October 20th, 2018 will go down as one of the greatest days of my life. My son Scott was married to his long time sweetheart Shelbi Vincent at The Woodford on Main Street in Cincinnati. The wedding ceremony could not have been sweeter.
Scott and Shelbi recited their vows to one another, but it wasn’t your typical “honor and obey” kind of declaration. No, each of them spoke to one another from the heart.
Scott began by recalling the time Shelbi stood by him during a debilitating series of panic attacks. While he was reading the prepared text he remembered her kindness and compassion during that low point in his life. The memory was too much for him as his voice started to crack, and the emotions took over. Those in the audience couldn’t quite make out what he was saying, but his reaction said more than words could ever describe. He began to sob as he read his vows. Her reaction was priceless, as she looked deeply into his eyes as if to say, –it’s okay, I understand. The entire audience was in tears. It was totally organic and quite unexpected as Scott rarely shows his emotions, especially in a public forum.
Shelbi’s vows were delivered flawlessly as she set the tone for what is truly important. Not the wedding ceremony. Not the flowers. Not the table settings. Not the dress. Not the invitations. No, not the trappings and stress of putting 150 people in a room and performing a ceremony, but the years that follow. The trials and tribulations of life and the building of a relationship. The coming together as husband and wife. She too was quite emotional as she laid out her promise to the groom. Not. A. Dry. Eye.
Although the ceremony was as good as it gets, the reason this event will go down as one of the best nights of my life is because of the people who were in the room.
In life, people are all that matters.
My sister Veronica and her daughter Danielle were there with their families after planning and assembling the components of this blessed event. Kevin, Veronica’s husband, built an amazing wedding arbor, while Danielle and Veronica designed and built the table settings, gift table, candles, and so many other details that helped make this event special. Of course Theresa and I helped coordinate and showed up on the day of the wedding to help set up efforts. It was a total team effort as we all pulled together to make it happen. I visited with them for a while and then proceeded to make my way to each of the tables.
As I visited each guest I realized how each of them have contributed to not only Scott’s life, but also to mine.
You see, there was Wade, Scott’s best friend in middle school who lived on our street and who I coached in basketball for four years. Then there was Jason and Bryce who were groomsmen and who formed a band with Scott in their freshman year of high school. Jason also played basketball with us for four years. Shane, another groomsman was also on the team, and has become a good friend of mine.
Actually, it seems that I’m closer to Scott’s friends than with members of my own family. Although I’m thankful for all of my relationships, my family relationships are an area in my life where I know I can improve.
My brothers and sisters were all at the wedding and I enjoyed hanging out with them and celebrating, but I’m wondering now how to bring them into my life on a more regular basis. Why don’t we see each other anymore?
It’s on me. I realize these relationships have not been a priority. That’s going to change.
Monday I had lunch with Scott and Shelbi and we reminisced about the big night. They, as it turns out were discussing the same exact issue. How do we see more of our family on a regular basis?
It all begins with making our relationships a priority.
I for one am dedicated to making it happen, because weddings don’t happen everyday.