A whole lot of people were there. The youngest was a two year old. I am not even going to guess about the oldest. It wasn’t me.
Some flew in from the west coast, others drove in from out of town. Most lived nearby. Everyone was happy. That is good.
It’s time to come together and celebrate. They started planning for this years ago, long before the rest of us knew anything about it. Last year, they got serious. He gave her a ring, promised to give her another. Made the biggest decision in his life, asking her to marry him.
He knew what she was going to say. All the rest of us were glad, actually more than glad.
Six months ago they asked me to be there for them. They wanted me to tell a funny story about my life, my marriage, my happiness and my wife. His Mom.
For the life of me, I didn’t have one. The story we started writing together 46 years ago isn’t finished. We add something new each day. We don’t see an end to it.
I told them how our story started, back in college.
We got serious about leaning on one another for support back in 1970. Love grows.
New Chapters started in 1976, 1979 and his own chapter in 1983. We suffered through the hard times and enjoyed the good times.
I told the couple they were starting their own story. It will last forever.
I was honored to stand down in front with them. I was more nervous than they were, more nervous than when I got married.
Let me tell you something. I stood there, closer than anyone in the world, I got to look in to their eyes. I listened to them say their vows, I helped them exchange rings. They promised to be there for each other. Always.
To love, honor and cherish.
Through sickness and health, for better or worse, until the end of their days.
I saw the intensity in her eyes as she pledged her love. She is beautiful. I had tears in my own eyes. I watched him tell her about how strong his love is for her. He is strong-willed, he said nothing would come between the two. I know that’s the truth.
I am proud of both of them.
I got to hand them rings to exchange, precious gifts reminding the wearer and the world, someone is thinking, pledging and promising.
I let them know the ring finger is connected to the heart, that’s why we wear wedding rings on the left hand, third finger.
Most important, on a hillside in Kentucky, during June, I pronounced them man and wife.
He is my son, now a man. She is my daughter-in-law and I’m a grateful man. We are all blessed.
I love you both.
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