My cousin is tying the knot this weekend. Weddings have a tendency of bringing me back to my own day as a bride. Since Matt’s death that day has become bittersweet. Other than my children’s birthdays, it was the happiest day of my life. All of my family and closest friends were there. Justin was as charming as ever; and my little brother was giving me away. I remember feeling like my heart was going to explode…like it couldn’t contain all the love welling inside me.
Our wedding was anything but traditional. We probably broke every etiquette rule in the book. A late wedding without a formal reception? Groom and groomsmen waltzing in to the sound of the A-Team theme song? So, naturally we didn’t play the typical Wedding March when I walked down the aisle. Instead, we chose “How Beautiful”. I remember how nervous I was. I could tell that Matt was nervous too but bursting with pride. I tried to tell him what he was supposed to say when the minister asked, “Who gives this woman to this man to be joined in holy matrimony?” and in typical Matt fashion he cut me off and replied, “I got it, sis. I already know what I’m gonna say.” You can imagine how nervous that made me. What is he going to say in front of all these witnesses? In front of my soon-to-be in-laws? As we strolled down the aisle, my mind wondered all over the place but focused mostly on my groom. I nearly forgot about the “surprise” response my brother would soon make. His answer: “Her family and me, her little overprotective brother.” (No doubt meant as a warning to Justin.) That was Matt. The protector. He was the same way with my mom, my sister and all our girl cousins. Nobody better mess with us or he’d be in their face…respectfully, but still in their face.
On Mother’s Day, we sang that now so special and precious song during church. I didn’t realize it immediately but after the first line or two, it hit me like a wave crashing against the rocks. I couldn’t stop the tears. Just trying to write about it is putting a lump in my throat and water in my eyes. I don’t think it was coincidence that we happened to sing “How Beautiful” on that day. After all, Mother’s Day often leads us to focus more on family. Marriages are the foundation of family. And once again we were reminded that Matt was now a missing part of that family. I like to think that God was listening to our hearts that day and sent us a glimpse of heaven and a tender touch of hope. After all, Matt’s not really dead. He’s just asleep, but always alive within us…because we’re all a part of God’s beautiful family.
Thank you, Lord, for your amazing sacrifice and unfailing love. Thank you for the hope of a brighter tomorrow and the promise of a time when all tears, pain, and sorrow will end forevermore. Thank you for the promise of an eternity spent with You and for calling us Your own, for calling us family. May Your kingdom come quickly, O Lord. Amen.