My mother and I attended the wedding of my beautiful niece, Jamie, who means so much to me as do her brother and sister. It was a beautiful wedding with a lot of laughter and smiles. The day was made so much brighter upon learning Jamie's new husband is a Packers fan...but I digress. I met my great nephew for the first time, which was wonderful, as well as my great niece. Such little treasures they are.
Jamie was absolutely gorgeous in her wedding gown. It is amazing how we never seem to realize how quickly children grow up, until suddenly we are watching them march down the aisle to start a new life. The life they begin with their own hopes and dreams for the future.
I have watched my nieces and nephew from Wisconsin grow up from a distance. However, in my heart, they have always been very near. There has not been a single holiday or special occasion that has passed on which I did not think of them. Every summer, as their birthdays approached, I wondered what would be that one special thing that would mean the world to them. Sometimes, I wondered if they thought about me too. Today, I feel fortunate to have been able to spend this special day with a very special girl. Jamie is so loving, kind, and caring with a gentle disposition. I wish her and her new husband all the best in the world. May they achieve every hope and dream they have.
I was able to visit with my next eldest sister for two days. I have missed her more than I ever realized until I finally saw her. She is different than she used to be in appearance and the way she carries herself. I hugged her for a long time that first day. The one thing that was obvious is the love she holds in her heart for her children. All the while we visited she spoke of nothing more than her children. She had crafted together a very special gift for her daughter, and I could not fathom the love that was put into every single piece. When she showed it to me, there was such love and tenderness in her eyes, and voice as she spoke.
The most important thing I learned this summer is just how significant the bonds of family really are. Just the presence of myself and my mother was enough to bring the light of joy into the eyes of my sister. My sister has been my best friend since we were children. She has been there at every twist and turn. Not knowing where she was last fall, or what may become of her was very difficult for me. It made the visit these past six days all the more special. I value my sister and all that she is, or is not.
In twelve days, my own daughter will take her trip down the aisle with both of her sisters as maids of honor. My eldest daughter, Sara, could not choose between her sisters, her best friends. I could not be prouder than I am right now of all of my daughters. They have a special bond between them that can never be broken, no matter the tests of time. It is comforting to know that when one of them falls, the other two will be there to pick them up. Or, when one achieves a dream, the other two will be there to celebrate it with them.
These special moments, and all the occasions of life, are the ties that bind.