Archive for November, 2007

There we stood, in the sight of God and man, taking the vows of our troth—the culmination of two families called to the tabernacles of covenant and kinship in one house.

The stained-glass-filtered rays mixed with cascades of flickering candlelight in kaleidoscopic fashion as Celtic strings rang dulcetly. Cameras flashed with intermittence.

Tears welled in my bride’s eyes as the minister called us to love, honor, cherish and obey. I repeated the words slowly to myself, praying God strengthen me toward His heavenly resolve. And I smiled, hoping to steady her a bit.

As we turned to face our witnesses, all looked on smiling, save one. My grandfather hid his face in leathered hands. I had not long to ponder the thing—just then the minister announced us as man and wife.

We descended the stairs, walking the long center knave to our receiving point. We thanked everyone in turn for their part in the day. But my grandfather never passed by.

The shadows were stretching long before we left the church. We walked to the car with the sun hung low behind us. But before I could get in the old man appeared out of the crowd; he was fighting back the tears still as he grasped my shoulder with an iron grip. He squared on me with eyes which called to the imagination forgotten leagues of ice.

I had not shed a tear myself until that moment—the moment that I saw that grizzled old man let fall his stoicism. He hugged me so fiercely I thought he might break bone as he spoke in a wavering rasp: “I love ya’ boy. Good luck.” Then he turned and disappeared into the crowd.

As we pulled away in twilight’s failing glow I reflected on the graces of my wife… and the constitution of my fathers.


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