|Taylor & Bethany|
Why, we did!
But as the Hayes and Sabo extended families and wedding party ate and mingled and laughed and shared stories, I was walking down the basement hall of the River of Life church where we were holding the wedding on my way to retrieve more forks -- always a good sign when you're hosting a party for 60 that you've prepared the food for -- when the pastor posed a question to me. It was simple, really: Could I speak with him a moment?
He motioned me into a room across the hall and we sat down. I admit the words, "Uh-oh" went through my mind. But I quickly learned that Pastor Tim just wanted to tell me about Taylor. I won't go into the details but he simply had a lot of very nice things to say about him and we had a great conversation. And I gained a new friend -- two actually because his wife, Anne, joined us. One of the words he used to describe Taylor was "solid." Which is funny because that's one of the exact words my family uses to describe him.
He is solid in the sense that he is faithful and selfless, kind and loving, reliable and generous. And so many other things. It plays out in a thousand little ways and a bunch of big ways. He will jump in and do the dishes and no one even asks him (that's a big deal in my book!). Or he will round up the kids for a lively game of soccer in the front yard. Or he will tell bedtime stories to the little kids that have them laughing so hard they can hardly breathe. He is always willing to help, always willing to give and always quick to love. He's that embodiment of a person who reflects and radiates the love of Jesus. I can't describe in words how much it means to me to call him my son.
Over the course of the wedding I had several people -- fellow students, Pastor Tim, some of Bethany's family members -- pull me aside to tell me about Taylor and how much he's meant to them. It was a totally unexpected blessing.
I say all this because I've been thinking about the dynamics of our family and how they have changed now. This is our first wedding. We've entered a new season where our kids are truly forging their own paths. They are falling in love and getting married and starting lives together and, soon I imagine, perhaps very soon, starting their own families.
But there's something else as well. Something that goes right along with a wedding. It's a wedding gift, I guess you'd say.
We have a new member of the family, someone who we've all quickly come to love quite dearly. Someone who is kind and quick to help and quick to love. Someone who is thoughtful and graceful and who loves to spend time with our little kids and will chat with Olivia for seemingly hours on end. She's someone who is a perfect complement for Taylor.
My son Taylor has a companion for life. My other children have a new sister. Julie and I have a new daughter. We couldn't be happier. Welcome to the Sabo family Bethany.
We love you.