Dreaming up Delights, Part Three

Wedding People. 

[The last in a series of three posts celebrating the July 15 wedding of my dad, Rod Seiler, and Mercedes Garcia. You’ll find Part One here and Part Two here.]

The Fury
All morning I’d felt the brink, known I was tottering right to it. I didn’t want to be upset on my father’s wedding day, but now it seemed inevitable. And when the scraping sound of two tables–only two–being shoved into one induced a tantrum in my coming-down-with-sniffles toddler grandson, the last vestige of composure slipped away like dirt crumbling beneath my feet. I stumbled for a door, gulped the air outside as if I was drowning.
“Mom?” I wheeled and saw that my daughter, my seven-months-plus pregnant daughter, had followed me outside into the midday heat. “Are you okay? Are you upset with me?
“Oh, no, Honey, it’s not you. I just feel bad because I made him cry,” I sniffled, pointing to Sawyer, who clung to her legs as we spoke. 
Her expression told me she didn’t believe me, but she didn’t prod. No. My wise girl gathered up her little boy and invited me to return to the festivities. I wiped my eyes and followed them back into the party. 
Later, I understood. It was the two tables that sent me over the edge. Dad’s new wife, he had told me on several occasions, has a big family. I didn’t realize just how big her family was until I watched them scooting tables together so they could enjoy the reception from one big, long, rollicking, celebratory table.
And all the Seilers present, including my former husband and my daughter’s mother-in-law, fit at two little tables. Granted, my sister’s two boys had wandered off to be teens, engaged elsewhere in the room, distant from their parents. But all the rest of us: my husband, me, my daughter, my niece, my sister, her husband, my daughter’s dad and her mother-in-law, well, we could all comfortably fit at two small tables, even with my two grandsons tucked in among us.

Neil, My Nephew, and Sawyer, My Grandson.

My family had never been big.  Dad had one brother (now gone, along with his wife, my auntie). Mom had one sister (now demented and in my care, long divorced from her husband, my uncle). Of my five first cousins, four are still living, but one of them is homeless, which makes it hard to round him up for family events. The other three, and my brother, live hundreds of miles north in this long state of ours. None of them is with us today. 
And of course if Mom was still breathing, we wouldn’t be sitting at this reception today. So grief I hadn’t expected wanders into the party and pulls up a chair, right up to the pathetically small amount of tabletop real estate that will accommodate all my kin in attendance. I scowl.

I could look at that big table packed with smiling people and borrow a clue.

Instead I close my eyes and see my family shrinking, shrinking.

I glance over at him, smiling with his bride at the head table, visiting with friends and family. He motions to me. I screw on a smile, cross the room. “Sit down,” he says. “Join us here.”

His new wife’s grandson stands. “Here,” he says. “You can have my place.” 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-4 (NASB)