A letter to the bride

Little cousin, you were so lovely that weekend, radiant in your womanhood and your love.

You ran to us the night we arrived for your rehearsal dinner, all glowing and breathless with arms flung wide, and I felt like years and miles hadn’t mattered at all.

You are no longer the doe-eyed little girl who made flower chains with my sister and begged us Olders to “be the bad guys” for your games. You no longer climb trees barefoot, sharing secrets with the Twin Cousin and concocting pranks for your big brother.

That was precious, but this, this new season you’ve joined us in–this is glorious.

You made those forever promises as you stood in your lace, and I leaned close to my own love and let the vows re-imprint themselves on my resolve.

You will see–weddings get a new layer of richness and meaning after you have your own.

The East Coasters were the last pockets of family to finally meet my husband. It felt like your new love and mine were initiated into the clan on the same fun-filled, rain-blessed weekend. Every outrageous game of Brandi Dog and Farkle, every crochet stitch taught–they turned our far-flung lives into community again and I remembered how much I love our family.

The couple that started it all: Grandma and Grandpa Beekman

Sweet cousin, I love you. I love the love I see in you, between you both, and pouring out to everyone within reach.

I pray you keep choosing love. Keep choosing humility.
I pray you keep choosing to open yourselves to friendships, even when they move away or get pregnant before you do or take a while to return your calls.
That you will have grace for the budgeting foibles that will come.
That you find a beautiful new “family culture” as you discover how to do the oneness of marriage.

Aaaaannnd I secretly pray that you move to Texas. (Because that would be awesome!)

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