Hiiii internet. It's me again. Back for another round of typing. You wanna hang out for a while? I think I may download some music and eat a bowl of cereal. Sit for a while and keep me company, OK? Yeah... you do what I say.
This past Friday we went to a wedding. I’ve written before about how I get at weddings, but, this time, I thought the story of my almost-tears was good enough to expand on a bit.
First off, the wedding itself was set square on the south shore of the incredible Lake Tahoe. The scenery made for quite a backdrop, the endless lake and snowcapped peaks towering all around was the vista from within the reception hall, where the entire back wall was glass.
So, the mood was already somewhat established by the whole man-in-nature vibe the venue itself gave off – this was an auspicious occasion, and, like any wedding, a celebration. The folks who were becoming one flesh that day are friends of ours, but we’re not terribly close or anything. For that reason I figured I would be fine in terms of my typical over-emotional response to the ceremony, not having a particularly strong emotional stake in the matter and all. And, as the reception speeches began I sat proudly dry-eyed, easily letting mushy anecdotes and proclamations of undying cosmic love and friendship bounce right off my tough skin. That is, until she took the mic…
The bride, that is. Her words were fine; heartfelt, kind, sincere. She moved from one person to the next, saying something nice about each. Soon, shifting the sights of her speech around the room from target to familial target, she eventually landed on her father. And then, dear friends, the thick dusty curtains hanging over my heart were rent to bits word by stabbing word. All of the sudden those TV-chimes sounded and I was the me of years from now, at my own daughter’s wedding, Keaton taking the form of the bride before me in the present time – speaking to me.
I can’t remember the entirety of her words, as all my powers of logical thought were lined up in defence of the hostile charge mounted by my emotions, but I do recall some particularly amazing (paraphrased, I’m sure) bits: “And, dad. You made me what I am today; taught me how to be a good person. I credit you with my spirit, the way I never give up. Thank you for making me into what I am.”
Oh, Lord… I can barely write about it without getting misty. To think that one day I’ll be sitting at the “family table” listening to Keaton say something (hopefully) similar, about broke me down. At one point I had to consciously break my attentions and focus instead on some boats scooting across the smooth surface of the lake on a sunset sail. I just couldn’t take it.
The brutality, the pure barbarity of having to, as a dad, "give away" your little girl. Biting back tears of sadness while at the same time damming the flood of tears from the pride and happiness filling you to bursting. You think I'm gonna let some guy take her away from me? Yeah... I guess I will... but not for a long time. Until then, she's mine.
'Night. Hold 'em tight.