Emotional rollercoasters aren’t quite as fun as the real ones, but they can be even more unforgettable.
Such was a 10-day period that began Feb. 12 until Monday.
Friday, Feb. 12 was a day of preparation for what was to be one of my greatest days. On Saturday, Feb. 13, my oldest daughter Katy got married and I had the honor of my life to officiate the ceremony.
I’m going to say that again. I officiated a ceremony where all I am traditionally supposed to do was walk her down the aisle, say maybe three or four words and go sit down.
But, no I chose to go 10 extra miles, and believe me, it was worth it.
Full disclosure, I have been ordained for a couple of years, but haven’t done much in the realm of doing weddings or funerals, etc.
Katy’s ceremony was my first. The process of this ceremony was a lesson in humility and grace.
Mine, like many, is a blended family. Katy has a stepfather and stepmother. Her stepfather, Phillip Gangluff has been in her life since she was a toddler, and because I was ordained, I thought it would be better for him to have a role of his own, so I volunteered to officiate so both of us could have our own unique perspectives on Katy’s special day and the peace be kept across the board.
I disclose this aspect so that others might understand that peace can exist in such circumstances if we try. This hasn’t always been the case with me, in particular, so I was glad that things could work out the way they did.
Excuse me for rambling.
This wedding has been in the works for over a year with my role defined in the infancy of the process. Not one day did I feel stressed, nervous or anxious – until Friday, Feb. 12.
I never admitted this to anyone that day, but my anxiety climbed with each passing hour.
I was scared to not be good enough to do this. I was afraid that I would botch this and let my family down. I won’t lie, the stress was real.
I couldn’t commit to what I wanted to wear, even though my daughter and I shopped and bought clothes two weeks prior to wedding weekend in what was the last day of one-on-one time for me and Katy before she was to be married.
I ran through this ceremony in my head so many times that my head felt as though it would explode.
I’m here pacing outwardly and even more inwardly believing I would be the laughingstock of my family after botching the biggest day of my daughter’s life.
Finally, that Friday night was the rehearsal. One of the other cool things was that everyone walked down the aisle, including me. I went first with my wife Dana which was another way of the family including Katy’s stepmother, which others might consider an outsider into the ceremony.
As I stood my post, I watched the others come down and take their places. When it was Katy’s turn, she walked down the aisle in rehearsal with Phillip, and we locked eyes until she got to me.
I knew then, it was going to be alright.
We ran through everything, made final plans and separated until the next day.
In my mind, the wedding went off without a hitch – see what I did there?
Last week, as we all experienced, was a hellacious bout with winter weather that included for me bitter cold and an 8-hour power outage on my typically busiest day of the week.
As we sat in the cold of no heat, stuck and unable to get out of the driveway for six straight days, and weight gain from doing nothing much more than eating, working from home and watching television, I relived Feb. 13 in my head several times.
On Valentine’s Day, I spoke with Katy over the phone because her sister had left her wallet in the Maid of Honor’s car. We exchanged a few memories that were still fresh which include the stories that were told at the alter and the dance she and I did to Gary Alan’s “Tough Little Boys.”
I knew I did good when I told her that day was one of the best of my life, when she said, “Me too.”