A year ago, right now, we were standing in the hot summer Colorado sun, standing and posing and laughing and trying to jump in the air while not landing badly on three inch silver heels (and yes, I managed to still trip in them, but at least it wasn’t while walking down the aisle). We were in the midst of this good day that God had made, our hair neatly curled and our makeup spotless, and when you walked outside in that dress I knew no one had ever looked that beautiful before.
You have always been the one to go first, the one with braces first and a car first, the one who got to be in a marching band and the one who went to school dances and proms. I remember sneaking into your room when you weren’t around during your senior year of high school and trying on the dress from your junior prom. Do you remember it – you’d gotten it from Filene’s, I think, and I had seen you come out of the dressing room and I had thought, no one was as beautiful. I never had a prom; but I remember sitting in the cramped auditorium seats that year to watch you walk across the stage – the Grand March, they called it – my face eager for just a glimpse of you.
And I remember the time that Mom and Dad traveled away, and the boys went with them – to England, I think – and it was just you and me at home. You picked me up from school and we ate dinner together at the kitchen table and then went to Starbucks (something we wish we could do more than we do now), and I told you about the boy I liked, and you smiled at me and told me to wait and see, that God would bring the best thing at the right time. You told me that boys are complicated. You told me that hearts hurt but that they also heal. I still think about that now.
And then I remember, smiling and laughing as I write this, that phone call when he proposed, and it was midnight our time but I waited up for you. We crowded in the hallway just by the linen closet between my room and our parents’, and we could all hear how your joy spilled over the phone line and time change, how surprised you were, how good it was. I carry that memory with me, too, and I can remember the feel of the floorboards creaking as I paced back and forth, listening to the story, overwhelmed and overjoyed.
And then last year, when I walked down the aisle before you, when I turned, finally at my place, and saw you and Dad walking together, I thought then, too, that no one was as beautiful as you were. And then you married the man whose heart is wide and honest and faithful. You married the man who makes you laugh and smile quiet, the man who builds a home with you and prays with you and loves you.
One year ago, we were in the middle of your wedding day, silver shoes and a blue dress, and I carry those memories with me as I sit in a Starbucks in Texas, while the afternoon rolls on and the sky outside is the same blue as that Colorado sky.
You teach me the way of love is a long journey, a daily obeying, a moment by moment cherishing. You teach me that there is more to it than high school boys and the Friday nights without someone to take us to the movies. You teach me that it is built in the ordinary, in the every day, in all the small things that turn beautiful in their time.
You were the most beautiful bride I have ever seen, one year ago –
but you are more beautiful now,
and every year forward, because you keep teaching us to love. Because you keep loving.