This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending – and participating – in my Dad’s wedding to a fantastic woman, Missy. The wedding saw two large, extended families, come together on a lush green West Bridgewater lawn, under a brilliant blue sky dotted with cotton candy clouds, to witness two special people come together as one – in wedded bliss.
An event in mid-August usually brings with it the promise of scorching 180 degree temps and a mortality rate of around 23% amongst your wedding party. Well, the Fates shined down upon my Dad and Missy as the temps barely flirted with 80 degrees. It was as pleasant, as temperate, as picture-perfect a day as one could hope for.
My Dad and Missy decided to adorn the ceremony with a tropical theme – think ‘Luau of Love’ – and thus the dress called for shirts plastered with naked Tiki girls and giant Mojitos. I thought it was a great design choice, as it imparted a nice, casual, familial air to the wedding.
Missy’s daughter Jamie, and I, as the oldest ‘children’ – were asked to prepare a speech for the ceremony. Both writers, we seemed to follow a kindred path, peppering our speeches with humorous asides that nicely complimented our heart-felt sentiments. Jamie coaxed some tears from the crowd by relaying her single Mom’s tireless efforts to raise two beautiful daughters and discussed my Dad’s invaluable role in taking charge of home matters in the months following her grandparents’ passage. She also focused on how much my Dad’s presence in Missy’s life meant to her Mom.
For my speech, I focused on a truth we find self evident. Although our families have known each other a smaller period of time (in relation to our combined histories) we have grown close very quickly. Andi once told me that she feels like we’ve known Missy and her family our entire life. I agree wholeheartedly and that’s what led me to deduce that this day, my Dad and Missy’s wedding day, was ultimately very symbolic. It served to solidify two truths we’ve all known for a long time.
They are husband and wife.
We are family. (It was at that point in the speech that someone wisely snipped the wires to the Karaoke machine.)
Anyway, it was just such a great moment seeing my Dad complete his life. While it’s so tricky to label any divorce as a fortunate event, I feel that my life’s experience has transcended the norm. Both my Mom and Dad have found people who fill that void and make them happier people. Both of the people they have welcomed into their lives – Donald for my Mom and Missy for my Dad – have equally welcomed my sisters and I into there’s. Although it can seem cliche, ultimately I want nothing but pure happiness for my parents. They’ve worked so hard, sacrificed much and informed so much of the man I have become, that to see them achieve great happiness in their lives is the star we wish upon.
I’m proud to call myself Missy’s son – although a bit discouraged that my little plea mid-ceremony for a baby brother seemed to fall on deaf ears. Hey, I’m no Spring Chicken. I’m 34 years old. I thought I made it pretty clear that my new baby bro didn’t have to be a newborn. There’s the black market for this sort of thing. How hard could it be to dredge up a lonely Laplander or Newfie Long Shoreman? That would just be the greatest. Can you imagine the adventures me and my ‘hoser’ brother could get involved in?
I know I’m a bit scattershot here, but I didn’t want to leave without making reference to a cool observation Andi made to me the other night.
As mentioned, this wedding was held at my Dad and Missy’s home in West Bridgewater, MA. The home has been in Missy’s family for generations and has served as childhood hamlet for her and her siblings. There’s a lot of history within that home and it seems so welcoming – that warm feeling only a lived-in home can impart.
Andi also grew up in West Bridgewater and her family continues to stay rooted to the area. Thus, both my Dad and I have married women from West Bridgewater.
Well, with two special people uniting in marriage, and two great families combining as one, this small world feels more full and complete these days.
Here’s to my Dad and Missy.