It has been a bittersweet journey home–the drudgery of packing up years of stuff from one boat, then riding around in an overstuffed van for 10 days before unpacking it all onto another boat. In the middle of the 10 days between one boat and the other we were driving south–inland to Columbia, South Carolina–to attend the wedding of a very dear friend.
It was one of the sweetest/saddest things I’ve ever participated in. My younger son, now 29, became friends with groom in kindergarten, when they were both five. They went all the way through high school together, and I have lots of photos of them–mostly predating digital images. I have vivid memories of playdates from those early school years when the two of them had a massive collection of mutant ninja turtles. Either one of them would arrive at the other’s house with a black garbage bag full of action figures. I remember the yearly man hunt game on New Year’s Eve which always ended with sparklers at midnight, preceded by wonderful dinners together for the parents. I remember hearing all that wonky music from the various Nintendo games–Mario ad infinitum, Donkey Kong, Dungeons and Dragons. These games led to more complicated computer games and more geeky science and computer interests as the boys grew. When they were young many people thought they were brothers. They each had a brother, but it seemed they looked more like each other than their real brothers.
Now both boys have grown into handsome men–refined, even elegant. Seeing them together as adults makes me wonder where the boys have gone. Chris’ friend is tall and lean, and very handsome. He is articulate and moves with grace. He was recently ordained a Lutheran minister so he is comfortable in crowds and is surely a good public speaker. He looked perfectly comfortable with his stunning bride who made us all think of Kate Middleton.
In this photo Chris (on the left) is standing with his two oldest friends– the groom is in the middle. I took almost the same photo 11 years ago when these three graduated from high school. They were so awkward and youthful then–so comfortable and confident now.
The saddest thing about the wedding day was that the groom’s mother and father could not be there. The father was in the hospital at the end of a long 18 months of trying to stop the cancer that had been spreading for over a year. He lost that battle only 3 days after his son got married. It was heartbreaking to be there without the presence the parents who have been such good friends to us for 25 years. It will probably be one of the happiest/saddest events of my life. I would not have missed it. In fact, Bob and Chris and I jumped through more than a few hurdles to get there. It breaks my heart that the hurdles for getting to this wedding were bigger than humanly possible for the parents of the groom. (yes, I am wearing the sweater I had hoped to finish in time for this occasion.)
After the wedding we had a couple of days with Chris as we continued south, back to Florida, with a destination at our new boat. Chris flew back to San Francisco; Bob and I began unloading that van into the new (improved!) Pandora. Bob and I had barely gotten all the boxes onboard when it was time for me to fly home.
Now I’m back in Connecticut, in the blinding yellow of daffodils and forsythia and the deep blue of the Connecticut River that glints like a sapphire in the silver setting of last year’s marsh grasses glowing in the late afternoon light.
Today I bought pansies for the window boxes on the front of our house. I’m waiting for the trees to leaf out. I’m going to start weaving the projects that I left on my looms in December. Right now there is a pot of carrot tops simmering on the stove and a hank of silk waiting to be dyed.
Life goes round and round–until it doesn’t.