The parental effect…

I remember prior to my first marriage doing a poor job articulating the importance of some sort of ceremony to my fiancé at the time and my family. It seemed that no one was interested in a church wedding, a wedding dress, or walking me down the aisle. Ultimately practicality won out and I had a very simple affair at a bed & breakfast with only my parents present and the local clerk to do the deed. Maybe this was a metaphor for my first marriage; denying what I wanted and what I thought was important, allowing myself to be swallowed up by the wishes of others.

Regardless of how my first marriage transpired, my parents were present, standing together with me as they have done year after year. We have endured much; from my beginnings as a premature baby, to surgery to fix a birth defect that ultimately led to a kidney transplant years later (from my father) and a surprising bit of cancer on that very same, precious kidney.

You see, when my father walks me down the aisle on October 12 it’s more than a man walking his daughter to meet her future husband, it is two kidneys reunited, in a church, with a dress, to a man who lets me be myself, express my needs and wants, and provides me with   room to be who I am meant to be. In fact, it was Paul who encouraged me to finally call my parents and tell them how much it would mean to me to have them there (they hadn’t planned to attend) and that I wanted my father, my organ donor, the first man I ever loved, to walk with me to Paul.

In some small way I wanted to honor my parents by bringing them to Italy to witness all the goodness in my life that would not be if it weren’t for them.

So I made the phone call, blubbering my way through the conversation with my mom, who was delighted to come to Italy and be a part of my wedding, with my father.

As my parents get older (as do us all) moments like this become so meaningful and precious. Maybe this is their last trip to Europe? Certainly it’s my last trip down the aisle…