Go with the Flo
I have often said that parenting is a series of letting go and it is never more pronounced than when your child gets married. Where once her father and I may have been the first people she turned to for advice, celebration or simply talking, we have been replaced by a young man. The two of them as a couple supersedes the parent child relationship. It’s as it should be and we are so happy for the young couple and yet, there is this sense of letting go. There is bitter sweetness to this passage. We had prepared for the moment the best we could and planned to celebrate this transition in style. Little did we know that we would be required to let go in a much different way.
The wedding happened in the midst of Hurricane Florence. This unexpected guest was predicted to hit land over the wedding weekend but she wreaked her havoc in our house the week before the event. We did our best to brace ourselves for impact: the bride and groom scrambled to change their flights, taking extra days off to get to town earlier, arrangements were made to secure the marriage license with a plan B to call in a favor to the Registrar of Deeds, we ordered golf umbrellas for the guests and changed an outdoor venue to inside. We did what we could and the storm predictions continued. Our hearts sank as we received numerous calls and texts from guests who had their travel plans changed or cancelled. We worried about the shrinking number of guests, keeping those who could come dry, and the threat of losing power and having to cancel the entire event.
We had a mantra that was repeated throughout the wedding planning and especially the week leading up to the big day- “Keep your eyes on the prize,” which in this case meant a long and happy marriage- and not get swept away in the inconsequential things. (If you’ve planned a wedding recently, you know there are a great deal of excessive things!) In moments of crisis and calamity we are forced to prioritize and focus on what is most important. Hurricane Florence made us sort out what is most important and let go of what is not.
In this age of 24-hour news cycles and continuous weather updates, we are often thrust into a frenzied state of what is to come. It becomes more of a challenge to live in the present moment. There were so many things that we simply could not control and yet, it required a herculean force of intention to let them go.
As it turns out, the weather was a non-issue for us. Thursday night was so pleasant, we clambered to put the outdoor furniture back outside to enjoy cocktails with family. We carried umbrellas from event to event but barely opened them. There was no need for the back up battery lighting or generator and the photographer even managed to take some incredible outdoor photos.
There are moments in each of our lives when we feel overwhelmed by what is to come, when we lose sight of what is right in front of us because we are so worried and anxious about the future. It is in times like these that we need to just let go. Hurricane Florence was an uninvited guest and yet, she reminded us of a fundamental truth: sometimes, the best plan is to let go and accept what we cannot change and receive the gift of the current circumstances- however different they may be than what we had envisioned.