Hey, Siestas! I am so happy to reconnect with you today! I am just beginning to emerge from the throes and promised not to leave you hanging. Some of you may not be able to bear another entry about the wedding (last one till a handful of professional pics come back!Then that will be the real last one! Unless Melissa wants to talk about it when she gets back, then that will be the real last one really) but, for others, I fear I’d be slapped about the head with a corn tortilla if I didn’t offer up some treats on the festive table of Siestaville. Let me begin by giving a much deserved volume-10 shout of thanks to Amanda for doing such a fabulous job of keeping you up on our all festivities. All three of us – AJ, Lis, and I – wanted so much for you to be a part of it and, thanks almost entirely to just one of us, you were, if you wanted to be. Her terrific play-by-play and snap-shot walk-thru helped me relive so much of the excitement…and I really needed to! As so many of you know, you plan a wedding for months and it seems it will never come then suddenly it’s over in a flash and you wonder if you missed it.
Amanda won’t appreciate me taking up space here to dote on her about stuff like this but, truly, she is the ultimate big sister for big occasions. Among many other things, she planned the girls’ night out on Thursday night, hosted the spa day on Friday (I joined them at the end and took them all to the bridal lunch but felt they’d have more fun without a mom right in the middle of those two things). Amanda showered Melissa with numerous gifts that only a sister can give – complete with said celebratory CD – and, all in all, simply never left her side leading up to the ceremony. She also let Melissa be right for twenty-four solid hours which was no small task for girls who do not mind sharing their minds. Perhaps best of all (since words are our chief love language), Amanda wrote and read the neatest blessing at their reception, calling back to mind so many Moore memories and traditions that she hoped Melissa would carry on. (Equally I hope to call OFF, in Jesus’ Name, the ones we hope neither daughter carries on. And there are plenty.) Even as understandably distracted as our little bride was, the blessing wasn’t wasted on her. She called from the airport the next day and told Amanda how she loved it and wanted to make sure it was in a safe place so she could find it and keep it forever. Take heart, mother of fighting siblings!! Thanks to Jesus, they may one day be able to stand beside one another without you having to say, “Am I going to have to separate you two or paddle you?”
OK, here are a few of my favorite memories that haven’t been mentioned in our posts so far:
*Having Melissa upstairs in her room just like she ought to be on the morning of the wedding. Fixing coffee one last time for my darling little single daughter. Using our matching cups with our names on them (that one of our Bible study sisters somewhere in the nation sent all three of us, as a matter of fact! In case the giver is tuned into Siestaville, they are darling green and yellow mugs with parsley sprigs painted on them after an LBY story I told. We have used them a jillion times in the last three years!)
*Watching Lis and her Daddy do a quick run-thru of their dance that morning while they were still in their jammies.
*Springing the money for a stretch limo to take Lis, Amanda, and me to the church (the men came much later) so that we could lay her dress all the way out without wrinkling it. Stopping, of course, by a Starbucks on the way and laughing because we had to. Seeing someone from Tuesday night Bible study while I was in there and having her ask, “Don’t you have a wedding coming up sometime soon?” and pointing to the block-long car and replying, “That’s us and, actually, we’re supposed to be at the church right now.”
*Spending that one last hour with Melissa, Amanda, and the bridesmaids in the bride’s room before the ceremony began. We girls had already had our pictures taken in the sanctuary so we were completely ready yet we had an hour to wait. I didn’t want to crunch up my dress by sitting down so, since they all had on strapless dresses, I just walked around and gave all the bridesmaids and the bride back tickles. (Admit it, that’s what you really want when you go for a massage but you’re too embarrassed to ask.) The conversation in that room was so precious and it was almost like God heightened my senses where I could take in every sound, sight, and scent. I’ll never forget it. Melissa was so happy. She kept looking at the clock and, instead of being nervous or fretting about one single remaining thing, she kept saying, “Only forty more minutes…only thirty-three more minutes…only fifteen more minutes…only five more minutes!” I reveled in the absolute assurance that my baby daughter was marrying exactly who she wanted to marry. She could hardly wait. I couldn’t resist texting Colin to say, “Amid all the stress of the last four months, this child has not had one single doubt. She cannot wait to marry you.” I heard back from him instantly. It represented something so precious to me. I realized with entirely fresh understanding that, when the bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), she doesn’t want the ceremony delayed. She wants to see her groom. I want to be that way about Jesus. Without a hint of morbidity, I want to be a bride who sets her mind on making herself ready for her startlingly gorgeous groom and can hardly wait to meet Him at that altar. I want to live like a young woman getting ready for the biggest royal wedding in the universe.
*Watching Colin watch her.
*Watching her watch Colin.
*Watching Keith watch me. Heehee. I dang well meant to catch his eye that night.
*I don’t know if I can describe my favorite all-time moment in words because you would kinda had to have seen it. As Melissa and Colin held hands and faced one another, saying their vows, Lis would periodically shimmy back and forth with the unbridled glee of a five year-old. It was almost like she’d get a sudden jolt of a happy-shiver. She was delirious. Happier than she was the night we got to see “New Kids on the Block” and I never imagined she’d ever be more in love than she was with Donnie Wahlberg. Alas, the heart heals. I doubt a soul at the wedding missed the shimmy because you could hear folks all over the sanctuary snickering. This I promise you: no one there could accuse either one of those two people of being dragged down that aisle.
*Looking around that beautiful candlelit room at the restaurant-reception and seeing so many people we love celebrating there with us: our families, our best buddies, our LPM sisters and many of their handsome husbands, our dearest church friends, Melissa and Colin’s high school friends. People like Travis and Angela Cottrell who are like blood to us and who we love so much we could cry. Friends like Steve and Dixie who took time they didn’t have and came several thousand miles to stand with us. Seeing couples dance and even smooch that I’ve hardly seen hold hands before. A wedding is so good for an ailing romance.
*Dancing with my man. Knowing we’d ride home together. And feel things nobody else could feel with us. Good things. Tender things. God things.
*Feeling happy but a little lost about 1:00 AM that morning back at my house…then tiptoeing in to look at my grandson while he slept in his crib. And it was his second birthday. And thinking how life really does go on. And how right it is for them to grow up. But maybe not so fast.
And those are good things for me to be thinking right about now as I sit on the tiny porch of Melissa’s apartment while the movers busy themselves packing everything she owns. Some things are meant to be felt.
On behalf of the Moores, Joneses and Fitzpatricks, thank you so much for entering into this wonderful and important season of our lives. We do not take your love lightly nor your prayers sparingly. May God throw you a surprise party of your own. We are humbled to be your servants.
PS. DJ, you are smarter than a fifth grader to your siestas. How dare they?