Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I owe them a big "thanks"!

Chip's mom, Karen, commented to me on FB that her memories of our wedding day vary just a bit from the ones I have written about here the past couple of days. I knew that all along, but when she made mention of it and as I thought about it I realized I probably never thanked Chip's parents enough for all they did do for us that day. I maybe thought our smiles and joy through that day spoke for themselves. I hope I said thank you back then. But after 17 years, my memory is a bit fuzzy when it comes to the kind of thank you I may or may not have said.
So today I am remembering back to our beautiful wedding day and I am making sure that my thank you is loud and clear. =) THANK YOU, John and Karen for everything you did to help make our wedding day one to remember so fondly. You see, most of the time the parents of the bride are all a flurry before and on the wedding day. There's no doubt my parents were busy with extra demands at that time because of our wedding. But in our case, Chip's parents bore most of the 'burden' of the actual event.
Chip and I had been attending church together when we dated and during our year engagement. But it wasn't the kind of place we would have held our ceremony in- as the church was meeting in a high school auditorium at that time. We spent several hours looking at different churches and parks for a location to have our wedding, but nothing was working out for us and in frustration and because we were running out of options we decided to pose the question of using Chip's parents' backyard as our location site. It seemed very plausible to Chip and me, but I do remember feeling like I was holding my breath while we presented our idea to them and waited for their objections. I am sure there head to be some objections. But I guess we were either very convincing, very pathetic, very naive, or maybe a combination of all of them and the next thing I knew Chip and I were excited to know that we now had a place for us to be married.
We didn't think much about the weather {see previous post}. =) I don't recall being concerned about bathroom space, or how much time and energy would need to go into preparing the gardens and yard. I do remember wondering and discussing a bit how the parking arrangements would work for all our guests, but I also recall not caring too mch because I knew I would have a 'front spot'. How selfish of me...yet how absolutely true about me at that time too. I just wanted everything to work out. So the less I worried or made something "my problem" the easier it was to deal with! How nice if I could still live that way, right?! =)
In addition to hosting what ended up being about 175 guests, Karen also made my wedding dress. She made my veil too. She made all of the bridesmaids dresses as well. She tended the garden. She had two teenagers at home at that time. One had a broken leg. Seventeen years later and with an abundance of life experiences under my own belt now, I have a much greater appreciation for all she did for me to pull off our wedding. She must not have slept for the whole month of July and those first 11 days of August that summer. I have no idea how she did it. But I do know I owe her a big thanks. Even all these years later.
I couldn't help but think that after all the planning and sewing and cleaning and rearranging and gardening and everything else that she and John did, that when they finally took their seats in the heat of the sun under the tent with the rose arbor and blooming garden and pool as the backdrop to Chip and I saying their vows, they probably just wanted to breathe for a moment and take it all in. I imagined my own self sitting down in a chair seeing the happiness on my son's face as he is about to make the biggest commitment in his life. I thought about how Chip's mom must have felt. All the times she had sat out in that back yard and watched Chip play with his siblings and neighbors. All the hours she spent waiting for him to come home from the hospital as he had been an extrememly sick, premature baby when he was born. All the memories of him growing and changing and becoming the man who stood before her in her garden. She had put years of hard work into that day. And I apologize now for hardly giving it a second thought.
If ever I owed someone a thanks, it is more than fitting for me to say it here to Chip's mom, Karen, and to his dad, John, as I reflect back on August 12th, 1995. Without them it never would have happened the way it did. Without them my memories of my wedding day would have looked very different. So it is with this understanding and with my most sincere gratitude that I say thank you. Thank you for your part in making our wedding day the most beautiful, special day that it was. Thank you for your hard work, your years of helping to shape Chip into the man of character that he is. Thank you for supporting us as a couple and loving us enough to make even our most outlandish ideas come true. We are so glad for the part you played in our lives and in our wedding day. I am sure Chip would love to join me in saying, "thanks" to you today and for everything you've done for us throughout all our married lives too. We love and appreciate you! 

1 comment:

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

It's amazing how you can look back and realize how much trouble and effort things were that you kind of just thought 'happened' when you were young(er) & naive! This is a lovely tribute to your in-laws, and I'm sure they appreciate your gratitude!