Yes, this is me as a new bride in 1971. My sister is dropping a new, 1971 penny in my shoe for luck. I still have those shoes in a box somewhere. The penny is probably in the box, too. As best as I can remember, I only wore those shoes that one time. My homemade wedding dress is hanging in my closet yellowed by the 46 years that have passed.
The promise those two, crazy teenagers made to each other that rainy day in June has not yellowed, though. It was not put in a box and forgotten in a closet. Our relationship has been stretched but never broken. Our hearts still beat for one another. Our promise has been made stronger by the passing of years and parents.
I guess I am nostalgic because there is a new bride in our family. My sister’s GRANDDAUGHTER is getting married next week. Mercy me, time passes quickly! Can that little baby girl possibly be a college graduate and getting married?!? And so a new promise begins. This sacred promise that they will love each other above any other human being. My prayer for this new bride and groom is that they will have an unbreakable bond sealed with a sacred promise. A promise sealed with a wedding kiss.
Today I wear purple and remember the long goodbye on the longest day of the year. It is hard to look at this photo of my mom on her last birthday. My mother was beautiful, funny and smart. What I see in this photograph is my mom’s spirit caught in a Lewy Body brain. I hate dementia.
My brother and I are smiling for this picture because that is what you do in a photograph with your mom on her 85th birthday but, I assure you, we were dying a slow death right along with her on the inside. Neither of us wanted to go to the nursing home that October 14th. Not because we didn’t want to visit with our mom but because of the pain and hopelessness we felt when we did. It was one of those, “I’ll go if you will go with me” scenarios. Our older sister just couldn’t do it. It hurt too much. Be careful about judging family who rarely visits unless you have sat for one of these photos with someone you love dearly.
So, today we wear purple and remember all who have struggled with dementia like Gladys and George and those still on the journey like Martha and Ed. But, we also remember the loved ones in the photographs who are smiling on the outside.
Final Print Review. That is what the spine of the maroon binder says. The devotional that I wrote on assignment for my church is almost a real book. It is surreal. It has happened so fast. Now, I am scrambling to plan a marketing strategy.
My publisher said, “Read every page.” Final is, well, final. To this point, I have purposely NOT read every page again for fear that I would want to re-write every page. But, now I will. After all, this is the final edit.
I am so glad that God provides us with grace. There is so much brokenness. Mistakes happen. It is good to know that God gives us a chance to re-write a chapter of our life. Of course, the final review will come one day. Until then, we continue to search for our purpose in this crazy, broken world.