The tent after the meal

I am sitting in the back yard of Sarah and Andy’s house watching the sunrise. It’s going to be another beautiful day in NE Portland. As I reflect on yesterday’s ceremonies out at Pendarvis Farm, it is just sinking in just how momentous the event actually was. When you are caught up in the preparations for a wedding sometimes you are not aware that something big is about to happen, something that will not only change the lives of the two people who are getting married, but change the lives of those close to them.

Back in July of 2011 at an “A’s” game in Oakland, Andy proposed to our daughter Sarah. From the video it looked like Sarah was caught totally off-guard. It was a priceless moment. From there, the momentum took hold and things began to move forward. All sorts of things came into their minds of how this and that should be planned for the event. Where to have the ceremony and what date? A month later all of us were camping at Pendarvis Farm for the 3 days of the Pick-a-thon Music Festival with 5,000 of our close personal friends. Shortly thereafter Sarah had contacted Sherry Pendarvis about using the same farm for the wedding. Everything fell into place after that including the date. That was the planning and it continued up and through yesterday morning.

But there was much more than just planning the event…much more. Caught up as I was this week running errands and pressing my shirt, in the back of my mind was the whole not loosing a daughter but gaining a son thing. It was real, parents have been experiencing this feeling forever and now it was our turn. I don’t know how many times I asked Sarah “Are you sure?” to the point where I could put in on a loop. I should have let go a long time ago but couldn’t completely until yesterday afternoon. As I walked my girl out of the forest and down through the field I felt a bittersweet twinge. Of course the memories of the little girl who regularly woke me in the middle of the night to climb into bed with me to the little seasick girl who roamed a ferry boat looking for me so that she could throw up on her dad to the young glowing woman I walked with yesterday, swept over me in waves. Tears mixed with laughter, joy mixed with loss. I know, I know I haven’t lost her. She is still here alive and vibrant as ever…but she will always be my little girl…just sayin’. So this morning, when I go out to the farm where they are camping, I will greet my daughter with her new name, Sarah Veltkamp and my new son-in law Andy Veltkamp. I wish you only the best and blessings.

and so it goes…