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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Wedding

On Saturday, I was part of a very special wedding.  I was the matron of honor for my dear friend Julie as she married Craig.  These was a love story that started 37 years ago, when Julie and Craig (and I) started high school.  They both right away developed huge crushes on each other, but never dated.  Life and the ups and downs and highs and lows happened, and then they reconnected and fell in love.  I am so happy for them both.

Julie, her mother and her dog--all lovely!
Being part of their wedding was something that a few years ago, I couldn't have done.  I am so glad that Janey is at a place now that I could.  Still, I was a bit worried how it all would go.  I went up to Maine last Wednesday, so Tony had Janey alone for a few days.  He came up Friday, as did the boys, and we all went to a pre-wedding party on Friday night.  Julie and Craig were married just after dawn on Saturday (the rest of the family didn't get up for that part, but I was there, and actually flew into the ceremony, held on pontoon boats in the middle of a lake, on a sea plane with Julie---the first time I've flown in 30 years, and yes, I was terrified, but it was an amazing ride and a huge surprise to everyone waiting to see how Julie was going to get to the ceremony!) Then the reception was Saturday afternoon, at a lovely converted barn in the country.  So there was a lot for Janey to be part of and a lot for Tony, especially, and the boys to help her through, as I wasn't available a lot of the time.

Janey dancing with the best man
How did it go?  It went very well!  Overall, it was fantastic.  A huge part of that was the extreme kindness of everyone toward Janey.  Maine's slogan is "The Way Life Should Be".  Being from Maine, I know that there are parts of life there, like anywhere else, that are not the way life should be, but in terms of how Janey was welcomed---it was the way I'd like life to be for her.  She wasn't just tolerated, she was welcomed and included and delighted in.  I can't even think about it without tears.  At the party Friday night, the older brother of a high school friend taught her a cheer and showed her the lobsters that were going to be cooked and tried to get her to try a steamed clam.  A friend and employee of Julie's danced with her and showed her how to waltz.  Julie's nieces all made a point to talk to her.  At the reception, I can't even say how many people danced with her, talked with her, asked me about her and just plain made us all feel so welcome.  
Janey on the dance floor--her favorite place!

I have been lucky in that rarely has Janey been treated badly by the public, but there's a difference between not being treated badly and being truly included and befriended.  It's one thing to not stare, to tolerate, and a fully other thing to seek out a child like Janey, to see what makes her happy, to go into her world.  That is what I wish there was much more of in this world---not tolerance, but true inclusion.

Freddy and Janey taking a walk at the reception
Of course, every day isn't a party or wedding.  The reception was like a perfect storm for Janey, especially in that there was dancing!  Janey didn't want to leave the dance for, literally.  She screamed and pulled back when those dancing with her tried to take short breaks!  Tony and Freddy danced with her for LONG periods!  I never knew my husband and son could cut it up quite that well.  William and Freddy took Janey for lots of walks when she wasn't dancing, so Tony could truly enjoy himself at the reception too.  I was never prouder of my boys.  So many people commented on how good they are with Janey.
A rare picture of my whole family and my parents

Now---back to reality.  It's the few weeks before school starts.  It seems from Facebook like everyone else in the world is already back to school, but Janey doesn't start until the Thursday after Labor Day, so we have some time to fill.  It wasn't a bad summer, overall.  Summer school went well, we had the great trip to Ohio and this great past weekend.  Even so, I am always ready for school to start in earnest!

I'll close with many, many good wishes and lots of love to Julie and Craig, and to everyone who was so kind to us this past weekend!

1 comment:

Sabrina Steyling said...

This post made me so happy - happy for you, for Janey, for Tony and for the boys, that everyone was so welcoming, that Janey was included and delighted in...such a wonderful post overall. I am glad that you all had a good time at Julie and Craig's wedding (Congratulations and best wishes to them!) and that it went so well for everyone. It sounds lovely, too, being out on the water like that for the wedding and then having the reception in an old barn. Kind of eclectic. Very romantic.