Monday, November 6, 2017

Bubbles bursting with gratitude

 There have been rare times in my life when independent bubbles of family and friends collide and this past weekend was one of the best. My twin sister’s daughter was married on my husband’s sister’s and husband’s 30 acres in Clinton County. Three days of prepping, hosting the event and dis-assembling became a marriage of families, many families, as well as the happy couple: Sarah and Colin.

Uncovering the layers of relationships is complex. My immediate family was together for the first time in 10 weeks as our oldest traveled home from a busy college path and weekend job. My parents, who have grown a little slower, attended in addition to so many of my mother’s family from Iowa, mostly cousins, children of cousins and a beloved uncle. They drove the 12-hours on Friday, reveled in the ceremony and reception and turned around for home Sunday morning.

My sister from the DC-area, her husband and son made the trek. And, of course, my twin sister, Carolyn, was front and just behind center as mother of the bride. Her husband, my brother-in-law, whom I’ve known since we were 16, was at her side as he struggles with illness. He’s like a brother. His mother, who just moved to my town, attended along with her daughter and family from Michigan.

My niece Amanda, her husband, John, and one-year-old were there to support sister/sister-in-law/aunt Sarah tie the knot.

When Sarah and Colin decided to make the leap, quickly, Sarah called to ask about barn venues. They had recently become engaged and wanted a ceremony in Ohio (they live in Hawaii) while Sarah’s dad, Andy, felt well. As we talked, Sarah sheepishly asked if I thought my husband’s twin sister would remember the pact they had made when Sarah was a pre-teen attending the annual fall party and hay ride and asking Patti if she could get married here. Patti didn’t flinch then.

Or now. When I phoned her and not yet explained, she belted out: “Is Sarah getting married and does she want to do it here?” She hadn’t even known Sarah’s relationship status, yet she intuited with an automatic yes. That’s just who she and Tom, her husband, are. They hosted a wedding at their place in July and have held countless class and family reunions, a graduation, memorial service, holidays and the traditional autumn party.

Sarah had a tent with clear sides installed on the property and set the most beautiful scene, straight from Pinterest, she said. She doesn’t give herself enough credit. The geo-physicist has some creative skills. Putting on those finishing touches was such a pleasure as the bride’s family mingled with the groom’s. I met Colin’s mother, brothers, step mother and step brothers, a sister-in-law and one soon to be. If the family tree isn’t exactly straight, it was certainly filled with loving people traveling from both coasts to celebrate this marriage. One person confided they knew Sarah was “the one because Colin was so tender with her.” What a sweet and telling confession.
My heart was so full this morning in yoga as I recounted the rekindling of old relationships, the conversations, the new friendships and how the union of two loved and loving souls brought so many together. So many lose ends that would never have connected otherwise.

I am bursting with gratitude for the fullness of life and everyone in it.

Thank you, Sarah and Colin. #onemooreconway


  1. What wonderful commentary - so full of love and grace. Connection is built into our DNA and this was truly a weekend filled with the weaving of relationships. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Lovely, Cathy! Enjoyed reading this. I could picture the family tenderness. My son and his girlfriend are close to engagement, we hope, and I was considering the expense. It’s so nice that the family helped out with venue. I hope Andy is doing okay. I pray for his treatment and I know y’all had a wonderful family time at Sarah’s wedding. Thanks for sharing. Best of luck and many wonderful years of happy companionship for the bride and groom!