Saturday, March 3, 2012

Father Of The Bride

Written August 28th, 2011 just after Ariel's wedding...

Well we survived Ariel's wedding. There were a lot of bumps in the road and yet it ended with what we all had hoped for: a beautiful wedding for my precious daughter. As for the details, it was in Columbia SC at a plantation style carriage house. It was hot and humid with bugs. I was honored to have my dad, my good friend Ed present and my good friend Wes presiding. Amanda and Jodi were their usual stunning best. Ariel was absolutely beautiful.

I'm sitting here with my feet aching and reflecting on all that has happened. Yes, I did cry a little during the wedding.

I started this all with a quote from Steve Martin's "Father of The Bride". That film really sums up what a dad goes through when he has to give his little girl away. The guy who thought up the wedding ceremony knew that the father has to present the bride and give her up. That's the hardest thing for a dad to do is give up the person who your pour so much of yourself into. Here's how Steve Martin reflected on this moment:

"Who presents this woman? This woman? But she's not a woman. She's just a kid. And she's leaving us. I realized at that moment that I was never going to come home again and see Annie at the top of the stairs. Never going to see her again at our breakfast table in her nightgown and socks. I suddenly realized what was happening. Annie was all grown up and was leaving us, and something inside began to hurt."

I told John Williams I'd tell how much it hurt after I went through this wedding. Well, it did hurt; deep down in you heart it hurts. Yes, you're super happy for your daughter, but there's a loss going on inside and you're mourning it. I think ideally we'd all want our daughters to be our little girls forever. It is no small joy to have them crawl up in your lap, call you daddy while you give them the feeling of safety. But it doesn't last forever and at some point you aren't the most important man in her life. She's out on her own to sink or swim with all of the heartache that comes with it. That makes you want to scream "Hold on!!!".

So to hold on to the moment, I asked that I preserve the last moment with her while she was still "mine". This picture is taken right before we walked down the aisle. I told her how much I love her; how beautiful she is; how much it meant to me that she chose to call me dad; and that my life was so joyful because of her. I think that's about all you can do is speak from the heart and savor the moments since they are so fleeting.

We had a nice father daughter dance. She chose Pete Townsend's "Let My Love Open The Door". She told me she wanted that song for us because my love for her opened the door to her heart.

Could anyone ask for a better daughter?

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