What a Wonderful World: Media Monday

My mother buttoning the wedding dress she made for me

A wonderful thing, perhaps a bit of a miracle in my world, happened today…we finally got our wedding video from nearly 10 years ago. It is raw footage, unedited, with all the photo clarity and sound quality of an 8mm tape from the late 1990s, but it is us. Coach and I had a great lunch eating leftovers and fast-forwarding to the “good” parts of our wedding and reception. We were so young, so innocent, such children.

We were touched by those faces in the video–family and friends who chose to spend the day with us. Some of them are no longer part of our family; they have been taken by divorce or death. A sharp-looking soldier in full dress who shipped out the next day to Afghanistan divorced my dear sweet friend (who is now happily remarried to a man who treats her right and is expecting a little one). It was also the last time we saw my ex-sister-in-law. My next door neighbor for most of my life has passed away. The sweet Irish Chemistry professor from our alma mater who offered us a traditional Irish blessing is no longer with us.  And my loving, funny, and generous grandfather has also died. During part of the reception footage, he grabs my by the shoulders, looks me straight in the face, tells me something, and we both laugh. I rewound it, but couldn’t make out what he said. What I wouldn’t give to talk with him just one more time, or better yet see the glisten in the my grandmother’s eyes when he walked in the room.

There are also happy memories. Several friends in the video we have seen in the past year. Two have stopped by to see us with their wives and kids. One we went to see on our vacation in June. Others we desperately need to see. Watching the video convicted us of that and plans are being formulated for a New Jersey trip…watch out!

A few funnies to highlight: as we are exiting the church, one of the flower girls forcibly grabs the ring bearer, her brother, repositions him, and makes him walk down the isle in the proper order…classic brother-sister drama! And at the reception, a friend who was there from the infancy of our relationship looks straight into the camera and says, “I told you. I knew before you did. I knew before you did. But seriously congratulations, I’m happy for you both.”

Another great part for me was the dancing. It is important to note that the church I grew up in, where we were married, banned dancing (yeah, I know David danced before the Lord…naked, so I guess they were trying to avoid that last part 😉 ). A year or so before my 2002 wedding, the wedding guidelines were revised. My mother, the church secretary, changed the dancing clause to allow “dancing within the bonds of Christian love.” Our dance was the first in church history. We waltzed to the “Cinderella’s Waltz.” (The “old
ladies were pleased we were very tasteful.) Then my father and I danced to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. I love this song and the way that Louis sings it. It is soulful, simple, and surprisingly powerful.

 

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Little did I know then the importance of that song would have in my life, because I now sing this to my boys. Only I change the last verse. I hear Monkey cry, I watch him grow He’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And the meaning is even more powerful. When I have them in my arms, like my father held me in his as we turned around the dance floor, it is a wonderful world!

***

Toward the end of our walk down memory lane, the phone rang. It was the hospital. Little Monkey’s surgery is scheduled for Friday morning at 7:30. And you better believe that when I hold him in my arms between now and a successful post-op, I will find hope and encouragement in having a healthy little boy to watch grow and learn much more than I’ll ever know.

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