For Rebecca, on The BIG Day

Rich, Rebecca, and Ruffles. Father’s Day, 2010. Pacific Ocean.

Giveaway Day

This afternoon at 5:30, my husband will escort his daughter down the aisle and present her hand to another guy.

Her guy. The one who is now the most important man in her world. The one I told you about last year, when their plans were brand new.  We’re ecstatic, this morning, as we prepare for today’s celebration.
Over the past year we’ve previewed her wedding gown. We’ve visited the caterer. We’ve ordered Rich’s tuxedo and I bought a new dress. We’ve exchanged phone calls, emails, and text messages. At times, tempers have flared, as they will when great change is afoot. We’ve listened, several times, to the song that will accompany Rich and Rebecca’s dance tonight, as he’s attempted to vaccinate his heart against tears.
Between you and me, I wouldn’t lay any money on his success. I think he’s going to cry.
I’ve learned so much about my husband during this season of planning. And this morning, as my beautiful bonus daughter prepares to become a wife, I want to share what I’ve learned with her–and with you.
See, I knew how it feels inside to be a bride. I knew how it feels to be the mother of the bride (or MOBster, as I prefer to call it).
But I didn’t know much about what happens in a daddy’s heart as his little girl takes a groom. And since I’ve been living with a daddy in exactly that circumstance for the past year, I decided to make that my object of study as this wedding has been planned.
I’ve come away from this study with one simple, important lesson to share: 
Your husband won’t always be able to tell you everything crowding his heart. And it’s not because he’s emotionally stingy. It’s not because he is guarding the gates to his inner world. It’s not because he doesn’t trust you with his tender spots. It’s simpler than all that.
It’s because words are not the way of men. Yes, I know there are exceptions. But for most men–certainly for your dad, and likely for Jeff, too–the deep stuff doesn’t lend itself to a rich vocabulary. They tell us their feelings, but not in talk.
Sometimes we see it, in a twitch of a cheek, a glistening in the eye.
Sometimes we hear it, as manly power-tool sounds emerge from the garage. 
Sometimes we feel it, when a casual hug morphs into a desperate embrace.
And sometimes, when we want most of all to share our deepest dreams, the wounds that have gouged our hearts, our scariest nightmares…sometimes our words don’t seem to penetrate. 
Because words are not their way. It’s why they bring us flowers when they want to touch our hearts. 

Our husbands invite us to engage all our senses in the deepest moments of our lives. They can teach us, if we let them, to grow our vocabulary of love and pain and life itself beyond the limits of words. 
It’s a tremendous gift, if we can but accept it.
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 

1 John 3:18 (NASB)

Comments

  1. Brandee Shafer :

    Blessings to all on this exciting day and for years and years to come. Lots of love to your family.

  2. Thank you, Brandee.

  3. A Joyful Noise :

    Enjoy this special day! It is yours as well as theirs! You have great understanding about your husband and that is precious!

  4. Thank you, Hazel.

  5. What a joyful occasion! I'm so happy for you all, and look forward to stories and photos soon!

    Linda

  6. Woke up thinking of you and your family this morning. I think even I have butterflies in my tummy! Praying for a beautiful day with amazing memories for you all. And of course, I can't wait to see pictures!

  7. Deidra, it was a beautiful, beautiful day.

    As soon as pictures are up I will share. We didn't lug our camera around with us 🙂

  8. I have a cup of coffee beside me, and I'm taking the time to get caught up on your posts and pictures. This one is dead-on, I think. Words are not their way, but the heart of a daddy for his daughter does run deep.

  9. Thanks, Nancy. I must say that my Awesome Husband distinguished himself on the big day…didn't trip over her veil as he walked her up the aisle….was able to hand her over to her husband without snatching her back and racing for the exit….lovely toast, beautiful first dance (well, what I could see of it through my happy tears.) They danced to Steven Curtis Chapman's "Cinderella."