As my daughters advanced through their school years, their friends often joked that I was always the dad with the video camera. I was the one in the back of the room, videotaping the school musical pageants. I was taping the softball and basketball and volleyball games. I was capturing footage of birthday parties and sleepovers.
And now these same girls are returning to our house and asking if they could watch those old videos and relive those events.
So I guess it was fitting that I found myself videotaping the recent wedding of Corey Tull and Jacob Powell. Corey grew up with my younger daughter, Missy, and they roomed together as seniors at the University of Arkansas. Missy was a bridesmaid at the wedding, and Corey will return the favor this summer when Missy marries Ryan O’Dell.
During the rehearsal dinner, as I videotaped different friends and family sharing tributes and memories of Corey and Jacob, my mind flashed to other video images captured through the years:
- Corey and Missy diving into the neighborhood pool …
- Corey scoring a run in softball, then turning around to greet Missy who crossed the plate a few seconds later …
- Corey joining our family to decorate Christmas cookies …
- Corey and Missy with other girls celebrating on New Year’s Eve …
- Corey and Missy at birthday parties … singing in the “Dr. Newheart” musical in third grade … and looking elegant in formal dresses on prom nights …
Sometimes in my mind Corey and Missy are still skinny little 9-year-old girls, playing cheerleader in our front yard. They are on a softball field at twilight on a spring evening, warming up for a game. Every once in awhile, it tears me up inside when I think of how quickly those golden years passed. Why do these little girls have to grow up so fast?
But weddings are about the future, and as I looked at Corey during her rehearsal dinner I saw a beautiful and responsible young woman who is looking forward to her own golden years. Weddings are also about hopes and prayers, and my prayer is that the life Corey and Jacob forge together will reflect the values and sentiments expressed that night by friends and family:
That they will always remain best friends.
That they will remember how God brought them together.
That they will keep their eyes on Christ during the conflicts and the trials they will experience together.
That they will establish a healthy independence from their parents while realizing they will need to lean on their families at times.
That they will realize how God has made them stronger as a couple … blending their strengths and personalities.
This was the beginning of a wave of weddings we’ll be attending over the next few months. It all ends with Missy’s wedding, and I wonder: If I’m feeling like this now, will I be a bowl of quivering gelatin when I walk her down the aisle?
This article originally appeared in the June 1, 2009 issue of Marriage Memo, a weekly e-newsletter.