Clippings: Walk down aisle to stir memories

It was a day I thought would come a little later, but love sets its own time schedule.
In less than two weeks, our only daughter, Diane, will get married to her fiancé, Oshane.
Turning 50 and seeing a child get married during the same month. As if I needed further evidence that I am getting old.
Seems like only yesterday that I was writing columns in this newspaper about Diane being born, learning how to pronounce her hometown of Bristol, building fairy houses in the woods and eventually graduating from high school.
Now she’s getting ready to build a home of her own, with a loving husband and a promising future.
Where did the years go?
She developed a clear plan in elementary school about what she would do after school. She and her cousin Samantha were going to be roommates in a small home and she was going to drive to work in a Volkswagen Beetle. But of course that’s when boys were mere afterthoughts in a play land shaped by Beauty and the Beast, Polly Pockets and Dr. Seuss.
Diane found her own Prince Charming two years ago in Jamaica, while volunteering at an orphanage. She struck up a friendship with Oshane, which would grow into a romance and a long-distance relationship that would include several trips to the Caribbean to determine compatibility.
The answer was “Yes,” which will lead to “I do” at a ceremony in Brandon.
The past two weeks have brought a whirlwind of planning for the big day, and Diane has taken charge of most of it — with great skill. My wife, Dottie, and I have helped address invitation envelopes, sampled possible reception foods and offered other assistance that will of course culminate in some check writing that will be well worth the outlay. The other day I got measured for a tux that will probably be returned with more than a few tear stains.
I fully expect the week leading up to the wedding to be a blur of activity. We will collectively need to account for flowers, cake, entertainment decorations, attire and guest reservations, among many other things. Our home will become temporary lodging for several wedding guests from as far away as Switzerland. It’s time to shift around beds, find air mattresses and root out extra sheets, blankets and pillows.
It will all culminate in the big event on Jan. 14, when the spotlight will shine squarely on Diane and Oshane. That’s when they both will utter two little words that we hope will carry them through a healthy and prosperous life together.
The rest of the evening should be a snap. All I have to do is not trip during the father-daughter dance nor put my foot in my mouth. Vegas is taking odds on both.
As I drink it (and perhaps a few adult beverages) all in, I will also think of those who won’t be present for the young couple’s rite of passage. My parents both died around 18 years ago, while my brother and his family will be unable to make it from the Midwest. I will send out positive thoughts as I toast our daughter and her husband.
May Diane and Oshane’s life together be a fairy tale and may I someday have the privilege of writing a column about a new baby in the family.
But please, take your time. I am in no hurry to write my first grandpa column.

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