My niece is getting married in September. She’s the right age and she’s a great kid. The guy she’s marrying, he’s a keeper for sure. She’s the first grandchild on this side of the family to get married. She’s my goddaughter, my neighbor, and my little sweetie pie.
She’s the infant that slept on the floor in one of our dresser drawers padded with her older cousin’s fluffy baby blankets when we babysat her one night so her parents could have a night out. She’s the little kid that always wanted me to sit next to her. When my sister and I moved across the street from each other, our family would trudge across the street on Christmas morning to check out the gifts that Santa left my niece and nephew. It was easy to see her gifts – she was usually wearing them. She’s the young child that drew up an Official Document forbidding us to move. This document, by the way, still hangs on my refrigerator, signed by the little one and me and witnessed by Marley, our neurotic dog. Marley’s gone and soon, so will she.
She won’t be ambling across the street to come over to watch LOST! with her old aunt. She won’t be dashing home, scared out of her mind after watching LOST! with her old aunt. She won’t be hanging in the backyard for White Trash Sundays. She won’t be playing cello at church with us anymore. So many changes!
She actually accomplished something that I was unable to do. She graduated from a fine college with a degree in music. And – she is working in her field.
Yesterday was her wedding shower. Her bridesmaids thoughtfully planned it; a lovely party celebrating her Italian heritage with wonderful food and special, creative touches. Classical music played quietly in the background, a nod to her years of studying cello and playing in symphony orchestras.
Her matron-of-honor asked family members to watercolor an invitation. Three aunts and a grandfather painted designs for the party. A family friend painted a design that was used for thank you notes, which the bridesmaids thoughtfully addressed for the bride. All 5 designs were framed so that the soon-to-be-newlyweds will have some original art in their home.
There was a moment yesterday when I heard a piece of music and stopped to place it. At the same time that I figured it out, I looked up and my niece caught my eye with a puzzled expression on her face. Across the room, I mouthed “Ave Maria”. She smiled and nodded that awesome smile of hers.
I like how we can still connect. I hope that won’t change.