This time a couple of decades or so ago, I was setting my hair in gigantic rollers, thinking about the coming noon, and remembering the dinner just given in our honor – our rehearsal dinner. It was some celebration: at a posh hotel in DC – lamb chops and Baked Alaska; folks we each knew and loved -- and hoped each other would come to know and love -- celebrated with us.
Upon reflection, the best wedding gift we received amongst so many genuinely fine presents was the true affection and love that has flourished amongst so many over the years – including Doug's uncle’s.
What I didn’t know until many years later, one of Doug’s uncles counseled him after that dinner – When you look at yourself in the mirror and you think about what you are about to do, tell yourself: Don’t do this!
By then Uncle Bill had had thirty or so years of marriage and knew that after the hoopla of parties, dinners and the ceremony, comes reality – fitting two people into one relationship. Happily-ever-after isn't a given. When Doug and I married, we had not one clue how or what that would look like. I am ever so grateful Doug laughed off his uncle’s curmudgeonly advice!
I had made my dress for that special evening, part of several dresses in my trousseau I sewed on the sewing machine kindly lent by my matron of honor, who had made my wedding dress as well. I made a tie for Doug in matching fabric – and I made one for my father. It was the era of wide ties in bright colors and patterns, (read garish) a style neither Doug nor my dad fancied. And no, technically it was not the best-constructed tie. But they both wore theirs and smiled graciously.
Where those ties went after the rehearsal dinner, I don’t know –
One of the kindest gifts my husband ever gave me, though, years later, was making sure that when the undertaker dressed my Dad, he had that hand-made tie – and its absurd brightness cheered me, telling me of my husband’s thoughtfulness.
Thinking about the day we were married, I can see that kindness helped us fit together.I knew the dictionary definition; marriage is teaching me the meaning. I’m still learning though – use it or lose it --
Kindness is what makes love real. In good times, it may be easy to fake kindness – in bad times, no way. Kindness is the balm and glue hold in pain and trouble.
· Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not. Samuel Johnson
· If you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path. Mary Webb
· The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. ~Author Unknown