I never knew why older people cried at weddings. It seemed obvious to me that it was a happy time. I didn’t get it.
I met Julie when I was an 18-year-old freshman at Texas A&M. We decided to be roommates the next year and have been close friends since then.
I’ll never forget the day I picked her up from her workplace for lunch. My newly married friend got in my car as pale as the palest ghost. I said, “What is wrong with you?” She swallowed her nausea and managed the word “pregnant.” We were both stunned. We’d never done pregnancy before.
Five babies, many milestones, lots of life, challenging jobs, countless lunches and shopping sprees later, the baby she was pregnant with thirty years ago got married, this past Saturday night.
Suddenly, I’m the person in the congregation crying because, oh my goodness…life! Her baby boy looked the same as he always had except now he was the groom. My friend looked gorgeous as the glowing groom’s mom.
Our weekend was filled with celebrations and people we had not seen for years. The entire time I’m asking myself how this happened. How did the college girls get to be moms of adults?
When I was younger older people used to whisper to me the secrets of life. I was moving too fast to listen. It seemed like they were telling me something about babies growing fast and time flying.
Now, I’m the one whispering and crying happy tears in the pew because, to me, a wedding is so much more than two people marrying. It is a lifetime of moments, relationships, parenting, angst and friendship all squeezed into a few sacred Holy moments where love and hope once again emerge.
When all that awareness hits you at once, it’s bound to seep out in joy-filled tears.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, writer, mom, Mimosa to Keller, breast cancer survivor and tearful wedding guest. She is speaking at The Well women’s event at First UMC Grapevine, Texas on February 8, 2018. Some tickets are still available at http://www.fumcg.org/cindyryan