WOSTER: Shedding tears at granddaughter's weddingI’m a sucker for weddings, especially weddings involving a young, optimistic and cheerful couple, so it’s no surprise that I shed a few tears at my granddaughter Jackie’s wedding last weekend.
By: Terry Woster, The Daily Republic
I’m a sucker for weddings, especially weddings involving a young, optimistic and cheerful couple, so it’s no surprise that I shed a few tears at my granddaughter Jackie’s wedding last weekend.
As is often the case when I go all soft at a wedding, what got me started wasn’t the bride so much as her younger sisters. Jackie was about as upbeat as a bride can be. She positively beamed as she prepared to make perhaps the most solemn commitment of her 22-year-old life. Less than two months ago, she hadn’t even finished college. Now she has a diploma and a wedding band. She and her husband Caleb were by turns serious and jovial, occasionally and briefly overcome by emotion, always engaged in the significance of the ceremony and in each other.
So I really didn’t have to worry about Jackie. She was doing fine. Her sisters were the ones struggling at times. I first noticed it with Jordan, a 20-year-old who covers her tender heart with a brash and brassy manner that might have folks who don’t know her think she’s untouched by family ties. Jordan served as a bridesmaid, as did her younger sister, Frankie, who just turned 18. The fourth sister, Sage, is a 4-year-old bundle of energy who played the part of a flower girl and provided some comic relief.
At a point not too far into the ceremony, I was watching the bridal couple prepare to become one, when Nancy elbowed me gently in the arm and gestured toward the line of bridesmaids. Jordan’s shoulders were shaking and she had tears running down her cheeks. Frankie was hanging on, dealing with her own feelings about the changing status of her oldest sister and worrying about the feelings of her next-oldest sister. It was a tender, heart-breaking moment, and I didn’t bother fighting back a few tears as I watched.
The three sisters have been about as close as any three people I’ve ever seen. Old home video clips show them as little girls performing what we used to call pantomime routines to a hip-hop tape at some sort of outdoor talent show. They clearly enjoyed the attention, but more than that, they clearly enjoyed each other’s company. They’ve been a threesome for a long, long time.
Jackie has always been the leader and the role model for the other two, and it’s kind of hard to lose a leader, even if you know she’s the type who will make sure to stay in touch. “In touch” just isn’t the same — or at least if you’re a trio as close as these girls, it doesn’t seem like it could be the same at a moment when you’re standing 10 feet from your big sister watching her have eyes for no one but her almost-husband.
So, that’s why I cried just a little at my granddaughter Jackie’s wedding. And the tears were only for a little while. Mostly I smiled. A few times I laughed.
The smiles were because the bride and groom seemed so ready for the step they were taking. They are witty, lively people, but they clearly have thought long about their commitment to each other. I smiled at their happiness, and I smiled a bit at their innocence. In my experience as an old guy, the innocence the couple displayed was the universal innocence of newlyweds everywhere. They know they love each other, they know their marriage is blessed and they believe that as long as they have that, they will handle the problems that await them as a committed couple. They probably will, too, but I know they will be surprised at some of the problems that arise, and I know they’ll find living together — great as it can be — more testing than they could ever imagine. That’s just how things work. It has always been so, even for the most committed, loving couple.
I’m not worried. Well, I am, because that’s how grandpas are. But I’m also pretty confident they will survive all the tests. They have a big family on both sides and many caring friends. Plus, Jackie has those sisters.