Tomorrow’s the wedding day of my beautiful daughter Molly, who proudly became a doctor in May, declaring at the beginning of her years-long engagement that it would be “doctor before Mrs.” for her as she finished her journey to medical school. I’m not sure how I’ll hold it together this weekend, or if I really even need to. I couldn’t even keep it together in the bridal salon when she found the dress.
Her fiancé Tanner patiently waited and supported her, as she supported his career as a park ranger too. Their love for each other, which began in a Facebook chat room for incoming students as they awaited their first semester at Virginia Tech, has been true ever since they met each other on that first day at the Blacksburg Virginia campus. Tomorrow they’ll stand in the breathtaking Virginia mountains where they live and be married by my combat veteran brother, who became a Virginia officiant just for the occasion (as he did for my eldest’s wedding in Arizona two years ago), and on his birthday Saturday too.
Tanner has become such an incredible addition to our family. Not only has he supported Molly through medical school by being by her side every single day, but he’s been a great “big brother” to Molly’s brother Bobby too and we all adore him. They’re lucky to have each other and the family wedding will be wonderful.
Mother of the Bride (MOB) is a fun but nervewracking job only in its inherent “fear of forgetting something.” I’m happy I have one MOB wedding survival under my belt for the video game experience points this time around. In the bridal suite, you need to have a Mary Poppins bag that magically contains an Amazon warehouse of anything a bridesmaid might request: from gum, bobby pins and sewing kit implements to “invisible tape,” cell phone chargers, tissues and whatever “setting spray” is, mom needs to have it all and that bag better be big enough for the moment when the bridal party asks you to carry all their phones during the ceremony.
I think it’s odd how, in telling people of the upcoming wedding, I constantly hear “2 down, one to go” with regards to my three daughters, as though I’m at the town market trying to trade livestock to collect dowries in order to “marry them off.” Can we get with the times a bit? Neither of my daughters took the last names of their spouses, they have a queer mother who has checked “Ms” off on every single piece of paperwork she’s ever filed and although I love my husband until death just like I told the church I would after insisting the “honor and obey” language be stricken, we live in separate zip codes and it’s one reason our marriage is intact. Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage is an acceptable institution but statistically it’s not so successful, and that’s because our society places some highly unrealistic expectations on it that end up leaving people disappointed.
With this sort of unconventional approach, I probably shouldn’t be giving marriage advice, but if I did have any for the newly-married couple it would be this: appreciate your spouse for what they bring to your life, but don’t expect them to bring it all. Find your own four walls in the world too. Companionship is a special and sacred thing, and so is finding your own place in time and who you are as an individual. Having someone beside you is a blessing, love is a gift, receive it with gratitude. Welcome to the family, Tanner! And to my beloved daughter Molly, my fellow Gemini I went into labor with on my birthday, congratulations on her very memorable year of white coats, white dresses and incredible memories.