What is love? No, seriously. What IS it?Is it what a girl feels when a boy asks her to study group with him and their friends after class on Thursday? Is it what the boy knows when he finally asks the girl out for ice cream — just the two of them — and plans to ask her to court him? Is it what they say to each other when they know this relationship is for real, and he pulls a ring out of his pocket in a starlit vineyard? Is it the smile on the Bride’s mouth and in her heart when she wakes up on her wedding day and pulls on her wedding dress? Is it the look in the Groom’s eye when he sees her start down the aisle toward him?
Yes. And no. Yes, love is a part of this little moments. But it is growing. Evolving. Expanding.
The ultimate earthly love, though, is when you’ve been married over 60 years, are attending the wedding of your grandson, and sneak off to the corner of the room to dance with your sweetheart. Your Love. Your Lifemate.
I’m really not sure there’s anything more romantic than that.
But thats the heritage on which Nick and Abby are building. Both sets of Grandparents have been married for at least 65 years. Parents have been married 26 and 39 years, respectively. And now here they are, starting their own journey into marriage.
So there we were. In Falmouth, Massachusetts. Staring out onto Cape Cod from the yard at Olcottage. Watching the temperature rise and the wedding moved back outdoors, into the unseasonably comfortable warmth. The boys playing with their new toys. The girls sneaking their ceremony-ready surprise into group shots…without Abby knowing about their sticky notes. Hanging out in the 9-bedroom rental home in Abby’s grandparent’s home town (and not too far from where she vacationed every summer as a little girl.)
She wore turquoise – her favorite color. He (characteristically) was armed and ready for any incoming, encroaching enemy. He’d even set up his groomsmen to defend he and his bride, if need be. They’re rings were ready to wear, even though she’d never seen the one he was giving to her. The groomsmen were locked in the attic, playing with the toys (I won’t mention the dollhouse here). The bridesmaids couldn’t stop laughing; they were having too much fun. The parents were wandering around, greeting guests, and almost living in a daze of shock: “Our children are getting married!” was pride mixed with sorrow, happy mixed with sad.
But then, the moment finally came. Ceremony time. The girls were hiding. The boys slipped down from the attic and lined up, waiting for their cue. The girls kept giggling. An all-married cast of matronly wisdom, except for one bridesmaid and (for a few more minutes) the bride.
Looking out over the sea (and shielding their eyes from an almost blinding sun), the guests waited. The groom waited. The bride waited.
One by one, the girls walked the aisle.
Then the ring bearer.
And finally, she emerged from the house into the blinding sun, walked the length of the porch and stepped onto the grass. His face, was – well – beaming. His smile couldn’t possibly get any bigger. She met his eyes and never looked away.
It was done.
They were married. They are married.