Shane is our sixth child to get married. While some think we're "old pros" at this it just never gets easier to see a child married. I think that's because children in a family aren't simply a single mass that slowly decreases with time. They may look like it in photographs or in the minds of those outside the family. But within the family and definitely in the hearts of the parents each child is a special unique person with their own place. And that heart is just as full with one or two children as it is with three or more. The heart doesn't divide the love but increases to be able to hold more. There are certainly a few things that are easier today than in 2007 when Joey was married. We know what to expect and the emotion isn't coupled with doubt and wondering. But the feelings run just as strong now as they did eight years ago.
Shane and Claire were the proverbial "high school sweethearts". I first heard her name when Shane told me there was a girl at school that his friends said looked enough like him that she could be his sister. Her name was Claire Tracy. And he found reasons to mention that name a lot and make casual comments about her periodically. The thing was, Shane never made casual comments. When he talked about anything it was because he was thinking very purposely about that thing. I knew there was more to Claire than just looking like him (which, by the way, I have never seen). And there was. By the end of their sophomore year Shane had only three things on his mind--basketball, schoolwork, and Claire, and not necessarily in that order.
Every groomsman reiterated that "Shane really likes Claire". They didn't plan together to all say that and they didn't just pick it up from one another. They all thought it, meant it, and said it. It bears repeating because Shane really does like Claire! So, it was no surprise to us when they chose to marry and move down the less traveled road of finishing college as a married couple.
Here are some memories from their wedding.
It's nice to have talented siblings. Dana did a beautiful job playing the piano for the prelude, processionals, special music, and recessional. Chet helped Dana figure out how to shorten Canon in D during the rehearsal and then stretch it during the ceremony when, after playing three pages of music the bride was still not coming up the aisle! He also sang a solo during the wedding.
Keira and Carson, Shane's oldest niece and nephew, were thrilled to be chosen to be the flower girl and ring bearer. They weren't so thrilled with rehearsing.
August 8, 2015, The Wedding Day
A final hug from Dad
The last time walking out our door as a single man. I love the unintentional symbolism of the little boy basketball hoop and a pair of sneakers scattered on the floor with the bright light on the other side of the door.
Waiting for the bride
Scenes from the Wedding
Mr and Mrs Shane White
The Tracy Family
Papa and Grandma White with Shane and Claire
Posing with all twelve nieces and nephews (Granddad and Nana White's grandchildren)
My eleven children
The wedding party
Claire and Shane
The Tracy's hosted a beautiful reception with a delicious dinner and a dance at the local Quality Inn.
My good friend and fellow grandmother (my daughter's mother-in-law) Chris Kleven made this beautiful and delicious wedding cake (vanilla/strawberry, poppyseed/cream cheese, and chocolate/gnoche). If it looks like something is missing that's my fault. Sunday night I was talking to my boys in the dining room and my eye caught a small black box on top of my china hutch. The memories came back rapidly and jagged like a Hitchcock scene with screeching music. I had flash backs of Shane asking, "Can you give this to Mrs. Kleven?", "Where should I put it?", "It's the topper for the wedding cake." If anyone noticed it was missing they never said anything to me about it. It agonizes me a little bit that it was only 2 1/2 miles from the hall and could have been easily retrieved!
Keith dressed Gabe for the wedding and, when he put the coat on, Gabe looked into the mirror and said, "I'm a man." So, two of my men, Gabe and Shane.
Last spring Shane asked me to pick out the music to our mother/son dance. I knew it would have to be a country son for my country loving boy and I wasn't sure where to start looking. Then I thought, "I wonder if I could write a song for him?" So I did. While washing dishes one afternoon a stanza came to my mind and I dried my hands to jot it down on a piece of scrap paper. I stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet so I didn't lose it and it became the first lines of the fourth verse of Shane's Good-Bye Song. They were, "You wouldn't know it to look at them now/ dancing in the middle of the floor/ that it was just a few years ago/ she couldn't wait to see him walk out her door". I cried as I wrote the song and I cried when I first heard it put to music by my talented son Chet. I've cried again when I've watched this video of the dance, and even Shane cried when he heard it for the first time on the dance floor. It is a testament to the deep emotions that the love and struggles of parenting and growing up bring to our hearts. I'm thankful that the trials were short-lived and that the joy is now so full.
Finally, the end of their day, and maybe even the beginning of the next, and on to the honeymoon and together forever.