After a couple of weeks of happy traveling, I’m home again, savoring the joys of having been part of Linnea and Adam’s happy family in Florida. Granddaughter Emerald was my traveling partner, bringing the grandchild-count to 6 of my 12. From the trampoline to the sandbox, from bike rides to lively meals, from church to the home school group, it was all pure pleasure.
L to R: Isaac (3), Micah (7), Autumn (5), Emerald (4), Skylar (8) and little Nelson (15 months) in my arms.
But now it’s time to get back to a frustrated bride who is an hour late for her own wedding rehearsal.
November 28, 1969
As I sat in Chicago’s rush hour traffic on the way to my rehearsal, I felt powerless and sad. What must my family be thinking? And Nate’s family, responsible for the dinner afterwards? And Nate himself? All of them were assembled at the church…. and waiting on me. But there was nothing to do but wipe my eyes and keep the car pointed toward Moody Church.
When finally I walked into the back of the giant sanctuary, Pastor Sweeting was the first to see me. “We have a bride!” he shouted, waving his arms in my direction. While the whole group applauded, I ran down the aisle toward Nate, who met me in the middle — so relieved I hadn’t been in an accident. When he saw I’d been crying, he hugged me tight, and the tension melted away.
Connecting with a handful of my former kindergarten students was a special treat, and listening to their stories of 1st grade was a joy. I made sure they knew what their wedding day jobs would be, how and when they would do them, where they would stand during the service, and where their parents would sit.
With the hour of the rehearsal dinner bearing down on us, our time at the church had to be minimal. So we quickly handed a wedding program to each participant and chalked their marks on the floor. The 7 bridesmaids sang through their song, and Pastor Sweeting sketched out the service for us, asking Nate and I for our favorite Bible verses.
Everything seemed rushed, but we had asked Helen (our Thanksgiving host) and Connie (my forever-friend) to “run” the wedding, and I knew we could depend on them to steer us through the important moments of the day.
This beautiful building, constructed in 1889, had an old-world feel to it with carved oak décor, bronze light fixtures, leaded windows, and massive ceiling beams. We dined on delicious German cuisine and were toasted by the groom’s parents.
But we didn’t stay late, knowing we still had many gifts to open back in Wilmette. Before we made the drive from city to suburb, though, Mom wanted my opinion on a decorating problem back at the church.
Apparently she and Aunt Joyce hadn’t been able to agree on how the table skirts should be attached in the room where the reception would be. And they wanted me to choose. So as the other dinner guests were calling it a day, the three of us walked back to the church – where some unexpected tears awaited.
“The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” (Proverbs 16:4)