Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Brave and Beautiful Wedding

The gorgeous bride is Cassandra. We've known her since she was twelve, and we watched her grow up into this beautiful woman. One day many years ago, with Joe's help, she made a
"top ten list" of the traits she was looking for in a husband. On this day, she's marrying a very impressive Marine, whom she says has at least nine of those traits!
But this fairy-tale Maui wedding story has a little twist...

This is the little twist. Meet Kaia.

She is Cassandra's niece, and she's been in a Seattle hospital since she was born three months ago, waiting, waiting, waiting for a heart transplant. You can read more about her by clicking HERE. Isn't she so adorable! Her mommy and sissy flew to Maui for the weekend to be attendants in Cassandra's wedding, while Daddy Jared, Cassandra's beloved brother, stayed behind to be with Kaia. He's a sacrificial and noble husband and daddy.

Meet Marina. She's Jared and Cassie's lovely and gracious mama, and she's Kaia's grammy. As much as she loves Cassandra, and as much as she is celebrating this long-awaited wedding day, she's sad. You can see it in her eyes. She's sad for little Kaia who desperately needs a heart, and she's sad for her son Jared whose life has changed forever, and today she's sad they all can't be together for this big day. Postponing the big day wasn't an option. You can't schedule around a heart transplant. It's a waiting game. And Cassie and Nate are more than ready to get married and finally move in together. They've waited for this day.

Since life doesn't come in neat boxes marked "Joy" and "Sorrow", and it's a messy mix of both, (sometimes at the exact same time) you've just got to roll with it. Difficulties often inspire creative solutions, and this day was a case in point. How can they have Jared and Kaia, when they can't have them?

Oh, yeah! Technology!

In a stroke of genius, they skyped Jared on their laptop and... here they are talking to him. The computer sat in the seat where he would have sat, and he got to watch the wedding in streaming video! He also got to toast his sister at the reception, and we got to watch and hear him in real-time from the hospital room in Seattle. It was very touching.

And the very best use of technology.

And because of that, he got to see this: Cassandra walking down the grassy aisle on her wonderful father's arm...

And this: Cassandra and Nate and the swaying palms and the puffy clouds and the blue seas of Maui...

And this: Joe leading them through their vows (using his Droid as a Bible) (another good use of technology)...

And this: his wise, but introverted dad delivering a rare and wonderful speech.

Words of blessing to his daughter and her new husband.

I love the joy on these two faces.

What a brave and beautiful celebration!

Oh, how I love a happy ending.

And please keep little Kaia in your prayers.

James 1:2-5
When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.

4 comments:

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for sharing this. It's beautiful, indeed, and a real picture into life. Weddings are so often made to "fairy tale" specifications, but as we know, marriage & family life aren't fairy tales (though they can be full of love and blessings)! This couple is starting out with a firm foundation. I wish Jared and Kaia could have been there physically, but thanks to Skype, they were at least able to witness the events.
Your Joe looks right at home, and very handsome, officiating.
God bless this family - all of it, far and wide - and this marriage.
And may Kaia's precious life continue to be held in tender love and care. (Their talk and slideshow at the Guild luncheon brought floods of tears!)

Jeri said...

Wow, so beautiful!

Kay said...

What a lovely evening. And a very cute use of technology. : ) Love it. What a precious evening and a wonderful memory.

Anonymous said...

Karen;
You so aptly put into words the feelings and mood of the evening. So bitter sweet it was. Thank you for sharing our story!
Love you Karen
Marina