I didn’t find it odd that Ashley’s parents were coming for Easter dinner. I had met them before on other occasions where there were a lot of people and we’d had the chance to chat, so they were no strangers to me. And they totally belonged.
Ashley and Justin have been dating for ten years and Justin, while not my nephew through blood, I consider him my nephew through love. I grew up with the love of his family and until I was twelve thought we were related. As if it were yesterday I can hear myself saying, “Mom? Exactly how are we related to the Kudrasovs?” And her answer, “Actually dear, we’re not.”
Decades and thousands of meals later, there we were, gathered in Elza’s kitchen (my other mother), and then it happened. I could feel it before I heard it. There was a moment where there was a break in the conversation and when I look back on it those few seconds felt like they were in slow-mo. Justin started to say… something… and I heard myself gasp. Ashley turned and looked at me and smiled because she knew that I knew the something that was coming.
That morning, on the 10th anniversary that they started dating, Justin asked his high school sweetheart, Ashley, to marry him. And now he was telling us she said, “Yes.” There was applause and laughter over some good hearted ribbing: the word I think was “FINALLY”!
All good things come to those that wait. And for me, the right moment had arrived to do something I’ve wanted to do when it comes to brides and weddings. And that is telling the story with the images. The whole story. Not just the wedding day. Because it’s not just about the day. A union of love is a journey that started long ago and when the decision is made to get married it sets the couple and their families on a complete journey. Why only tell one chapter of the story?
So for my beautiful Ashley I will make more than one Heritage Makers Storybook. I will make four. One each for the bridal showers, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding day of course, and the honeymoon. With the photos we can tell the stories, from beginning to… well… beginning of one chapter of life to the next.
I was so honoured to be included as part of the family last night. Two families and now three that somehow with the passage of time have indelibly become one. It seems like just yesterday that my “little buddy” Justin as a boy would tromp down the road from his cottage to ours and then hang out with us as if he was part of the furniture.
He’s still my little buddy and always will be, no matter how old he is……and when the wedding story is done, enjoyed and shared, I will look forward to telling the next chapters of their stories…. with the baby photos.