Well, that boy of ours certainly lucked out. And we got lucky too. We’ve gained a beautiful daughter and couldn’t be happier. And this weekend was more wonderful and more fun than I could have ever imagined.
We had a bit of a crisis at the welcome dinner the night before the wedding. (I told Sean and Carly awhile ago that I hoped everything would go perfectly but if it didn’t, it would be a great family story in the years to come. So we got our family story at the welcome dinner) All the kids finished eating and were racing around right outside the restaurant and poor Lana lost her balance or something and smashed her forehead against a post. She came back inside sobbing and covered in blood….more worried about how she would look for the wedding than actually hurt. One of the guests was a nurse and took a good look at her once the bleeding was under control and told us she did NOT need stitches. It took her a long time to calm down but at least Erin and Lana didn’t have to spend half the night in the emergency room right before the wedding. And the young woman who did our makeup did a great job on her face (as well as on mine. I looked twenty years younger!)
Other than the bloody mess the night before the wedding, everything was just perfect. Carly’s brother in law officiated and was absolutely amazing. The ceremony was beautiful. Carly had put it together. Sean gave me something from Robert Penn Warren to read. I didn’t love it so I rewrote parts. He couldn’t believe I was editing it. Nobody but his mother would mess with Robert Penn Warren.
They wrote their own vows. I loved them both but I really wish I had a copy of Sean’s…they were so Sean. He promised not to put the candy on the top shelf (he’s tall, she’s not) and to admit when he was wrong (I don’t remember him ever doing that!) along with the traditional, beautiful promises. The hotel was gorgeous and their wedding service was on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sean and Carly left us at sunset with the photographer to get pictures on a cliff with the sun going down. Can’t wait to see those although I’m glad I didn’t know exactly where they were taking those photos. The cliffs are dangerous!
There was lots of dancing and Lana was in the middle of it all. I don’t think she missed one dance all night. Calli was the social one…I think she met everyone at the wedding and chatted with them. She even got up and had something to say when the toasts came around. Declan was promoted, he will tell you, from “fake ring bearer” (because they weren’t sure they wanted to trust him with the real rings) to “real ring bearer” and leaped out of his seat to hand out the rings as soon as he heard the magic words. He has a real sweet tooth. Note the photo below that our niece, Jackie, got. He had opened his little gift box at the table as soon as he sat in his seat and wolfed down the two chocolates that were in there. He also had his eye on the cake. When they brought the kids ice cream at the end of their meal, he said to Erin, “I still get cake, right?”
It was a beautiful group….not a big wedding. It was so far away and so many people couldn’t come. I think that made us even more grateful for the ones who traveled such great distances to celebrate with us. Friends of Sean and Carly came from London, from DC and North Carolina. Carly’s cousin flew in from China where he’s teaching English. Family came from Texas and Colorado. Both of Carly’s grandmothers who are in their nineties were there, one from Cleveland and one from New Jersey.
Sean and Carly are on their way to Kauai. We flew home on the red eye last night, slept a bit on the plane but not enough. Arrived home at 9:00 am and went promptly to bed and got up at noon. Now it’s time to do laundry and to go through the accumulated mail and then out to the pool. And yes, we both fell in love with La Jolla…stunning views and perfect weather every day.
And finally, the weekend ended so sadly. Jerry’s sister, Ann, who has been sick for several years had a heart attack earlier in the week. She’s been at a nursing home in Massachusetts for quite awhile and had been gradually slowing down. Jerry and I had had lunch with her when we visited in June. It was obvious that she wasn’t doing well but honestly, she was as cheerful as ever, asking about the coming wedding and about the kids and telling us about her own grandkids. She died yesterday afternoon. We’re still waiting to hear about arrangements but it looks like they’ll have a memorial service for her in the fall. And even though it was a blessing (she was so compromised from failing health for so long) it’s still hard. Jerry lost a brother in 2013 and this is the second sibling to leave us. It makes us so aware of our own mortality.
And I am very aware of how lucky I am that I was able to celebrate this weekend. Sean said to me when we were dancing the mother/groom dance (to “Forever Young”…the slow version) “I’m just glad you’re here, mom.” Me too. I’m glad I was there. And I hope I’ll be around for many more family weddings to come.