A Special Gift From The Bride To Her Parents...

As I awoke this morning, I rolled over to find Caitlin still snuggled between her dad and I in our big bed.  She had announced weeks before that she would be sleeping right between us on the eve of her wedding day.  It wasn't difficult for me to remember that she was there; I had rolled over and looked at her several times during the night.  This was my baby.  How could it be that she would be married in less than 24 hours?  It seemed like only yesterday that I brought that tiny bundle home with me from the hospital.

Yesterday turned out to be a very eventful and productive day.  There were 15 of us working on decorating the rehearsal hall.  One of the employees of the club told me that I had more people working on our event than they had employees.  Across town, a wonderful friend of mine had agreed to host the rehearsal dinner at her home and had her own crew of 9 working there.  This was not a day for messing around or wasting time.

                 One crew was guys, who would hang all of the light fixture that Robby made.

At around 2 O'clock, we headed home to rest a little and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner that evening.  Since the wedding party is large (9 brides maids and groomsmen each, 4 flower girls and a ring bearer...), we had them arrive 15 minutes early to get set.  I had attempted to rest for a while, but had not been able to; I was still on an adrenaline rush.  I suppose that is why it surprised me that I would be the first one to cry at the rehearsal.  When the organist began to play, I suddenly felt the same way I had at my own wedding rehearsal.  It is something about the music that gets me.  I was able to make it, however, until the couple would were singing a duet began.  I looked at Robby and said, "I'm going to cry tonight."  He turned his head saying he couldn't do that now.  Caitlin turned to glance at us and seeing me said, "Stop, Mom!"  Maybe I would get this out of my system early and it wouldn't happen at the actual wedding.

Breathing a sigh of relief that I could check one more thing off of my list, we headed to the dinner.  The setting was lovely and this was a time where everyone could just mingle and catch up.  Once seated, however, the speeches started and then the tears almost fell again...

                                 Caitlin and "Her Boys", as she always called them growing up.

                                                      Robby started the speeches off.

                                            Followed by Tabitha, the maid of honor.

                                                 And Caitlin's brother, David, the best man.

At the end of the evening, Caitlin presented her dad and I with a precious keepsake.  I knew about Robby's gift but had no idea that I would be receiving one too.  Caitlin had gotten one of my step-father's hankies and monogrammed it with a letter to her dad...

My gift was a vintage hankie of my mom's, also monogrammed with a letter from Caitlin to me...

OK...so, the tears were really on the brink of falling now.  And so, as I watched my daughter sleep soundly, nestled between her father and I, it was sad to think that this would be the last time she would do so.  That precious little bundle that was laid in my arms 22 years ago; my best friend who goes with me to get manis and pedis and watch movies on lazy days with me will soon be gone.  I tell myself it will only be for 5 years.  Five years isn't that long, is it?  But for this day...I will savor every moment of this magical event that we have so carefully planned for 8 months now and think about those 5 years "Another Day"(Scarlett...).

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