In a little over 24 hours from now, my brother and Cari will be joined as husband and wife. With each passing day I'm more and more excited about Saturday's events. It's no secret that I love weddings, and my favorite part is having all the people you love most in one place celebrating together.
This morning while I was blow drying my hair - the time when I do all my deepest thinking - I realized how much I'm missing two people who won't be there tomorrow. My grandparents - my mom's mom & dad - passed away six and eight years ago, respectively. My grandpa wasn't there to see me walk down the aisle, and my grandma passed away just before The General and I celebrated our first anniversary. On an almost daily basis I wish that they had been alive to meet their great-granddaughters. I have no doubt that they would have gotten so much joy from watching them, my grandpa especially who, despite his sometimes burly exterior, loved babies about as much as anyone I've known.
But today, I'm especially sad that they aren't here to see their grandson on his wedding day. My brother had a very special bond with Grandma and Grandpa, spending a good part of his free time at their house growing up. He learned a lot of important life lessons from them like how to become a master Euchre player, learning to drive at nine years old so he and grandpa could make it into town for a cup of coffee at the Wishing Well, the art of knowing at least 60% of the population within a ten county radius, and why it's a good idea not to cross the boundary lines of Skunk Hollow. My grandpa and my brother were like two peas in a pod - stubborn as hell and ornery to the core yet the first one to show up & the last one to leave when someone needed help. Two tough guys with a heart of gold.
One of the hardest days of my life was the day that we held the estate auction for my grandparents. Watching the two of them on their front porch, sitting side by side in their wheelchairs with my brother standing behind them, is an image that is burned into my brain. As difficult as it was for my grandparents as they watched their earthly possessions being sold, it was breaking my brother's heart just as much. He loved that house and the memories made there. He had a bond with them that even I can't fully comprehend. I know that he'll be missing them tomorrow too.
Even though Grandma & Grandpa won't be there physically their spirit will be felt; I have no doubts about that. I am so thankful and grateful to those that will be there tomorrow. So many are trekking hundreds of miles by car and plane to be there to honor Erik and Cari on their wedding day, and it brings them much joy to know that those people will be there to help them celebrate this special day.