each of us believes in this marriage and will do what we need to keep it strong.
A number of years ago I had a group of chaplains’ wives at my house for a social evening. One of the things we did was to go around the room and give our responses to different questions. To the question, “what do you wish you had known about marriage before you got married?” one woman answered, “I wish I had known it would be this sweet.”
May this new couple I feel so much happiness for be stubborn enough to get through the difficult times and may they be surprised again and again by how very sweet it can be.