I woke up to rain this morning in the dark, the day before my daughter's wedding.
The forecast is for rain, but I'm not sure that matters when everything will be indoors. The temperature is supposed to be 68 degrees (20 Celcius) which is very rare in Ohio in January.
I try to picture Grace's day. She and Jack are having breakfast together to eschew the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding.
Around 11, her bridesmaids will gather in the hotel room and they'll do hair and makeup. I contemplate taking along some bottles of sweet bubbly, would they have a glass to shake nerves or could we end up with tipsy bridesmaids? Bananas and granola bars? A meal?
The limo will pick them up and drive them to the wedding. I can already hear the echos of laughter as they run from the hotel to the limo, hopefully with a helpful doorman holding an umbrella over Grace's head as she holds the sparkly white skirt up to keep it dry.
The flower girls will scramble into the limo, foregoing car seats just this once.
Earl and I will drive together, maybe stressing about things we've forgotten or maybe holding hands as we realize that our little girl will be married within the hour.
All of the planning and the debating will culminate in these few hours, when Grace, who has been on her own for a few years already, joins together with Jack, with our blessing.
It's not the same as it would have been a hundred years ago when a daughter leaves her parents' home for the protection of her husband.
Grace is a strong woman surrounded by examples of strong women. I picture a circle of all the women who have loved her -- me, her aunts, her cousins, her grandmothers, her homeschool moms, her homeschool sisters, her theater mentors, her college and work friends -- all of us together lifting her up as she starts this new life.
She isn't giving up part of herself when she marries. She's adding to her story and following a different path.
One that will take her on many adventures.
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