I hope you have been having a wonderful summer. This has been a big summer in our household, full of celebrations. One of the most wistful celebrations was the engagement party for our only daughter and her fiancé. Although we have been empty nesters for a few years now, I feel as if we have entered a new phase of life as we enter the wedding countdown. So, for me, the party was also a bit wistful. Since her Dad will get to give the wedding speech, I claimed the engagement speech for myself and shared the following:
Taryn told me she was dating someone new a year and a half ago. She said she felt like she had a hanger in her mouth she was smiling so much. I asked her if it had anything to do with the man she was dating – and she replied it had EVERYTHING to do with him.
I visited a few weeks later and met Jack for the first time. I watched as she melted into him at dinner. I had never seen her respond to someone that way before. After dinner I took a picture outside of the restaurant. I looked at the picture and my heart knew. I texted it to her dad, and we both agreed that we thought Jack was THE ONE.
Jack, I have to tell you that you’re not Taryn’s first love. That young man’s name was Collin, and they were both six years old. When she informed me that she was in love, I asked her how she knew and she told me, “Because I get butterflies in my tummy, and I like it when he touches my hand.” Judging from that description, I feel certain you have found your forever love.
I have watched Taryn and Jack as their relationship and love have blossomed over the last year and a half. They are a good balance for each other. Jack is calm and measured, and Taryn leads with her heart and emotions. Jack’s mom and I have both agreed that they bring out the best in each other. In any case, as Taryn told me, she has found her person.
We have always been so proud of Taryn. She continues to make us proud with her choice of Jack as her future husband. My side of the family has a motto: Remember who you are and what you represent. Taryn, you have chosen a man of character and integrity. Your Grandfather would be so pleased.
Even though as a mom, I’m thrilled my only child is creating her own family, it is hard to let go (my OWN mother still has not managed to do that!). I felt the pangs of letting go when we were shopping for Taryn’s wedding dress, and I watched the grown woman in front of me. The woman who graduated college, accepted a job out of state, lived on her own in an unfamiliar city and was now trying on gowns to commit to a life partner. As I choked back tears, she swished the skirt back and forth and said, “Mom, look, it twirls!” and all of the sudden I was transported back in time to when she was three and wouldn’t wear a dress without checking the twirl factor. Suddenly, I understood how a mother always sees the baby in their child no matter how old they are.
Jack, I am entrusting you with my baby’s heart. As you begin your lives together, I hope that you have:
THE LEAST OF THE WORST and THE MOST OF THE BEST TIMES THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER.
As we celebrate your engagement tonight, my wish for both of you is that you put the same effort into your marriage that you are putting into your wedding day. Life can be hard, but it is a gift to have a partner beside you. Treasure that gift and don’t take each other for granted. Your Dad and I are so happy that you have found each other. Congratulations!!
It was a wonderful occasion, filled with family and friends, and as I wiped the tears from my eyes I felt the poignancy of the moment. I lifted my glass to the bride and groom to be, as my husband made his toast and silently lifted my glass to the next chapter in my life that was unfolding before my eyes.
Wishing you all many new wonderful chapters in your life,