Wedding Focus

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The soft-focus double vision of seeing my daughter simultaneously at age four and thirty, twirling her skirts, delighted by glittery things, as we giggled at the bubbles in the champagne we'd brought to each wedding-dressmaker appointment -- it was too easy to get cliched about.

Yet there she was, wearing an engagement ring fashioned from the gold and diamonds of my mother's, holding up the blue veil Mom had worn when she and Dad married. Mom, gone nearly six years now. Tears threatened at the memories. Why did time have to go so fast? I wanted her there, with me, with my daughter. I had my grandmother at my wedding. It wasn't fair she couldn't have hers.

I did love how my daughter planned to include them in as many ways as she could - the veil and ring, of course, and her idea to hang photos of family weddings past. I hoped to make a toast, mentioning every one of them - Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, my spouse's parents, including his mother who my daughter looks so very much like. It was easy to get lost there, easy to wade again in the sweet sadness of memory, easy to lose track of the beautiful young woman before me, grabbing - as she always has - for her future.

I took a step back. That old Girl Scouts song about the silver of making new friends and the gold of keeping old ones came to me out of nowhere.

Time to re-evaluate. Maybe it holds true for friends, but not always, and not for this. Not for shopping for wedding dresses. Letting the old enrich the present is one thing. Holding on to it is entirely another.


I blinked away the images of my mother and of my daughter at age four. I never did like those fuzzy photos you see in wedding albums. Instead, I took in the sight of the very alive, very adult bride-to-be who stood, glowing, in front of me, and I knew one thing for certain - when I make that toast, I might thank the past, but I'll looking at the future.

With a Perspective, I'm Ann Manheimer  

Ann Manheimer is a teacher. She lives in El Cerrito.