My daughter’s getting married… In Turks & Caicos. I’ve never even heard of the place until I got her invite.
Wedding invitations and war - two great ways to learn geography.
So, here I sit, unable to attend and try to picture her in a dress I haven’t seen, on a beach I’ve never visited, surrounded by everyone but her family… She’s beautiful, isn’t she?
I’ve watched her grow from a little pumpkin (her first Halloween costume at the ripe old age of 2 months) to this beautiful, self-assured woman.
She started walking on Mother’s day – she was 9 months old. We were at her father’s parents' house. They had a step-up kitchen… or a step-down dining room/rest of house… Diana consistently tripped off the step, so from nine months to about fifteen months her nose was a raspberry.
One time we sat in the car waiting for her father to finish his errands. She turned to me and said:
“Momma, I fluffied… Wanna smell it?”
(Please forgive me Danna – it’s my fondest - and smelliest - memory)
At 17 months old, we visited my mother who lived in the country. Diana would, on occasion, sit in Grammie’s big, orange terra cotta pot to watch TV. I don’t know why. That day she got in, and couldn’t get out. At first it was comical. Then, it was annoying. Two hours later, it was a concern. We tried butter, oil, soap, water… you name it. We thought it was made from papier-mâché or maybe ceramic… Gramps took a chisel to it – not a dent. We ended up calling the Sheriff’s office. The dispatcher sent a deputy to help Gramps cut the pot away from Diana with a hand saw. It took over an hour and many tears. It was made of fiberglass.
All is well. She still owns the pot, I think.
There are more memories, but we don’t have twenty-three years to reminisce.
Danna – Here’s to Derek and you. May you each find that wonderful balance of maintaining your autonomy while sharing your lives together.
Let me share some words from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran:
Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you into whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all your laughter, and weep, but not all your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hands of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Congratulations, Danna & Derek – I wish this day to remain with you as a beautiful memory, but I hope each day hence offers the best moments of your lives.
Give Knickerless a hug and kiss from NaMa.