I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen my husband cry over the past 35 years. That is not to say he is void of emotion. He just doesn’t cry. That’s ok, because the rest of us cry all the time. Kind of. We even laugh until we cry. So, someone needs to be the rock. And he was. Until Samuel’s rehearsal dinner. It is customary for the groom’s parents, or in this case, the groom’s dad, to say a few words at some point during the evening. Clearly it could not have been me. No one would have understood a word I said. I would have sobbed. Sam was the very logical choice.
He is a man who deeply loves his children. He has always been there for them. Over the years he never missed an event, or game, or performance that included one of our kids. One of the great benefits of being your own boss. Regardless, the night of the rehearsal dinner took us all by surprise at the tangible emotion that was released. His intense love for his son was palpable. I am grateful for that unconditional love.
Here’s what he said:
“Good evening everyone. I’m the other Sam Smith, this is my wife Ann, and we are the proud parents of the groom. We’d like to thank each of you for joining us on the eve of Samuel and Sarah’s wedding.
As I look at these two beautiful people tonight, I think back to when Samuel first told us he was thinking about asking Sarah on a date. He was not sure if it would be prudent because school was ending for the year in a couple weeks. I think it was the next day he called to say he decided to go for it. After that 1st date he called to proudly tell us there was definitely going to be a 2nd one. That was last April. Early on we knew he was smitten. Even though he was headed to Morocco for most of the summer I told Ann, we need to have Sarah come east in order to meet her. We didn’t know when we would be able to visit in Seattle and something told us not to wait, as Samuel had an excitement about Sarah that said this girl is different.
It was a whirlwind visit last August, but she was able to spend some time with Samuel’s two sisters and experience our whole family dynamic. She held her own. She understood my sense of humor. That was huge. Once we got to know her, we could see why Samuel fell in love with her and why they fit together so well. Today, it’s impossible to imagine our family without her, and after tomorrow, she’ll officially become a Smith. Sarah, we love you, and we could not be happier that you’re marrying our son. Samuel, your mother and I are very proud of you, and we love you.
My best advice to you in this moment is to follow Christ’s example of sacrificial living, to love with no conditions, and make acts of kindness part of your every day. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place. Congratulations to the two of you, and may your marriage be blessed.”
It’s a good thing it was all written down.