I recently had the pleasure of giving away one of my daughters in marriage. The act of placing her hand into his is about emotion. The emotion of knowing I am no longer the main man in her life. The emotion of knowing I am no longer the most trusted male source of support, and advice, and to punctuate it she no longer uses my last name.
I experienced a variety of emotions during the wedding.
Why Didn’t I?
My shortcomings as a father crossed my mind. I should have spent more time with her, turned off the football game and talked to her, learned more about her, and what made her tick. We are close, but I should have made the effort to make us closer. I only have one lifetime to give as her father I should have made better use of that time. She never complained, but I know I could have done better. Someone once said that a daughter marries her father. If that’s true, will her new husband display the useful or not so useful traits that describe me?
I experienced a pride I believe only the father of the bride can experience. It started with the beauty of her glow. She had an infectious wedding glow that permeated the church, and everyone in it. I was part of that glow as we walked down the aisle.
My pride included her excitement as the appointed 6:00 p.m. came, and the wedding party filed in ahead of us. Her excitement as we were told it was time for us to walk down the aisle. The pride of the “I’m glad you’re my Father, and you’re here” look she gave me, in spite of my shortcomings.
The pride of seeing hers and the grooms eyes meet, which silently shouted of their bond, as we walked down the aisle.
Finally, I had the pride of placing her hand in his, as he said “thank you, sir.” Then, they turned one way and walked up the steps together, and I turned the other, and walked down the steps to my seat leaving my pride in another’s hands.
The emotion of anticipation will be part of me for the rest of my life. The anticipation of knowing them as husband and wife, watching them grow together through successes and trials, and the anticipation of their children, which, of course, means more grandchildren for me.
The wedding is over and the emotions now memories, but they are precious memories, and I thank this daughter for them. Children are precious, each a special once in a lifetime gift from God. Make it possible for you to have an overflowing memory box, tied with either a blue or pink ribbon you can get to at any time. It’s worth the effort.