Sharon Randall: A labor of love
Weddings are a lot of work, even for a mother of the groom.
My soon-to-be daughter-in-law has done a great job of planning. Most of what’s left to do will be done by professionals, or by family or friends who want to help in any way they can.
My daughter will arrange the flowers. My youngest will assemble the arch. His wife will pick up guests at the airport. My husband will play guitar. And the little people (the groom’s niece and nephews, and the bride’s godchildren) will get all dressed up and steal the show.
My job is easy. All I have to do is walk down the aisle on my boy’s arm, and try not to cry a river of mascara.
I also volunteered for a few other tasks. For example, my husband and I plan to host the rehearsal dinner. I briefly considered having it at our home and doing the cooking.
Then I came to my senses and called a restaurant. The only hard part was deciding what to serve to a guest list that will include seven kids. I hope the adults like mac ’n’ cheese.
The bride and groom wanted to display photos at the reception of family members they’ve lost over the years. My son had lots of great shots of his dad, but none of my parents. So I said I’d find some for him.
Easier said than done. My parents divorced when I was 2, and never spoke to each other again. We didn’t make a lot of photos. I finally found two snapshots I took of each of them a few years before they died.
My mother is sitting by a lake watching my children play. I snapped the photo just as she looked at me and laughed.
And my dad is sitting on a porch in his overalls, resting his chin on his fist and giving me his slow, sweet, easy grin.
They aren’t great photos, but they look happy. Seeing their smiles made me happy, too. They’d be proud that their grandson, whom they adored, wanted them at his wedding in photos as well as in spirit.
My hardest job for this wedding seemed easy at first. The grandboys (ages 8, 7 and 5) are supposed to wear matching outfits (shirts and pants with suspenders and bow ties) that needed a little touch up with an iron. I vaguely remembered having an iron someplace, so I volunteered to take care of it.
Also, Henry’s pants needed hemming, so I said I’d do that, too. How hard could it be? I planned to buy that iron-on tape I used years ago. But I couldn’t find it. So I gave up and starting looking for my sewing box. Luckily, it was hiding in the closet with the iron.
I nearly lost my religion trying to thread a needle. But finally, I started hemming the way my grandmother taught me long ago. Imagine my surprise to see my hands now look like hers.
I was ironing Wiley’s shirt (size 5, white, buttoned-down collar) when suddenly I recalled ironing a similar shirt for my boy, the groom, when he was not much older than Wiley.
It made me think of all the joy he has brought to my heart and how happy I am to see him so happy and so in love. I had to stop ironing before I dripped mascara on Wiley’s shirt.
Weddings are a lot of work. So is marriage. But both are labors of love. They celebrate the love that is shared by two people; the love that is poured out on them by family and friends; and all the love that will come from their union to bless them and the world for generations.
Someday I hope to dance at my grandchildren’s weddings. But just in case, I plan to leave a photo (maybe one from my boy’s wedding a few days from now) with a smile on my face that says, “I love you ALL.”
All is the most you can love someone. I wish you could see that photo. I might be dripping mascara. But I’ll be grinning like a mule eating briars.
Contact Sharon Randall at P.O. Box 416, Pacific Grove CA 93950 or via her website: www.sharonrandall.com.