A FAMILY AFFAIR

I was young when I married for the first time. And there was much about the significance of a wedding I did not understand.
The wedding of my friend, five years later, lingered with me. What made it so different from my own? The white dress? The crowd of people? The elegant food? No, it was her family. That was it. We had had no family at our wedding.
At the time, I did not think it mattered. I believed marriage was simply a union of two individuals. I didn’t understand how that union affects a whole family. Until I saw at my friend’s wedding was how deeply the event affected her sisters, brother, aunts, parents, and her whole community. It mattered to them.
My friend would not consider getting married anywhere except in a church, I agreed it would be prettier, warmer, than a civil ceremony. But I came to see that it is more. For them, for her family, the wedding was a holy sacrament. It was the union not of two individuals, but of two families who would be joined as one through the children who would come.
I thought at the time that I was pretty smart. In fact, I was ignorant. I did not know what really made life meaningful, what made it beautiful. I am very glad to have grown up.

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