Sunday, October 19, 2014

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

In just two days, on October 21, it will be the 5-year-anniversary of my dad's very unexpected passing back in 2009.

Just over a week ago, on October 11, he was greatly missed at our wedding. Bob never got to meet him, and he wasn't there to walk me down the aisle we'd created in the grove of aspens where we had the ceremony. And he wasn't there to dance a father-daughter dance with me at the reception.

But all of us who knew him felt his love and presence. I'm certain he was there, looking over us, and beaming with pride at just how our family has survived, grown, and flourished in his physical absence.

Building up to the wedding, I thought a lot about ways we could honor his memory when we wed. There were a number of things we came up with, but the traditional "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" bridal items afforded lovely opportunities.

While I'm not sure, I believe that the old, new, borrowed, and blue items needed to be on my person during the actual ceremony. I had plenty that was new: my dress, my necklace and earrings, the clip in my hair, and my boots. Oh, yes, even my bra. Before and after the ceremony, though, I also carried this purse. It is a lovely gift, sent to me from Scotland by Alexandra Thomson, our friend who owns the Aiden House in Durness -- a wonderful B&B where Bob first told me he loved me back in 2011. A friend of Alexandra's makes these in Scotland, and she had this one made for me when she found out we got engaged -- it is made with the tartan of my dad's clan. So incredibly thoughtful. (Her friend's company is Tartan Bodices.)
These are the remaining three items that were on my person. Well, on one of my boots, actually, as I walked down the aisle. "Something old" is the tie tack; it was my dad's, and though it's too small to see very well here, it's in the middle, and has an R on it. "Something borrowed" is the charm bracelet, and this is my mom's. The morning of the wedding, I told her that I wanted to borrow something from her, as I had something from my dad already, and wanted something from her, too. We went to the bedroom she shared with my dad, which is also where I got dressed later, and looked through her jewelry box and a few of her dresser drawers. These moments were precious to me, and I so enjoyed hearing Mom talk about the different items we came across, and the memories and love that went with them. We settled on this charm bracelet. She met my dad when she was 19 and in college, and her sorority sisters gave her this bracelet when she and Dad got engaged. It has charms that represent things that are really important to her from that time in her life, such as symbols of her sorority and college, a "love letter" that's supposed to be from my dad, and a tiny replica of Eastern Airline wings. Right after college, she was a stewardess, as they were called then, and Dad gave her the airplane charm that's next to the wings. "Something blue" is the sergeant's chevron that my dad wore on his CHP uniform. I've had that since he passed, and keep it in a tiny beautiful wooden box that also holds some of his ashes. It's priceless to me, and I think he'd love that I had it on my boot that day.

 I think my new husband approved, too.

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