Friday, August 21, 2009

(Cyber) Web of Love

Today is a special day. Katie Price and her beloved Anthony are getting married! Katie’s mother Janet is a childhood friend of mine. Janet, a beautiful woman inside and out, was a lovely young bride. She and her adoring Steve grew up together—their happy marriage has seen them through Steve’s medical school, residency, board exams, and the birth and rearing of eight (yes 8!) much loved children. Katie is the oldest. Janet’s marriage is always one that I hold up as an example of how it can really work. She and Steve adore each other and even after more than 20 years of marriage, they have weekly “date night.” Janet glows when she speaks of Steve (and vice-versa). Katie could not have had more loving role models of a married couple.

It wasn’t a surprise when her lovely daughter Katie got engaged before finishing nursing school. In typical “Price family fashion,” Katie finished school, passed her nursing exams, and prepared for a wedding, all without breaking a sweat. No doubt, this wedding will be a magnificent occasion. The Price family is deeply faithful and this celebration will be about much more than flowers and food at the reception.

Over these months of wedding preparation, I have been amused by the wonderful power of “social media” to draw in the Price Family’s enormous and sprawling network of friends and family into the process. We as Celebrants sometimes lament that the time leading up to the wedding often has little to do with marriage and a lot to do with party planning. In an effort to address this imbalance, we offer spiritually inclined “showers” that allow for friends and family of the bride (or the bride and groom) to gather as a community offering her advice, support, comfort and wisdom (as opposed to lingerie from Victoria’s Secret or pre-registered gifts from Crate & Barrel). In certain respects, I have witnessed this sort of coming together on Facebook, of all places. After some trepidation about social networking, Baby Boomers (and those of us lodged between the Boomers and Gen X) have embraced Facebook with great enthusiasm. So throughout Katie’s engagement, I was able to read loving postings from Mom Janet, Katie’s sweet Aunts, Cousins, her Grandparents, and many friends. Mixed with words of loving kindness were the fun updates on wedding planning “stuff” (“We went to hear musicians today”…..”We did reception food tastings”……”Katie had her final fitting”…..). We were all part of the wedding planning process. In these final days before the wedding, Janet posted meaningful passages and appropriately sentimental wedding songs from You Tube. Last night’s selection, “I Loved Her First,” by Heartland, allowed me to shed tears in unison with another family friend in the Midwest.

So as those of us in remote locations wait for the inevitable pictures posted on Facebook after the big event, we are connected together in a cyber-web of love and appreciation for a young bride and groom, a loving family and the many blessings that have been bestowed upon them. We raise our hearts to Katie and Anthony!

Peace and all good things. Love, Aunt-ish Sarah