My neighbor Blanca and I have connected sporadically over the last few years of living side by side. We both lead busy lives, yet we share a bond that transforms quick chats into heart-level conversation. She helped me with a Spanish lesson. We both love carbs. We both fight stubborn pounds. We’ve both made bad choices in life. We’ve both been single for many years. She’s a few years younger than me, so the one thing she doesn’t have that I do is gray hair.
Blanca got married today.
She walked down the aisle of St. Vincent de Paul between her parents, glowing in her white gown. Two small girls dresses in white tottered after her, clutching the edge of her long veil. Tears pooled in my eyes.
Her parents, also our neighbors, were resplendent in dress clothes such as I had never seen them in. Her dad wore a tuxedo. Her mom wore a lovely navy blue dress. The other women of the family sisters clustered close by in maroon.
I didn’t understand much of the Spanish service, although I did pick up that the priest was talking about the way marriage mimics the relationship between Christ and the church. I also identified which Bible verse he was reading a time or two, mostly because I knew them well in English.
Marnell understood even less than I, although he seemed to receive quite a bit of inspiration from the Bose speaker system. Despite towering high above us, the slender gray speaker was scarcely noticeable in the architecture at the front of the church.
I’ve been blessed by Blanca’s commitment to serving God. She’s been involved in discipleship classes at her church. When she and her fiancé started renting from our friends Reuben and Carmen, they made a point of not living together until after the wedding.
And now, that day is today.
There are a lot of things in the world to cry about. But the strangest tears of all are the ones that slip from our eyes when something touches our hearts in a place of deep beauty.
I’m so happy for her.