Dancing and Crying

My brother was married this weekend. Adam said, “I do” to the woman of his dreams and they were married in this quaint, rustic warehouse that was filled with life and love on Sunday. It was a perfect weekend. One of those weekends that the air determines to explode with rain, but realizes that there is something important happening, so it acquiesces. It finally let go during the ceremony that was indoors and stopped again just in time for all of the guests to leave. Mother Nature, the romantic.

As guests entered they received their order of service from the three most gorgeous greeters (Addyson, Carsyn, and Sophia.) The troop of family and friends signed a globe, recommendations of travel for the couple-to-be, and got their seats.

The ceremony was beautiful. Both dads were ministers and officiated. The bride and groom read their vows to each other and exchanged rings. They shared communion and each dad spoke a blessing over the couple- which I wish was possible to be a part of every wedding ever. I do’s, a kiss, and forever.

I love late weddings because it always means better food and more fun. Everyone loosens up when the sun sets. We ate and watched Adam and Keri cut the cake. We made toasts and speeches and “To Adam and Keri’s”.

After all of the traditional pomp, the party hit the dance floor. Keri had asked for 80’s and 90’s pop- all night. Whitney Houston, Journey, Wilson Phillips, with some Etta James and Louis Armstrong sprinkled in. Couples jumped and lip synced to “Faithfully” and “Hold On For One More Day”. When they weren’t bouncing, they were arm in arm swaying. But I didn’t have anyone to dance with. The odd part of the day was feeling both emotions. Life rarely gives us a single, undiluted emotion. I watched as my brother made his vows of “for better or worse, rich or poor, sickness or health”, and eyed my Tiff in the corner. A body that refused to cooperate the way the weather had.

The excitement of the future, with all of the hopes of tomorrow- the uncertainty made thrilling because of the fact that you aren’t doing it alone. Life and love and hope and family. The best of what it means to be human. And yet I straddled over a chasm of ambiguity.

So my sister asked me to dance. And I felt both horizons of the night. The emotions crashed over me as I watched my kids dance and laugh and Tiff struggle to keep her head up and her arms still. My sister didn’t tell me why her cheek was stained with tears, but what other reason would you be asked by your sister to dance at a wedding? And I whispered into her ear, “Thank you for being sad with me.” As she too, teetered between the shores of emotions.

So we danced and cried. My brother in one eye, my bride in the other. Because this is and isn’t the way things are supposed to be. Because Vows hold both halves of the human experience. Because the rhythm of humanity beats to joy and pain. Because dancing is beautiful and sacred, and so is crying.