I woke up to sunshine in the east-facing guest room. Courtney would have a beautiful wedding day. The bride herself pushed open the door and sprinted to the spare closet. "Sorry," she whispered. "I have to get my veil."
"Have fun getting your hair done," I murmured, half-asleep.
After she left I lay in bed just being amazed at what was about to happen. My little niece was getting married. I am only six and a half years older than Courtney, but that's old enough for me to remember her mom's pregnancy, and her baptism, and the way she followed me around like a puppy when I was nine years old. Visiting at my house for holidays, she used to push me to one end of a hallway, then return to the other end, and then run full force down the length of it and slam into my legs with a hug. I remember when she was nine and I stopped thinking of her as just a kid and started thinking of her as just a little younger. She is still so young, though, and this morning I was awed at the thought that she was about to pledge her eighteen-year-old self to Joe.
Not that Joe isn't a decent guy to pledge her life to. I've just gotten to know him a bit this week and am entirely pleased with the way he treats her and the way he fits into the family. He is easygoing and laid-back, sweet and funny, and they looked so comfortable together this week, it was a joy to see.
I could tell you all the details of today - the wedding and reception were beautiful, the day was crazy but everything eventually worked - but I wanted to share with you my experience of this wedding. And as beautiful as everything was today, what I will remember is that moment of sunshine thinking about these two young people, about their innocent and bold and courageous and simple love for each other, and knowing that God had already joined them, and praying that no one will ever separate them.