Monday, September 5, 2016

Tears at the Altar

I'm not one to cry. But oh how I was fighting the tears as I saw her enter through the back door on her father's arm. There were diamonds in her eyes. And in that moment, I knew everything was about to change. And I saw it coming months ago.

I remember sitting on my couch back in May, our heads close together as we talked about the ring. He'd only just ordered it and all their plans for the future were still a secret. Heat flooded my cheeks as we spoke and I couldn't help but smile. I was so happy for her... So proud of her.

I remember after we graduated, when he popped the question. I couldn't be there, but she sent me pictures. I don't even have words for the heartfelt sigh that escaped my lips.

Then came the wedding invitation. The engagement photos were everything I could have imagined after seeing her reaction to his first, "I love you." I showed all of my friends those photos. I couldn't contain the joy I felt - the pride in knowing her.

And then the bridal shower. I drove five hours to be there. There was this urge to be as close to her as I could for as much time as I had. I wanted to relieve whatever stress I could and help her enjoy this time... this process... if I possibly could. And yet, I knew things would be different after the vows were said. She would be apart of a package after that. So there was a bittersweet need to savor our time.

I drove up two days before the ceremony, and when I saw her at the rehearsal, there was anxiety in her face. Of course she wanted everything to go smoothly, but smoothness doesn't come easy. So I lent her a smile and reassuring words. With diamonds in her eyes... no one would care about the details.

So finally, when I stood at the front, watching her come down the isle, my eyes were watering. Everything was about to change... But I couldn't have picked a better man for her. He loves her as much if not more than I do. He treats her like the princess that she is.

One of the guests went on and on later about how she refused to cry during the ceremony. The other bridesmaids expressed their anxiety, walking down the isle. But in the blur of it all, I can only remember the trembling of my lips and the smile that took over my face. Truthfully, I wasn't at all certain if the tears would remain at bay or not. When the vows were said, my cheeks were wet.

But there's no shame in wedding tears.

I have never been so happy for anyone in my life. It doesn't even seem real. Whatever may come next, any changes, it's all worth it to see the anxiety-turned-joy I saw on one of my best friends' face. And the look on his face when he saw her in all her bridal regalia confirmed it.

I've never been so proud or joy-filled.

My cup overflows.... with happy tears

And to my great surprise - I caught the bouquet. She told me, "you're next," as we exchanged our last squeeze of a hug before she left on her honeymoon.

All my best wishes and love, friend.

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