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.

27 Comments for “Dancing and Crying”

Erica

says:

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I started following your blog because you were my brother, John L. Thompson, friends.

says:

I cannot even phatom the emotions you must experience on a daily basis. I pray for you, Tiff, and your children. You are a great man of God, husband, father, Pastor and friend. Many prayers being said for you Jeremy.

Reggie Hatcher

says:

Miss you and the fam Jerm….thanks for giving me a small glimpse of all that’s been going on. You’re every bit of the man I hope to be someday. Love y’all very very much.

Melody Godwin

says:

When we were at Camp AFA – remember that? Lol – I was a Counselor and Concessions – since I was in the main building a lot I would see and hear kids talking, adults talking and one afternoon I heard an adult singing like a kid. Tiffani has the most beautiful singing voice – she didn’t use it this time. Tiff was sitting on the black sofa by the window – two or three other Counselors were saying “Tiffani sing it” Tiff do it the kids are outside” etc.. So this gorgeous lady that I never once saw sweat at Camp sits up straight takes a deep breath and a little kid takes over her even in her facial expressions. Jeremy I’m sure you’ve seen it and heard it a thousand times but I have never heard this song sung this Awesome or had such a great laugh:

I am a promise, I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P,”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality (arms wide open)
And I am learning to hear God’s voice,
And I am trying to make the right choice
I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

PHYLLIS WHEELER

says:

It has been many years since you drove us to the airport in Memphis to catch a plane back to Indonesia. Our son, Michael, was a part of your youth group in Jackson. You impacted our lives and we have not forgotten you or Tiffany. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

michelle willis

says:

sisters are the bestest.
i read this today and as I read yours it kept coming back-
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving
***

Alene Bajalia

says:

Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your heart. Those days that are bitter sweet..well sometimes they have a tenancy to pull us in one or the other direction… It’s hard to stay focused sometimes when we are doing life…. Then we realize life is what we must do and then there is grace!
Always praying for your family ..

Dianne Montgomery

says:

I am so thankful you say what you mean and do what you say. I am so thankful you can see past your sweet bride’s physical struggles and see her heart. I am so thankful God has given you the ability to embrace all the emotions of life, joy, love, commitment and struggle and convey that to others who need to and choose to hear and feel what you do. I am so thankful for your heart Jeremy. #faithfully

Dianne Montgomery

says:

Jeremy, I’m sorry. I was typing through tears and left out “try to”. There is no way anyone but someone who has been there can feel what you do. I love you and Tiff and will continue to pray for you. I’m also thankful that you embrace the ability God has given you to praise Him through the storm and laugh when you feel like crying.

Amy Ray

says:

One thing I would like to see during a wedding is the washing of each other’s feet. It was done to show the selflessness of Christ, and remembrance of our commitment in a marriage to serve each other in the good and bad, sick and health, rich or poor. We are to serve each other and put our mate first. Keep serving, prayers for you and your family.

Phyllis

says:

Jeremy, you have always touched lives not only through your ministry of teaching, preaching, acting, and music but also through your quick wit and humor, your genuine care of others, and your ability to listen and connect one-on-one with all ages. Now you continue to minister to lives through your gifted writing and especially living out the vows of “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.” We are so thankful that you and Tiffanni are surrounded by such a remarkable family who has obvioudly added one more remarkable lady.

says:

Beautiful words, Jeremy. I know the horrors of that disastrous disease. My first cousin who was the closest thing I have ever had to a brother had it for over fifteen years. When Sam became bedridden for the last five to seven years, my mother said that it was the cruelest disease she had ever seen. I agreed then and during the years that followed her statement.

says:

Oh, and my congratulations to Adam. God bless you as you begin real family life. You grew up in a home where you learned all the things to do and how to do them right.

Kara

says:

I remember that exact moment! I stood in the back and watched it all and even had a few tears well up as I wish I had my camera to take a picture of that sweet moment….but then again sometimes a camera can’t even do a moment like that justice and we are left to cherish that moment as a memory that will stick with us. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the night was watching that moment. I love you Jeremy! It was so good to see you guys and chat for a bit.

Sharon R.Board

says:

Jeremy, just a line to let you know I read this and loved it, I am not surprised that you can write so eloquently. When you write your first book be sure and let me know; I want to be sure I get it and hope you write it before I get where I can’t read. Haha, I have always claimed this for my husband and I, and anyone else that wanted it, that we would have eyes that were not dim like Moses strong bones and mind that God was in, standing up straight and length of days!!!
Also I pray for your wife, you and kids. That God is healing her and I know that you are very loving to her and a funny sweet guy.
Our son is 46, it is hard to believe that. He and his wife Tiffany and our grandchild, Rileigh, who just turned 9, we just love her so much; live in Murfreesboro, TN. All of you all, our kids, and the others have grown up, and time passed so fast. Stephanie keeps me abreast of who she sees at krogers and who says hi!! She will have be at krogers 20 years next year!!!! Love, Sharon R. Board, give your mom and dad a hug for me… Take care!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: