Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Life In Pictures

I learned last Friday that 'Father of the Bride' the day of the wedding - at least when the wedding is at 6:00 PM - is a pretty easy gig.  Between making an early-morning trip to the hotel where Ryan and Suzanne had reserved a block of rooms to drop off the "goody bags" Suzanne and Margaret had prepared for each room and a late-afternoon gig as driver for my two favorite octogenarians, Joanie K and Joe B., I really had very little to do.  Truth be told, I probably could have gone to work and not upset the pre-nuptials apple cart terribly much.  I did not.  And while I spent most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing, I did not regret my decision for one moment.  Nope.  Not even one.
Margaret, Suzanne and the Bridesmaid Trio headed out to The Palace by 10:30 or so in order to start the primping and styling that was going to occupy the next several hours of their day.  With little to do and lots of time in which to do it, I occupied myself in a number of ways.  Chief among them - I went for a run.
While Mother Nature can indeed be a fickle bitch, she did my daughter, my son-in-law and our family the great service of ordering up one of 2013's Ten Best days of the year on Suzanne/Ryan's wedding day.  A sky full of sunshine and a day-time high temperature that barely scratched 70 degrees.  A simply extraordinary day. 
I took advantage of the weather and my unencumbered schedule to go running late in the morning - after children had been dropped off at school and after people whose daughters were not getting married that day had already started their work day.  As I ran, my mind's eye filled frame after frame with images of Suzanne.  I was not there from Day One in her life.  We only entered one another's worlds when Margaret and I started dating, almost twenty-two and one-half years ago.  So, we have been part of each other's day-to-day since she was six years old and I was - I was considerably less gray and wrinkled than I am presently 
And as I ran among the things I thought about and the images I conjured up was a summer's day twenty-two years ago.  Margaret, Suzanne, Rob and I spent the afternoon at Colonial Park in Franklin Township.  The kids played on the same swings and slides that I had played on as a little boy.  We rode in the paddleboats.  We fed the geese.  When we ran out of food, we were chased by the geese.  Apparently, Mother Goose - much like Mother Nature - is also a fickle bitch.  The rest of her brood is none too pleasant either. 
The nice thing about being an earnest - but not very fleet-footed - runner is that during my five-mile head-clearing jaunt 'bout town a lifetime's worth of images played through the movie house of my mind.  A condensed visual history of what an extraordinary woman Suzanne is and the course her life has taken since childhood that made her so. 
I am a lucky man.  Far more so than I deserve to be as a matter of fact.  And as if I needed to be reminded, the pictures told the story.... they often do.

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