Here’s a picture of a good friend of mine.
I knew Rose shortly after she was born. She came in this dress to my wedding, staged right here in 1987.
Rose came to my wedding with her parents. The photo at left isn’t mine, but it’s funny how things really don’t change much in the mountains. The view is the same. Longs Peak in the distance is the same, it’s looked like that for millennia. The green valley is the same. It’s a lovely place for a ceremony.
This is how Rose looked last Saturday.
Rose was married in Victoria’s Garden, in Marshdale, Colorado. She was a simply gorgeous bride, surrounded with lovely friends and a loving family. I was sitting with my sister facing the groom, and when she marched up to him, I could see him mouth “You’re beautiful” to her as they clasped hands.
It was at that moment that things came flooding back to me. You see, Rose was married at The Meadows at Marshdale, an events center that my mother planned years ago. My sister manages it now, and dozens of happy brides move through there every year.
Victoria’s Garden is at the bottom of a lovely descending terrace, and the first wedding ever held there was mine.
(My mother wasn’t overtly sentimental. I still chuckle at her naming that part of the facility after me.)
As I sat in the audience last Saturday, part of me was transported back to that day. I felt especially princessy, my flower girls were adorable, and my friends looked lovely in their dresses. Chris was my handsome prince, and we were going to change the world together. Rose was bounced on her daddy’s lap, and hundreds of friends gathered to welcome us to this new chapter in our lives.
Ever find yourself in a situation where things are so new, you just simply don’t know what to do? Rose was lovely. Her mother, who I graduated with, looked like she came from a photoshoot. Her dad, Italian and sentimental, had tears streaming down his face.
My dad, so agile 27 years ago, was frail in a chair next to me. My sister and brother, managing their families, gathered around with the other guests.
I sat, feeling mountain air around me instead of the sturdy arm of Chris. I can just imagine what he would have done. He’d be fighting back tears, and eventually I’d poke him, give him a tissue and tell him to wipe his face. He’d poke me back for calling him out. He’d laugh, take the tissue, and loudly blow his nose. He always cried at weddings.
After the Rose’s wedding, we went over to the reception area and I socialized with guests, many of whom had been at my wedding. I could see some of my women friends catch themselves.
“Victoria, wasn’t that precious? It so reminded me of yours!”
You know what, Visitors? It did. It was reminiscent of mine. Rose was gorgeous, she and her groom are madly in love, hundreds of people wished them well. It was just like mine, and it was fine.
It was a weighty thing, feeling the pull of grief, and the happiness of the future. I had to leave before the dancing started, I had had enough. It was truly a joyous thing, and Rose was a doll to include me. But weddings are so overtly for couples, and there was a point where I had to go.
My brother, John Newkirk, is the best a girl could have. He saw me to the door, and when tears threatened, he put his arm around me gave me a hug. He walked me to the side door, and I went home, happy for Rose and unexpectedly peaceful.
Time passing is a funny thing, Visitors. For some of you, your grief and loss is still fresh, and the idea of going to a wedding with friends is out of the question. It’ll pass. I promise.
It’ll be hard, but you’re no different than me. You can do this, you can find it your heart to go and celebrate at a wedding, and maybe even go home peaceful.
For all the rest of you, here’s a preview-
The Lierheimer Oscar Shot! Visiting Christopher in Southern LA!