(Andi Grant Photography)
Last week was a whirlwind week. I think I experienced every emotion there is in that one week time period.
My dear, dear Mother in law passed away on Thursday afternoon after a year long, painful battle with cancer. She was ready to see Jesus. She really was. Her wish was that her passing would not interfere with her granddaughter's wedding. She was thoughtful like that. I cried.
A few days before her death, she gave my daughter a wonderful blessing. As Ashley was visiting her at the hospital, Nana grabbed her hand and said "goodbye Mrs. Baker" (my daughter's married name). Not aware of dates or times, Nana thought she had missed the wedding. She would not live long enough to miss the wedding, but left a wonderful memory for my daughter to hold onto. I cried.
The following day, my Father in law gave Ashley a necklace at the rehearsal dinner. Months ago, Nana had taken a Tourmaline stone from one of her grandmother's necklaces and had it put into a new setting. The day after Nana died, the jeweler called to say the necklace was ready. Nana never got to see the necklace that would adorn her granddaughter's neck on her wedding day. I cried.
Saturday dawned beautiful and clear. We were so thankful because it had been raining for 5 days straight, sending 14 inches of rain down on our yard. My husband spent most of Thursday night in the yard with a sump pump, pumping water out of the yard. By Saturday afternoon the ground was a little squishy, but functional. Our good friends came bright and early to help with set up and food prep. We couldn't have done it without them. They set up chairs, assembled the dance floor, decorated tables, spread straw (to absorb rainwater), answered the phone, cooked and prepped food and reminded us to eat. Their gift of time and effort made me cry.
The hardest part of the day was giving away our daughter. We absolutely love our new son-in-law and think he is the perfect match for Ashley, but it was still very difficult. I cried tears of joy. Today our house is quiet and not nearly as messy as it is when she's around. Actually, I miss the noise - but not the mess!
Last night my husband had to sit me down and tell me of a tragedy that had happened during the storms we had last week. One of our chickens (my favorite - Babe) had died during the storm. He didn't want to tell me before the wedding. . . and I'm glad he didn't. It was one more thing to cry about.