Affiancing. Lovely. Sarah.

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I didn’t know you had it in you!  The neighbor’s daughter sprinted over to my father’s outdoor deck in her running clothes, a two year old perched on her hip, after hearing cooing and commotion coming from under the maple trees.  She was laughing with my nephew, Andrew, with whom she played as a child on his occasional visit to his grandparents.

Andrew – caregiver to my father, romancer of ladies of all ages who flock to his charms –  is getting married.   And I understand why.  He has found the most luminous soul to orbit his sky.  He has found Sarah, and finally stopped to look no more.

This is not Sarah’s wedding dress I’m publishing, heaven forbid.  I was lucky enough to be a part of her dress shopping day, along with her mother and sister and friends.  But she stole my heart with her blushing bridal beauty, out-glaming herself with each new dress she slipped on.

Since my father will not have the strength to make it to their North Carolina wedding in September, Andrew and Sarah brought the festivities to my father.  On Sunday, both families gathered on my father’s deck to celebrate their engagement and commitment.  Andrew’s first lady, blond dog Stella, sprawled out lazily in the thick of things, babies squirmed, Sarah’s grandfather led a charge, my father wheeled out and drank in the moment with a grin.  I adore her, he says of Sarah, forming the words emphatically with his recalcitrant tongue.  She brings music to his house, tenderness to his day, grace to his grandson.

I take my father’s hand and slowly reach it toward Stella’s fur, or place it gently on little  Liam’s leg, his 8 month old great-grand.  He cannot get there on his own, that long stretch of a few inches.  He cannot wrap his arms around Sarah and welcome her into the family.  But his heart is clear – that muscle moves toward her with joy.

For better or for worse.  In sickness and in health.  The words we daily live upon like the ground beneath us rise up in these moments with a crackling force.  I think of what my father knows of these timeless words, knows them sixty years in the bones.  He knows now both the better and the worse.  Both the richer and the poorer.  Both the sickness and the years of health.  Marriage, his presence announces, loves and cherishes the all of it.  And now these two young ones are ready to walk into those words.

Sarah bends to kiss my father’s face, where sadness also dwells.  Love is there, just there, in his face, in her gesture, in the long path of a few inches.  In the long road backward and forward sixty years each way.  Love, even with a recalcitrant tongue, says Yes, Yes.  To all of it.  And would again, and will yet, over and over again.

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~ by Susan on 06/20/2013.

9 Responses to “Affiancing. Lovely. Sarah.”

  1. Susan, thank you for sharing with us your father’s world and how we so take for granted being able to move those few inches. Sarah and Andrew’s story is just beginning and what a wonderful way to start a life together. Andrew looks very much like his grandfather in the picture.
    Do you perhaps quilt?

    • I’m not a quilter myself, but appreciate the art of it! Thank you for your kind words . . .

  2. Thank you for inviting us into your world, for sharing both the joys and heartaches.

  3. Beautiful!!

  4. Yes! Yes! Congrats to beautiful Sarah and Andrew. Such a lovely tribute to them and to your parents, and in fact to you and Trenholm and all who move boldly toward that daily Yes.

    • 10 years ago today we tied that knot! no regrets. Still trying to catch up to your 25!

      Thanks for your earlier text. Was with father on father’s day – dedicating, in church, an altar David and I gave in memory of Mother. All is well.

      Leave for Santa Fe next Saturday! Will try to get something by for Sallie before I go – because I won’t really get back until September and she’ll be long gone, I’m sure. 6 weeks in SF, then here a couple of days, then New York for the Gift Show. Good, busy summer.

      Hope you and the girls are all enjoying camp or just camping out on the porch.

      lol, s

  5. susan, dear one! thank you for your precious words! i copied the first
    one and will share the copies with our torchbearers class. your father
    is our team teacher, was there before i and we are so interested in
    hearing about him and andrew and the upcoming wedding. you encourage
    us every time you write. we love the smile on his face – wonderful to see.
    much love, pat

  6. Thank you, Susan, for your wonderful writing (SO much like your dad’s) to include us in your family’s activities. Much love to your dad! 🙂

  7. Wonderful post and wonderful photo of your father, Susan…and Happy (belated) Anniversary to you and Trenholm!

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