Outfitting five people for a wedding isn’t fun–especially when at least four of them, me included, will be tugging, pulling and shifting from foot to foot with discomfort due to clothing and shoes not often worn. We don’t do fancy. Not that this will be over the top; it won’t. But we will dress with the respect due the occasion.
My oldest baby is getting married! No, she’s not my daughter. She’s my niece. The sweet, beautiful daughter of my deceased only brother. He passed away when she was a year old. Some of you know of this sad, sad story. He died at 23 years old of a very aggressive form of lymphoma. His young wife was left, grieving, to carry on with a baby to care for. His parents–my parents–were devastated. I was the only sibling, in the middle of college finals just before graduation and due to be married in three weeks. It was sudden and horrible. It was tragic for everyone. But my sweet niece never knew her father.
When people die, we hold them in our hearts. We keep them alive through memories and photos. But the things our departed can’t do are be with us to actually raise children, be a partner to their spouse, or aid a sibling in the care of aging parents, and they can’t physically comfort us. All the actual living we face day-to day.
The thing about life is that it spares no one. We can do everything right to the very best of our ability. We can try to be good and righteous people, but life still hands us things we cannot control. Death. Disease. But humans carry on and we figure out how to maintain and even thrive after surviving the worst of it. My sister-in-law remarried a wonderful man, my niece’s step-father–her dad. They were blessed with two more children. They are all my family and I love them dearly.
So, we will all celebrate my brother’s daughter who turned out so bright, beautiful and lucky by a coming together of the many who love her dearly. She will marry a man who is truly her perfect partner and I will drag the five of us there in our heels and ties as befits the occasion.
Love you, Bethany Rene Noel Knippers