Chelsey (the Bride) age 4, holding two toad suitors and preparing for a kiss (Noblesville, summer 1993)
I'm not sure I have ever seen my daughter so happy as she was on her wedding day. It was a wonderful day--though hot--and all of it passed by so quickly. And I do know that I will never be able to listen to the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" without tearing up (Chelsey and I danced to this song). I thank my family and friends for being a part of this day. I love you all.
I will say, there's no way to describe the accumulation of thoughts and feelings that a parent encounters at a son or daughter's wedding. It was all so surreal. I'm still recovering, and probably will be for some time.
Many people asked me about the poem I read at the wedding: when I wrote it, why, and if they could read it, etc.
I have actually written many "wedding" pieces over the past year, and have been keeping a "Father's Wedding Journal", which contained random thoughts, feelings, essays and quite a number of poems. But with one or two exceptions, no one has read any of these prose or poetry pieces except a few trustworthy editors and, on occasion, my wife.
Out of this array of wedding writ, I did settle upon a couple of essays and poems that I felt were publication-worthy (and also had enough confidence to read aloud).
So, for those who asked about it, here's the poem I read on Saturday.
A Prayer on My Daughter's Wedding Day
Would it be selfish, Lord, to pray for gifts
Of such illimitable, marvelous wonder--
Poured from your gracious hand, unsung or
Unrelenting--as my provision drifts
In a father's weakness, though my love
Is strong? And could I ask for such as these:
But a bountiful earth, the salt of seas,
And guiding stars arrayed in splendor above?
My these two know such joys and sweetened leaven
In all their days ahead, such as you give.
And may their years bless us, as you forgive,
To carry them, at last, across the threshold of your heaven.