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By Staff | May 22, 2015

Lilacs were blooming in the boulevards as my wife and I motored into Omaha. Light rain spattered the windshield, but that wasn’t the only waterworks to disturb our drive.

“You gonna be OK?” I asked my wife as she wiped her eyes.

“I’ll be just fine,” she replied as she searched her purse for a fresh Kleenex. “Really.”

The excessive eye moisture were tears of happiness. Our Omaha odyssey was to celebrate the wedding of our youngest son, Chris, to a sweet and enchanting young lady named Megan.

It had been some time since we’d been part of a wedding party. In keeping with tradition, the bride and her family handled most of the planning.

Which is a good thing, because my understanding is that pulling off a wedding is on par with building and launching a space shuttle. Everything has to work perfectly the first time.

As with many complex undertakings, there are acronyms to help make communications more efficient. I pointed out to my wife that as mother of the groom, her codename was MOG.

“That sounds like a Sesame Street character,” I teased.

“Well, that makes you the FOG,” she retorted.

She had me there. It’s an uncannily accurate description of how my brain feels much of the time.

The day before the wedding, my wife and the ladies who were participating in the ceremony went for a beauty treatment. This meant lunching together and visiting a salon to have their nails done.

We guys, in keeping with time-honored wedding traditions, occupied ourselves by going to a restaurant where we consumed vast quantities of artery-clogging food that we washed down with tall glasses of cold beer. So it was a good day for everyone.

That evening was the wedding rehearsal. We were familiar with the drill – the slow march of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the importance of timing everything just so.

Chris and Megan practiced reciting their vows, which became a three-Kleenex event for my wife.

“You gonna be OK?” I asked.

“This is good,” she replied. “I’ll get it all out of my system now and will be ready for tomorrow.”

Famous last words.

On the day of the wedding, the ladies went to a beauty parlor for their final hair and makeup tune-ups. My wife had never received a professional makeup job before. Her description made it sound as if this process entails approximately as many steps as manufacturing a car. It also involves a substance called “mimosa.”

We guys, in keeping with long-held wedding traditions, prepared for the big event by brushing our teeth and running a comb through our hair.

Next came the wedding photos, which were taken in a park not far from the church. There were some tricky logistics regarding the picture-taking session. A stiff breeze and a billowy wedding dress are not a photo-friendly combination.

The wedding hour finally arrived. In keeping with tradition, Chris walked his mother down the aisle. She kept her tears in check, and I was proud of her self-control.

Once everyone was seated, Megan’s mom, Karen, and my wife approached the altar to light candles for the unity candle. After competing this task, Karen and my wife shared a quick hug.

Everyone in the chapel could see the glistening rivulets of tears running down my wife’s face.

There must have been a problem with the air handling system because at that exact moment my eyes began to water and my throat constricted. Many who were in the chapel that afternoon reported similar symptoms.

The congregation rose as Megan and her father, Mike, started down the aisle. Words cannot sufficiently describe Megan’s appearance as she approached the altar.

“Stunning” and “elegant” and “aglow” all fall woefully short.

Then came the ceremony – the vows, the exchange of rings, the first kiss as husband and wife.

The minister officially introduced Chris and Megan as Mr. and Mrs. and the chapel erupted in applause. The air handling system again caused my wife and I to experience eye and throat symptoms.

We drove to the wedding dance venue. It had been some while since my wife and I had donned our boogie shoes, but we were determined to “cut a rug” in our own creaky fashion.

When Megan and Chris took the floor for their first dance, an incandescent glow of love and joy radiated from them. Either that, or it was the continuing problems with Omaha’s air.

Chris danced with his mother as Garth Brooks’ song “Mom” played. When she returned to our table, I said to my wife, “Chris now has another loving angel to look after him.”

“I know,” she replied, wiping her cheeks, “And I couldn’t be happier.”

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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