My sisters and I joke that we are three 'only' children. Our parents were the same yet distinctly different when each of us was born. Our personalities and interests reflect both their levels of maturity and our age differences.
But this past weekend, we pulled ourselves together to share in the preparations for middle sister's role as 'mother of the bride.'
The wedding was planned for a white-framed country church where our great-grandparents are buried in the cemetery and where our mother attended as a toddler. The bride had requested that the reception have 'none of that wedding food stuff;' she asked for just cake and ice cream with a little punch. Oh my! It had to be simple, yet elegant.
In the church, just a few ferns and palms formed a back drop for an arrangement of mixed flowers created by the groom's mother. Light glowed through simple stained glass windows to set the mood for piano and flute. In this place, the sacrament of marriage did not need to be long.
In the church reception hall, family hand-crocheted table cloths covered pristine floor-length cloths. Cut glass punch bowls were brought out from the bottoms of closets and filled with either ice cream or punch. Colorful depression glass held the ice cream toppings and sauces. A large ice sculpture, a gift of sculptor friends, added more coolness and sparkle. Magnolia leaves from our mother, eucalyptus branches from the mother of the bride and dozens of my green and blue late-summer hydrangea blossoms were everywhere.
This day will be a treasured memory for many of the guests. One of the cousins said, "This looks like Aunt Agnes planned it." ('Aunt Agnes' was my grandmother who died in 1992.)
Perhaps she did have a hand in it. She instilled in each of us a love of simplicity and quiet elegance, an understanding of working to get things right and the joy in being with family and friends.
She came from a long line of women who knew this . . . . and the line continues.