This past Friday, I had the honor of escorting my lovely daughter Chana down the aisle, and presenting her to wonderful husband, Michael. Though we’d been joking a bit, as we started walking, I look a wee bit serious in this shot a bit farther up the aisle! I’m sure you dads out there can understand the feeling. It isn’t everyday a guy gives away his daughter–not to mention gaining an awesome son-in-law!
Both the wedding and reception were held at the Capital City Brewery, in Middleton, Wisconsin. It was a gorgeous day, autumn in Wisconsin at its best. We had a great time visiting with both families and friends. Of course, I had to spend some special time with Will and Ari, our awesome grandkids. Will and I got to share a guy thing; a freight train went right by the Brewery picnic area, and it was really loud! But it didn’t faze either one of us, though my muscles ached a bit from holding on to Will!
On Saturday morning, we went to Chana’s mom’s house (Colleen) to watch Mike and Chana open their wedding gifts.
Well, that’s not totally accurate….the Wisconsin Badgers were on the tube, playing those pesky Northwestern Huskies. We guys may have looked at the gifts during the commercials. It’s tough to compete with football in Wisconsin on Saturdays and Sundays. Even the hotel Cookie and I stayed at was filled with bright red Badger jerseys! But Colleen and her crew fed us well, despite our inattention. A big thanks to Colleen and her crew, for such great hospitality!
After the party ended, Cookie and I decided to visit the City of Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It was the place where Cookie and I were married twenty-five years ago. As always, the Gardens are a perennial favorite wedding site; we encountered a couple of wedding parties there doing pictures. We laughed a bit, remembering my Dad taking photos at our wedding. He had a penchant for posing pictures under large trees no longer living! With good memories we walked into the park and looked for the beautiful spacious Rose Garden of our memories, that place we said our vows.
There was a problem though; we couldn’t find it. It had been big enough, that it would have been hard to miss it. We walked into the Park Building and found one of the employees. We told her we’d been married there a quarter century ago, but the Rose Garden had vanished into thin air.
The employee was about my daughter Chana’s age, and had worked there several years. She said, “You know, several people here have told me there used to be a Rose Garden here. But they evidently removed it, to create a more attractive wedding venue.”
I took this news in a couple different ways. First, I was glad my not finding the Rose Garden wasn’t a result of my Dementia! Because, if it was, it meant Cookie had also come down with it, and that would mean it is contagious! One person in the family having dementia is sooo much more than adequate.
On the other hand, I was glad that my memories of the Rose Garden are a relatively long-term memory. Dementia attacks those older memories last of all; that means I will have the lovely images of our wedding there with me, as Cookie and I continue to grow older. And, it also occurred to me that sometimes, I need to take the time to stop and count my blessings. I hope y’all will do the same, for I must confess, I count you all as blessings.