Friday, October 2, 2020

If I Had Known Then

Next week marks Gabrielle and Scott's 5th anniversary, and as I have been thinking about that, I can't help but wish I could turn back the clock and experience that whole day again.  And not just the day, but the many months leading up to it.


To set the stage for that longing, I must make clear that Gabrielle and I are extremely close; in fact, we are more like best friends than mother and daughter.  Although we always had fun together, ever since  she was about 16, we had been pretty much joined at the hip.  We did everything together---tearoom lunches, chick flicks, late night talks, strolls in the park, and on and on.   While I am also extremely close to my son, since Gabrielle and I are both female, we just had that "girlfriend bond."



In late 2014, Gabrielle began dating Scott, and by the end of December, they knew they intended to get married in fall 2015.  So, as 2015 began, they spent more and more time together.  Gabrielle still lived at home, so Scott came over several nights a week, and they hung out together in the TV room.  Her weekends were filled with outings with Scott, and at church, she began sitting with him (no longer with Gary and me). 

The job of leaving and cleaving had begun.



And it was hard on me.  I sensed over and over that I was losing my daughter.  Never mind that I was gaining a second son; for me, all I could feel was that my beloved Gabrielle was pulling away from me, that I was losing my place as the #1 go-to person in her life. 

My journal from 2015 reflects the agony of heart I was experiencing. 

With many tears and equally as many fears (that she would no longer need me, that she wouldn't want to be with me anymore), I got through the months leading up to their October wedding.  I held it together through the ceremony and the reception, but as they headed off on their honeymoon, I fell apart.  I have called that "the most profoundly bittersweet moment of my life."  I was terrified that my girl had driven out of my life.


Some good friends---and God's bountiful grace---got me through the final hours of the evening and through the days of their honeymoon (when we had almost no contact).  God's grace saw me though the next several weeks of adjusting to life without seeing my sweet girl every single day. 

Early in 2016, I began to see the reality that I indeed had not lost my daughter.  Although the nature of our relationship had changed some, we were every bit as close as we had always been.  We talked every day, we shared our hearts, we encouraged one another, we prayed together, and we did fun things together on occasion.



If I had known back in 2015---as we planned the wedding and experienced the engagement season---that my relationship with Gabrielle would be as sweet after she got married as it had been before, I would have cherished that season more than I did. Instead, I was an emotional wreck, close to tears nearly every single day.

I only have the one daughter, so I will never be the mother of the bride again.  Every anniversary of theirs, I wish I could turn the clock back and do it all over again...enjoying it this time, instead of fearing what the future would bring.



12 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary to your kids! You have moved forward with grace, Patti, and I am glad your relationship with your dear daughter is as strong as ever! Praise God! She was a beautiful bride!!

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    1. Thanks, Terri! It was a beautiful day, and she was indeed a beautiful bride!

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  2. Patti - this is such a post and memory! What a tribute to your daughter..and to the "good job" you did raising her to have such a wonderful relationship while preparing her to "leave and cleave" in a way to be the best wife to Scott as well! It is a real gift the bond you two have!! And her photos are gorgeous!!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I am very blessed to have the relationship with my daughter that I have. I realize not all mothers and daughters have that.

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  3. It is a shame that weddings are a one time thing because they really are the best of bringing family together & celebrating

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    1. Rebecca, I hear ya! Maybe that is why people like to renew their vows---they get another day to gather the family together for a wedding.

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  4. Awww... What poignant thoughts here. I hear your heart, we have four daughters and it all kind of creeps up on ya doesn't it? <3

    I could relate to so much written here, I think the thing that saved me was that I always thought well, I have four daughters. But now quick as a wink I'm down to one daughter living at home! And she's a busy bee! Soooo...It's kind of...Two again. I guess it's a new normal but I know exactly how you feel. That one scene of Spencer Tracey in Father of the Bride comes to mind quite a bit...The scene where Elizabeth Taylor wants to ask that Buckley his opinion rather then her daddy.. Oh so sad!

    The wedding looked lovely.

    Our families are growing right? : ) So many new seasons for us, ...Oh what'a a mother to do? It's all so bittersweet, thoughts of little girls playing outside so many times. Time has flown.

    (((((((hugs)))))))) ~Amelia

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    1. Amelia, I love Father of the Bride. Such a fun movie! When Gabrielle and Scott were engaged (but before the wedding), she wanted to buy a new car. Gary felt she needed to have Scott do that with her, rather than him. It was very hard on Gabrielle to not have Gary and me involved with such a monumental decision. But Gary knew it was best for "them" as a couple.

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  5. My youngest daughter had her 4 year anniversary yesterday. We've always been very close as well. Having two married daughters now has brought new adventures and closeness in new ways. I'm glad you've discovered those as well, Patti!

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    1. Lisa, October is such a beautiful month for a wedding, isn't it? The weather is pretty near perfect everywhere!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this Patty. I think every Mom who has a great relationship with her kids, feels that to some extent, but knowing God says they have to leave and cleave to their husband or wife helped me to know this was
    normal, not that it took away the pain of the loss....but I did pretty well, but it was when they moved out of town and far away that it was the worst, but even tho, things turned out fine. So many times I have had to remind myself it could be worse they could be half way around the world where we couldn't go visit them, like some of our friends kids. So that helped me be thankful, but all these parenting things can be painful, but somehow the Lord gets us through them.......and it really does work out for our good. Thanks for sharing your story, as I am sure it probably helped someone who is in the throws of that situation right now.
    Hope this finds you enjoying October, bet it's cooler there than here!! lol
    Take care sweetie,
    Love and Blessings,
    Nellie

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  7. Oh yea, forgot to say how much I enjoyed seeing the Gabrielles wedding pictures.
    She was a beautiful bride. Love how he kissed the bride, so cute and so romantic.
    Bye now.......Nellie

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