Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy and sad

It's snowy - unusually for us - and rather cold. One more day of college before the holidays; rather than working, I would really prefer to be finalising the preparations for Christmas. I use the word "finalising" in its loosest sense.

We were at a wedding on Saturday, which didn't help the preparations but which was a very happy occasion - and yet in some ways a sad one.

The bride's mother died about 18 months ago and her father made a very emotional speech in which he kept breaking down.

The groom, N, is the lovely, lovely son of a friend I met at teacher training college in 1972. He's the same age as Daughter 2 and just exactly the sort of young man I'd like for a son-in-law (though I love my actual son-in-law). His father died in tragic circumstances when he and his brother were, I think, 11 and 10, and my friend, who's a wonderful, positive, inspiring person with a huge enthusiasm for life, has brought up these two fantastic boys. The younger son, D, was the best man and made the most hilarious best man's speech I've ever heard. His comic timing was superb. Yet it was touching too: he paid tribute to his father and to the fact that, as he said, his mum had "shown [him and his brother] how to be men". Then, as an example, he quoted her saying, "N - teach D to shave!"

And I had such mixed emotions - the young couple are both very clever, very good-looking, very loved and very much in love. I hope life is wonderful for them. And yet, as the groom said, you don't know what lies in store and you must seize your happiness when you have the chance.

There were lots of handsome chaps dancing in whirling kilts, Anna.

I think this is the first wedding I've attended of a young man whose nappy I've changed.


  1. Ohmygosh Isabelle. You're soooo funny. That last line just cracked me up -- we are getting to that age, aren't we? And isn't it so true? I always find myself wondering what lies in front of a young couple at their wedding. Will they be happy? True to each other? Healthy babies? You just never really know what life will throw at you -- your young friend is so right -- we must seize happiness while we can!

    Love your pretty little candles in the front window. I read the other day how that used to be a sign of welcome in the "old" days. So perfect for your welcoming home!

  2. Oh! And I need to plan a trip when I can go to a wedding with you -- I'd LOVE to see all those whirling kilts!!!

  3. What about the ones in quilts?

  4. I liked this post so much, the joy and the poignancy and then the line about the nappies at the end. I hope I get to go to the weddings of some of the young kids we're friends with.

  5. My goodness, Isabelle - even the snow in your garden is neat! Ours looks like two small thugs have run riot over it. Can't imagine why.

    Thank you so much for Alf, by the way. He was collected safely and is now on the tree, worshipping at the feet of Marvin the Christmas Martian. I will try to take a photo.

  6. As I write this, you'll be starting your Christmas holidays - hurrah! Time to play in the garden, build a snowman, put your feet up. As if....

    Happy Christmas!!

  7. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. And thanks for the wreath - it has pride of place on the piano and fits in with this year's colours perfectly!

    Lesley x

  8. I know what you mean about weddings being happy/sad - I have been to so many where there is a 'missing' parent - very sadly absent from the celebrations.

    I hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas Isabelle.

  9. It is sad when a happy occasion such as a marriage is preceded by the death of one of the parents. How difficult it must have been for the bride's father - and the bride herself. My mother died 2 months before my 21st birthday, and I got a bit choked up when I was doing the thank you speech..
    May I take this opportunity to wish you and Mr Life all the best for a very happy Christmas!
    Hugs, Gina.

  10. How like you to think of changing the groom's nappies while watching his wedding ceremony :)
    Sounds like a wonderful celebration of life and loved ones, past and present.
    Enjoy relaxing this Christmas season. Hope you're able to spend a little time reading a good book in the bathtub! (that's something I've never tried...would you believe?).

  11. Never postpone joy.

    Lovely post!