“Lord, thank you for our family — our whole family! — all at home together for dinner tonight. Thank you for who you are in us. Thank you for everything we have and everything we’re looking forward to.”
My eyes fluttered open as I looked around the table at my mom, my dad and my brothers. Sam was peeking, too, and we grinned at one another as my dad prayed for our family. He prayed for Jack’s senior year and foray into college. He prayed for Sam’s first job and entrepreneurial dreams. He prayed for my mom’s Bible study and the women she leads.
He prayed for my upcoming marriage to Andrew. I closed my eyes, my heart tugging in my chest.
There’s a scene in Father of the Bride that I can’t stop thinking about. Annie is on the phone with her girlfriend the night before her wedding. She’s packing up her room, and her dad and little brother are standing in the hallway.
(On the phone): It’s really cute and cozy and in a great neighborhood.
You’ll see it. I’m really excited. But I’ve got all this packing to
do and this room looks so different.
It’s going to be weird, isn’t it? Just you, me, and Mom here now.
Yeah. Come on. Goodnight, pal. Sleep tight.
In many ways, I can relate to this part of the story. I sold my Gold Coast condo at the end of the summer, Andrew rented out his West Loop loft, and together, we purchased a vintage home in Lincoln Park. It was a whirlwind of moving boxes, many tears, and a lot of transition. (Going through the buy/sell real estate tango first-hand was an invaluable learning experience, albeit stressful).
Andrew and I decided not to live together before marriage, so I’ve been spending most weeknights at home in Hinsdale and weekends in Lincoln Park. The weekends feel like small snippets and previews of what life will be like as husband and wife, but the nights at home serve as a nostalgic reminder of the family I will soon depart from.
There are most certainly moments when this season — this in-between, back-and-forth season — gets to me. Like last week, when I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Stevenson, desperately trying to make it to the city in time for my workout class. Or this morning, when I woke up and realized I forgot to ask my mom to buy almond milk at the store (first world problem, I know). Or when a client calls and asks to see a property ASAP, and I have to hustle to get downtown.
But more often, my time in Hinsdale is sweet and wonderful: drinking coffee in the morning with my mom, watching my family love on our new puppy, having a glass of good wine before dinner, waking up to the peace and quiet of the suburbs, driving around the town I love, wearing dorky pajamas, and hanging out with my parents at night (sometimes, my brothers, too!).
I wonder if this is how Annie felt before her wedding — eager to begin her new life with her soon-to-be husband, yet melancholy to grow up.
With three weeks until our intimate wedding, I am feeling a lot of feelings: nervousness, joy, stress, excitement. Above all else, though, I feel the peace of God enveloping me. I know Andrew was a part of God’s plan all along, and when I think about leaving my family and cleaving to him, I am not fearful.
Andrew came all at once, when I thought I would never meet someone I’d want to marry. He is the greatest gift of my life, and I cannot wait to become his wife on December 8th.
Did I wake you?
No, I was up. So what are you doing?
I couldn’t sleep. I just kept thinking about how this was my last
night in my bed… in my house… kinda like my last night as a kid. I
mean, I’ve lived here since I was five and I feel like I’m supposed to
turn in my key tomorrow. It was so strange packing up my room. You
know how you have always trained me never to throw anything away. So
like I have all these ratty stuffed animals and yearbooks… my old
retainer… all my old magic tricks. And I actually packed it all. I
just didn’t want to let it go. I mean, I know I can’t stay, but it’s
like I don’t want to leave.
Well, that’s the thing about life… is uh, the surprises. The little
things that sneak up on you and grab hold of you. Still happens to me.