This wedding is probably one of the most special weddings–to me–that I have ever posted. It’s not a wedding with epic scenery, or with a highly stylized designer dress, or a wedding that will be featured in magazines or win me any photography awards… but it is the wedding of two people who spent many years, decades even, to find love. This is the wedding of my Auntie Brenda to her man Randy, in a celebration of love–Raider Nation & Harley Davidson themed, mind you–and surrounded by all of their family and loved ones.
Without going into too much detail, I can say that my Auntie Brenda has sacrificed more than anyone I know, has known more suffering than anyone should ever know, and in spite of it all, has continued to lead her life with more love than most people I know… and not only lead her life with love, but with laughter and so much strength, raising her eight children and being an inspiration to her fifteen grandchildren and to the countless other friends & children who she’s taken under her wings over the years, me included. To know Auntie Brenda is to know compassion and power, and to be loved by her is to feel safe in this world.
I don’t know much about Auntie Brenda’s husband, Randy; but I do know that at one point in her life, one of Brenda’s six girls told her that in order to find a partner well-suited for her, she would have to find a man who understood women. Which is one of my favorite parts of the beginning of their story, because Randy is the father of four daughters… so from the very start he had a life story that would be a perfect match for Brenda and her life full of women she’s raised up and men who have grown into this world surrounded by women. Randy is a loving father, grandfather, and now husband; it may have taken years for he & Brenda to find each other, but it were those years that made this time together even sweeter.
My favorite part of the wedding was the family… loads of them. I love every single person in this family, so for me it was a day of joy and togetherness, and it was really a sight to see how many friends of theirs felt the same sense of pride, love, and belonging. My second favorite part of the day was during the ceremony, when they played The Beatles “In My Life,” and while Brenda & Randy held hands, just barely louder than the sound of a breath, she sang the words to him as they locked eyes for the whole song. It was one of the quietest, most intimate moments that I’ve ever witnessed at a wedding, as if they weren’t in a field on a bright day, surrounded by several dozen loved ones… in that moment, they were alone, vowing by song to “love you more.”
And I will never ever forget that as we toasted the newlyweds over dinner, my cousin Maionce–my Auntie Brenda’s second-born son–looked at his new dad Randy and told him that in all the years that her children have known her, they have never known the woman that she is since she’d met Randy. A woman we’ve all known as one of strength, beauty, humor, and overflowing with unconditional love… now a woman who is finally happy, and very much loved in return.
Congratulations on finding each other, Auntie Brenda & Uncle Randy! I love you!!!