A little over a month ago I stood in front of God and everyone in a tiny chapel with beautiful stained glass windows next to a big bouquet of hydrangea and evergreens and glittered twigs and stared up into a pair of twinkling brown eyes….
….and told him I loved him all over again.
It was all so similar.
It was in the same church.
The same minister.
The same time.
The same date.
The same twinkling-eyed smile when I walked down the aisle.
The same feeling like I was the luckiest girl in all the world.
So very, very amazingly wonderfully the same….
….except for one very, very different thing.
You see, all those years ago I stood not-so-patiently behind the double doors of the church waiting for them to open.
Waiting for the walk down the aisle.
Waiting with breathless anticipation for the next exciting chapter in my life to begin.
And as I stood there on the precipice at the corner of “I can’t wait” and “I’m not sure about this”….
….I held tightly to the arm of the most wonderful man in the world.
My father had been there through everything. All those growing up years. All the times I wrecked the car or was late for my curfew or rolled my eyes or sighed or cut super awkward bangs or told him I wanted to work at Dairy Queen for the rest of my life.
Every step of the way.
Every high…every low.
Every time I climbed higher….he celebrated.
Every time I stumbled….he was there to pick me up.
And on that long ago day in front of the church doors with just my father and I standing there, those twinkling blue eyes of his smiled down at me once again….as if to say….
….you got this girl.
I wish you could have met him.
I wish you could have met that incredible father of mine. He would have walked up to you across a crowded room with his hat kind of oddly tilted to one side with his shirt collar askew and his glasses perched on top of his head as he smiled at you. He would have asked all about yourself and listened to your answers and made you laugh and made you smile…..
….and made you feel like you were the most important person in the room.
He passed away almost seven years ago….
….and I still miss him every single day.
Several weeks after our vow renewal ceremony, my friend brought these rock hearts over to the house.
She said she wasn’t sure why….but she just felt like she should share her collection with me. As I opened up the box and stared down at each of those tiny rocks formed into hearts, my heart skipped a beat. You see…..my father was a geologist. He loved rocks. Many was the time he would pull off to the side of the road and point out a sedimentary formation or the limestone or shale or layer upon layer of metamorphic rock.
And as the tears welled up in my eyes, I saw my father’s twinkling blue eyes and his love….
….in every line of those tiny rock hearts.
PS And right in the middle of that really good cry…..
…..I started laughing.
Because my friend brought over her mushroom rock collection, too. 🙂