I was watching my favorite TV comedy, The Middle. I love its portrayal of a mid western, middle class family. The shows mother, Frankie Heck, is beleaguered, harried, and always fully cognizant of her failings and shortcomings. In this episode she was feeling nostalgic and wanted to celebrate an important moment in the life of her family. Introspection on Hallmark moments is not something she does a lot of. But she wanted to take note and more importantly she wanted her family to recognize the moment with her. And in true television sitcom form laughs and zaniness ensued.
That’s what happens with plans to create moments in real life too. The moment that we think we need to spotlight may not pan out just as we had planned. But sometimes the momentous moment sneaks up on us. Yes, moments are funny things. We all have memorable ones. The first time you hold your very own baby. The first kiss at the wedding, the first dance. And there are the other kind as well. The heart stopping heart breaking kind. The phone call about , cancer, the divorce or and accident. They are just as unforgettable. Touching our hearts and grabbing our breath.
This past summer we were awash in weddings. Five brides had invited my husband and I to share their day. Weddings are quintessential planned beautiful moment productions. The walk down the aisle, the music, the dress all selected to provide memorable moments. And each wedding we attended was lovely and meaningful. But for me there was one moment. It was unplanned, and unscripted as all the best moments are.
My god daughter, was the bride. She and her family had planned a small intimate wedding. No big church with hundreds of guests. Rather 70 or so friends and family in the dining room of an Elks lodge. Flowers, a cake, dinner and homemade jam as party favors, defined the day.
The bride’s mother was quite busy before the ceremony. Doing all those things that mothers do. Running hither and thither pining boutonnieres on her husband and son, checking with the catering staff. Now I admit I love to catch a peak of the bride before a wedding if I can, who doesn’t ? So I knocked on the door of the designated bridal dressing room.
“Oh thank goodness!” she said. So I went in.
And there all alone, the beautiful bride was obviously going to be unable to hook up the intricate back of her gown. And so I set to work.
I knew. It was a moment. The moment I would remember and treasure long after this wedding season had passed. I had been the one to hold her at her christening, included in her milestone events, birthdays and graduations. At six years old she had announced to her mother I was a great cook based upon my peanut and butter and jelly sandwiches. And now here we were in the middle of a moment. I felt equal parts gratified, useful and honored. Feeling the the moment in every hook and eye I fastened, connected as each lacing I tightened on her gown.
That week the bride’s sister and I had co-hosted a dinner for her. It was lovely, just as we had planned. During the wedding I had selected and read a reading, my husband officiated, he was great.
But the moment I will treasure took place in the ladies room of an Elks Lodge that Friday night.
Frankie the TV mom, wanted to make a toast at a family dinner to commemorate a transition the rest of the family was oblivious to. She had to settle for clinking and olive jar in front of her open refrigerator.
We try so hard to create those memorable moments but often the most wonderful moments happen with out a plan or even a wedding planner in sight. It’s a wedding, mothers cry, father’s beam, enjoying the moment.
Summer wedding season is over now. I’m walking through crunchy leaves and crisp fall air.
“I’m having a moment. ” It’s a cliche and sometimes even a punchline. But if we are lucky those moments leave trails in our hearts and memories as we walk through our days and nights.
I’m just say’n.