With every wedding I remember my vows;
with every death, my grief rises from the depths.
The skies were a piercing, but gentle blue. Every head bowed, every eye closed, but I needed to see, needed to watch this blue and let it strike me.
Their life began today, a new life together. Their eyes lost in each other's, hands holding tightly, their minds perhaps constructing, right then and there, the tower of their marriage, standing strong and tall above the rest. Unbreakable, it seems.
And we are powerfully drawn, called into this marriage whether we like it or not. Each story in these brown folding chairs has been woven together in each of their stories. Broken relationships, coffee dates, late night questions - life together.
Now, we're all responsible. By showing up here today, we give our blessing, proclaim our "amen". By hearing their vows, we make our own, vows to walk with them, carry their burdens, love them with grace and truth - and help them learn to love each other.
He couldn't even lift his head. He didn't know I was there - or that he as himself was there, for that matter - but we stayed. Mom packed the bags while I posted up at the wheelchair, stroking his arm, his hair, keeping myself busy, really.
Two hours before the ceremony, we cried. And looked at each other. The nurses and assistants were loving, kind, understanding. They, too, stroked his cheek, wiped his eyes, bringing comfort in whatever ways they could.
He is dying.