80: A Wedding with Tim

80: A Wedding with Tim

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

A Wedding with Tim

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.

~Sharon Ralls Lemon

It was uncharacteristically hot and sultry on Quadra Island, British Columbia, and I was evaporating. I have never liked the heat except when I was a child growing up on the northeast coast of England, and back then, like all mad dogs and Englishmen, I greeted the sun with blind enthusiasm. But this was my daughter’s wedding day, so I thought cool, knowing I would not melt.

As I looked at Amy on her wedding day, I thought how incredibly privileged I was to have given birth to a tiny baby who became this beautiful young woman. Amy and I had always had a good relationship. Part of the secret was that we communicated, as neither of us liked to keep troubling thoughts and emotions inside. Any clashes were perhaps born out of the genetic mix. Amy is of Italian/British descent. I am obviously the Brit. The Mediterranean genes beat out the Brits, and she inherited many things Italian: a mass of chestnut curls, large green eyes, olive skin, spiritedness and good teeth, although I am not sure the latter is necessarily Italian, but it is definitely not British.

The garden was resplendent; pear and apple trees created shade for guests, and the scarlet rhododendron bushes were in full bloom. A multitude of flowers in large pots, strategically placed around the grounds, added an air of celebration as they went head-to-head with the sun. A small pond sat off to the side of the garden, and my eyes landed on the floating lily pads, wishing I could be counted among them. There was a Buddha at the water’s edge sitting in deep reflection. Undoubtedly, he was sending his blessings to the pond dwellers and life beyond.

What a perfect setting. People were milling about, children engrossed in play. I was hovering around Amy, administering what I hoped were calm and encouraging words. Weddings, after all, seem to create a heap more anxiety for the bride than the groom. It was time for Amy to make her way down the garden path to stand with her husband-to-be.

“Are you doing okay, sweetheart? Anything you need?” I asked as she stood in front of the bedroom mirror with one of her best friends, Catherine.

“No, Mom, I am doing fine. Just having you here helps.” I tingled with joy when I heard those last few words.

As I studied Amy, I took in the dark curls that fell naturally around her face. There was a scarlet Gerber daisy amid the tresses, comfy in its place beside her left ear. Her dress, ah, her dress — we bought it in Toronto, one-of-a-kind from an uptown store that encouraged the free-spirited girl to show through. She was a vision in white silk. A rose-coloured sash, an ally of the daisy, was tied nattily around her waistline. A pleated strapless bodice hugged her form, and gave way to solitary sheer fins of silk beginning at the waistline and flowing down the skirt, reminding me of wide blades of grass sighing in the breeze.

“Amy, would you still like your dad and I to walk you down the path?” I enquired. This had been the original plan.

“No, Mom, I think I would just like my bridesmaids to walk with me.”

Feeling a momentary sense of puzzlement, I said in a cheery voice, “Okay, so we will go and sit down.”

“Sure, Mom,” she replied. I looked at both Catherine and Amy and felt that I was being left out of some part of this day.

Jill, the minister, came into the room at this point and said to me, “Would you mind if I spend some time with Amy alone? We have some wedding business to take care of.”

I could not imagine why I was being left out of the “wedding business.” However, I left the bedroom, chin up, heart in a dither, and sat with the rest of the family in the front row.

The groom, Sheldon, was a perfect match for his lovely bride. His unruly sepia-toned hair and the smile beneath could have won a thousand hearts. In an off-white linen suit, he stood waiting for Amy at the arched trellis in front of a small forest that sat at the bottom of their garden. Two solitary large trees acted as bookends to the flower-covered trellis where the young couple would exchange their vows. The breezy strains of a guitar filled the air, and everyone was seated waiting for the grand entrance. As I looked around, I was curious as to why the bridesmaids were sitting with the other guests in the front rows. Weren’t they supposed to be with Amy?

It all became clear in the next moment. I was facing the house, waiting to see the bride make her entrance, when from behind the home a rather gorgeous, albeit large head appeared that belonged not to Amy, but to that of a Belgian horse. In the next frame came my daughter, sitting sidesaddle on Tim, the large and infinitely good-natured steed. There was an uproar from the guests, thrilled to see the bride astride her mount. I rose from my seat to greet her. Like all the guests, I was totally awed by the vision of Amy sitting amid the folds of her white dress, looking radiant. I was, to say the least, impressed not only by the perfect image of the bride on a horse, but by the carefully guarded secret. Sheldon smiled and walked up to Amy, offering his arms to assist in the dismount. I stood up and walked over to give her a quick kiss before they continued the ceremony.

Being a horse lover, I embraced both horse and Amy, whereupon she whispered in my ear, “Mom, Jill offered Tim for the ceremony, so I decided at the last minute to ride to the altar as a symbol of my love for you and our love for horses. I did this for you.”

I was speechless. Sometimes, there are moments in one’s life where there are no words to describe the feelings deep within. This was one of them.

Often, it is said that when we think of fearful or sad things, we should replace the thought with an image filled with happiness and love; mine is now Amy upon the horse and the words, “Mom, I did this for you.”

~Rosalind Forster

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners