January 19, 2002
Asheville, North Carolina
For years, now, I have watched my friends being escorted down the aisle and seated as either the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom.
Today, it’s my turn. In a matter of hours, I will marry off my son, Terry, to his bride, Sallie. As I sip my morning coffee provided in the hotel room furnished by Sallie and her parents, a storm of emotions tosses about in my heart. In an effort to still that storm, I reach for a pen and pad and begin writing the following letter:
Dear Terry and Sallie,
Have you ever had so much on your hearts that you wanted to share with someone you love, but when the time came, words failed you? Well, that’s exactly what is happening to me, now.
I have heard the song, “Sunrise, Sunset” at many weddings of other people’s children, and although it has always given me a lump in my throat, it can’t begin to compare with the insoluble mass hung in my throat on this occasion.
Consider the lyrics of that song:
“Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play?”
Today, as the result of a blind date arranged by your friends, here you are — the”little girl” and the “little boy” — now grown up and ready to commit the rest of your lives to each other.
“I don’t remember growing older. When did they?”
Terry, it hardly seems any time since the nurse at Eden Hospital placed you –a squalling, flailing, red-faced bundle — in my arms. Since that heartbeat in time, you have been a blessing to everyone whose lives you have touched. I’ll admit that, although my mind’s eye sees a young man standing tall in his Marine Corps dress blues, my heart’s eye sees you and Tam as babies. My memories of both of you run as a home movie, in a contiuous loop.
Sallie, you have given Terry the highest honor possible by choosing him above all others to be your lifetime soul-mate. As I never had a daughter of my own, I’m overjoyed that, through Terry, you will become my inherited daughter. I look forward to a lifetime of happiness, not only between you and my son, but also between you and me. I will do everything I can to be a supportive mother-in-law to you.
It is my prayer, since the Lord led your friends to introduce you to each other, that He will guide you through the storms and sunshine of your new life together.
I love you both.