Wedding bells and heartstrings….

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  (Matthew 19:5)

I hear wedding bells….and feel the tug of heartstrings.  My son is getting married this Saturday.

I’ve known since January. Where have those six months flown?  It is only now that I am pondering deeply the enormous change our family is about to undergo. Even happy, exciting changes can still tug at your heartstrings. Letting go of the familiar, the comfortable…what has always been, can be a bit daunting.

Change by its nature is uncertain, at least in the beginning. We have to learn what to expect, how things will be; we forge new ways and assume different roles.

I have spent the past week looking through photo albums and childhood memorabilia to find memories of my son which will be shared in a video and collage at the wedding. I watched him grow up again through his pictures. My dining room table is piled with his beloved Garfield paraphernalia, stacks of music awards, and framed photos of pint -sized athletes playing soccer, baseball and football.

I sat up late the other night watching a VHS tape of him playing My Funny Valentine on tenor saxophone in tenth grade…and then watching it again..and again.  His dad and I were so proud of him that night.  He was amazing!  Saturday, he will be surprised to hear this musical piece accompanying the video of childhood pictures of him and his bride.

The other day, my sister and I spent the afternoon shopping for items to decorate the groom’s table.  We had so much fun, and as I tried to choose things I thought he would like, and which would express something about him, I realized that decorating this table  might be the last time I would do something so exclusively for him… all by myself.  And so I chose my treasures carefully.

That same morning, I had listened to another mother describe her son’s recent wedding, and she had mentioned how the cleaving she had felt with him had to be loosened and let go, for now he must cleave to his wife, as God’s Word says.

Yes, it’s true.  My son’s bride, among mortals, must be first in his heart and in his thoughts and care, from this Saturday onward.  I must step back…no longer the first to respond when he is sick or has a problem.  His personal life will become their life.  I must respect a new privacy, one with no place for my sometimes unsolicited advice.

As the woman mentioned above said, “It is painful…this letting go.”

When a father brings his daughter to the altar to give her hand in marriage, we see a visual of this “giving away.”

But mothers are seated in the pew.  We watch in silence, as our sons take their wives, and the bond is untied slowly in secret within our hearts, where only God can see.

It can never truly be undone, truly severed…that bond, which in a mother is wrapped so tightly, each little knot a reminder of a precious moment in our child’s life.

But yet, it must be loosened now, and yield to the wedding ring she wears.

I can hear the song being played on my heartstrings….love him always, love him deeply, take care of him as I have, never hurt him… and one day, give him back to God.  Yes give him back to God shining with grace and beauty…much more so than when I gave him to you…

And, remember to cleave, only to him.


6 thoughts on “Wedding bells and heartstrings….

  1. Patricia, there is so much love in this post. I love that picture of you with your little boy, both of you with expressions of joy. Reading what you are experiencing makes me wonder now how little thought I gave to how my mother-in-law felt those many years ago when I married her son, and how my parents might have felt. They all just seemed happy. What I do remember is how much more love I felt among my parents. Especially if I had a cold or something during a visit. Maybe I was cleaving to my husband and he was cleaving to me, but it sure was wonderful on those visits to feel the love of my Mom and Dad. It was different and better than when I would often visit his parents, as they live so much closer. Sharing this just so you know that he too might not yet experience how much he treasures yours and your husband’s love until he is away starting his new married life. At least I seem to appreciate it more later.
    You did so much with love in anticipation of welcoming him into your home, with raising him, praying for him, and now all this love you poured into the picture selection and decorating his groom’s table. I will pray with you that he and your daughter-in-law will cooperate with the Holy Spirit so that they both return to God filled with grace and beauty!

    • Colleen, I have been having the same thoughts as you this week…about my husband’s parents. It never occurred to me that his mother may have felt some pain in seeing him move on to his new life, and to me. Now, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. She and I were so different; she must have wondered how he would survive : )
      My poor mom cried so much at our wedding that I knew she was going to have a difficult period of adjustment…and we moved out of state immediately, because my husband was in the Air Force then.

      Like you, visiting my parents in those days was so special. I know what you mean about that unique love showered on us by our parents. I miss their love so much now that they are gone. I wrote a post about it: “When I made the sun shine…” Interesting how there are such different kinds of love.

      I’m so grateful that the love came through in this post. I was certainly feeling it! I love that picture too..even though it is discolored now. Oh, those baby years pass much too quicky!
      I am so grateful for your prayeres! Thank you so much…I will be counting on them this Saturday. xoxo

  2. Patricia, I can’t even find the words to express how beautiful this post is . You have spoken for every mother of a son and helped me as I prepare to ..’let go’ expressing emotions you only find out you feel when you must face them.
    How lovely you are as a mother which your picture reveals and your words even more. How can we ever forget the joy of seeing those innocent baby smiles hearing them giggle ?

    To Christopher and his bride…go my prayers, thoughts and heartfelt wishes for a blessed life together.

    To you my friend..I’ll be with you in spirit.
    Love , Blessings and +

    • Caroline, you know I was thinking of you too when I wrote this post! How could I not? Oh my, our sons…will anyone ever love them like their moms? I remember my own mother’s love, and I miss it so much now. It’s so unique…no wonder God compares His Own Love to a mother’s…Can a mother forget her child, the fruit of her womb? Even if she should forget….

      Oh, the baby sounds and baby smiles! I’ll miss them till the day I die! Babyhood is much too short! Now, teen years….they could be a bit shorter, I think 🙂
      I think babyhood is so much like heaven that God only gives us that brief glimpse….perfect innocence and joy and hearts bursting with love.

      Thank you for your beautiful wishes for Christopher and his bride. I’m counting on you being there with me in spirit at 1pm….the sword in my heart will be that they aren’t having a Mass. I think I’ll shed the most tears over that.

      expressing emotions you only find out you feel when you must face them. What a perfect description! I couldn’t have guessed I would have felt such pain at letting go. Love always requires sacrifice, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for your wonderful friendship!

      Love and hugs…..

  3. Awww…how beautiful yet I feel the tugs Patricia. Love the heartwarming pics. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare for such a special day.

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