I’m not done yet with the residual joy I had from this recent family wedding.
There were pictures displayed outside the ballroom, of the bride and groom as little children.
I wish I had known Troy then. I knew Gracie, as we called this godchild of ours from the day of her birth. She was the first baby I knew up close and wonderful to say, still has this same little dimple high on her cheek. Her mother is my sister Nan who I have written about here and here and here and in five books and countless newspaper columns.
Grace’s father Tom was my husband David’s best friend and a force of nature all on his own. He died one matchless August morning sipping coffee and having the day’s first smoke, moments before his regular Sunday game of tennis.
He had just turned 50.
Grace was just done with her 9th grade year. It was a hard time in life to lose a dad and she shared the loss with her four siblings from Tom’s first marriage.
How they got through those years I do not know. Nan dreamed once that first year that he appeared in their bedroom, looking sad, which he never was in life, and still in his tennis togs. ” I want to come back,” he said quietly. Were there tears welling in his eyes? “You can’t,” Nan said, tears in her eyes and voice both. “Your friend Jan took your job and we gave away your clothes,” her dream self-told him and the pathos of this exchange was almost more than a body could bear.
But time passed and brought new happiness. The man who had built the couple’s new house, himself newly widowed, fell in love with them both and became like another father to Grace. He and David, having showered love on her ever since, got to both walk her down the aisle.
Troy has his own story of course, which I so look forward to learning more of. His brother told us in his Best Man toast, that before he became a Marine he was voted the strongest 17-year-old in Pinellas County. He’s a strong man still; anyone can see that.
How did they find each other again, knowing each other only slightly in high school? What miracle sets one person’s life down next to another’s with a landing as smooth and resolute as the jet makes when once again, lightly, it touches the earth?
I’ll stop now just show a few more of the imperfect pictures snapped by us amateur cameraman, lucky loving witnesses to this lucky event.
David on the left, Chuck on the right
Troy & Grace Webb and G’s fond godparents
a hug for all dads