One of the most poignant runs we have ever done was not a race. It did not benefit a charity. There were no spectators and we didn’t get a t-shirt. This run took place one beautiful June morning this spring. Our family was at Moody Mountain Farm for the wedding of our daughter, Amelia.
It would be fair to say that the days leading up to this day had been a “tad” hectic. We had decided to do quite a bit of the wedding preparation, including catering and flowers, without the use of hired professionals. The amount of help and support that was offered by family and friends was truly phenomenal and this help was the only way we were able to even consider attempting to accomplish this. But despite my best laid plans, I awoke at dawn after too few hours of sleep in a moderate (leaning towards overwhelming) panic about what still had to be accomplished.
Amelia and I had spoken previously about our desire to start this day with a run together and this was absolutely still a priority for me. So after an hour or so of last minute organizing, my panic was subsiding. The house was still quiet when Amelia appeared and asked if I wanted to run. Mike was up, as well, and was ready to join us.
Both of our girls have been involved with running pretty much always. Whether it was tagging along to a race, doing a fun run, competing on their high school track team, or doing road races themselves, running has been a part of their lives.
Mike, Amelia, and I have had our share of running together, as well. We cheered her on in her first half marathon. The three of us signed up for two local race series the year she was at home prior to starting vet school. As a result, we were together at many races. When Amelia trained for her first marathon, I biked beside her on her long runs (she was too fast for me to run with, alas). And of course, over the years we have traveled many miles together during ordinary, run-of-the mill (pun intended) runs.
So it seemed only fitting that on this truly special day the three of us should spend some time running together. We headed out the door into the blissfully warm, sunny morning. The setting was gorgeous and the views were stunning.
The road rose uphill pretty much immediately, so pretty much immediately Amelia and their dog, Jameson, were way ahead of us.
Mike and I caught up when she stopped for us at the top of the hill. We savored the quiet, the views, and this time together. We talked a little bit about the day ahead, but mostly we enjoyed this tranquil time, silently reflecting on the momentous event that was about to occur. As I ran, nebulous thoughts swirled through my mind. They were thoughts that were more like sensations about the years that had passed, how Amelia had grown from our little girl into this smart, confident, strong, beautiful woman who was on the verge of this milestone in her life. It was a tiny bit bittersweet, too, knowing that after today, things would be different. We absolutely love Matt and couldn’t have been more thrilled that he was marrying Amelia. We consider his family great friends and we eagerly looked forward to the blending of our two families. It was just the end of one era and the launching of a new one.
As we turned around and (thankfully) ran down the hill back to Moody Mountain Farm I thought of how this epic day that had been mere thoughts and visions in our minds was about to actually unfold. Months of talking, planning, creating, and dreaming were finally transpiring into a truly incredible day.
The run gave us all a cherished opportunity to be together before the wonderful whirlwind of the day began. As I returned to the house I was filled with that blissful feeling of serenity, clarity, and peace that only a run can provide. And I was so grateful that Mike and Amelia and I had been able to, mostly wordlessly, share the emotions that we felt as we traveled this distance together.
The excitement and activity of the day were soon escalating until that poignant moment when Mike was walking Amelia down the aisle through the field.
As I watched them I was overcome with emotion.
I felt relief that everything had come together. The weather was absolutely perfect, which was particularly appreciated after a frigid, rainy spring. Amelia looked stunning in the spectacular gown that was designed and created by her fashion designer sister, Hannah.
The barn was decorated just as we had hoped.
The tables were set with the dishes we had gathered over the past year, garnished with ferns freshly picked by cousins, Mollie and Leah.
Guests had arrived at the farm as my brother, Rich, played the bagpipes.
Fabulous food had been prepared by family and friends.
There were delectable wedding cakes (plural!) made by their multi-talented cousin, Annie.
But beyond that feeling of relief, I was feeling joy, pride, contentment, excitement, and love. Amelia and Matt were about to be married.
The ceremony was heartfelt, funny, and moving. Their love for each other was so clearly evident as they said their vows surrounded by family and friends.
The day was filled with family,
It was perfect from start to finish.